In order to create a better tomorrow, work must be done today, and ONE’s Champions do just that. Our Champions work to achieve ONE’s mission of ensuring that everyone, everywhere can live a life of dignity and opportunity. As global activists, our Champions are a vibrant group of volunteers who support ONE’s advocacy work through recruiting, lobbying, and supporting the ONE mission.
To grow that amazing team, we extended our Champions program to Senegal and Mali in 2019 and have since recruited 30 new Champions into the program! We spoke with four of our newest members — Ibrahima Ngom from Dakar, Senegal; Mahamadou Bagayoko from Bamako, Mali; Massaran Diallo from Bamako, Mali; and Marième Cissé from Dakar — to find out what inspired them to become a Champion, what they hope to achieve, and more.
Here’s what they had to say.
How did you find out about ONE and the ONE Champions’ program?
Ibrahima: Being a curious young Senegalese man, I discovered ONE through social media and I rushed to the website to learn more about the projects and programs. I was happy to find out about such a great opportunity to mobilize and impact our communities.
Mahamadou: I was born in Commune V and at the age of 7, my family moved to Sénou. I got to know ONE through Abdoulaye Guindo who is also a ONE Champion (alumni). I got more information about the Champions program through a trip I had the opportunity to participate in with the ONE delegation in Koulikoro in 2019.
Massaran: Being an activist and passionate about children’s issues, I discovered ONE and the Champions program through former ONE Champion Aissata Amadou Bocoum, who is both my big sister and my mentor.
Marième: I have been a women’s rights activist since 2016 and I discovered ONE and the Champions program through friends who have been Champions. I became much more interested in the organization after an event I attended on the eradication of violence against women in Senegal.
Why did you want to become a ONE Champion?
Ibrahima: I wanted to become a ONE Champion because it is an ideal opportunity to share the values and mission of the organization, which I share, but also to advocate for decision-makers to influence public policies for a better handling of issues related to gender, health, education, etc.
Mahamadou: I wanted to become a ONE Champion to be able to integrate this great global network to amplify the activities we carry out with the goal of influencing our governments so that they spare no effort in the process of achieving SDGs. I am also aware of the level of importance of the opportunities that ONE offers us.
Massaran: I wanted to become a ONE champion in order to help and contribute in the fight against poverty, which is the main cause of many harmful phenomena and practices affecting our world and particularly that of children, girls, and women.
Marième: Being a ONE Champion represents for me the opportunity to amplify my voice in order to better defend the causes to which I am committed. It is for me an opportunity to achieve change by being part of a global network that takes a variety of actions.
What do you hope to achieve during your time as a ONE Champion?
Ibrahima: I hope to be able to engage our citizens to make our communities sustainable. I also hope to become part of an international network of reflection and action for better living conditions for people around the world.
Mahamadou: I hope to carry out fruitful activities — bringing together young influencers at the local level, motivating them to volunteer, sharing the knowledge I will be receiving at ONE, and motivating them to go out to meet those who are less fortunate by collecting their most urgent needs and advocating for for them.
Massaran: I hope to advocate and lobby political decision-makers on important issues (poverty and preventable diseases), support ONE in its program to increase its impact, mobilize and raise awareness in my community, and represent ONE wherever it is needed.
Marième: I hope to make a significant contribution to challenging decision-makers on the importance for our society to ensure equality for women and to work to provide children and the entire population with an adequate framework necessary for their development with respect for their dignity.