Beam talks, Smiling through Light, aims to positively impact the lives of women and girls in Sierra Leone and across Africa by inspiring them to achieve economic self-sufficiency and distribute subsidised solar lamps for personal use and resale. The overall objective is to encourage economic growth, job opportunities, and education on solar energy and health issues. More importantly, access to renewable energy will result in economic growth, reduces toxic fumes and fire hazards, increased societal equity, and create an enabling environment for communities to thrive.
On 28 September 2016 Beam Talks held a panel discussion showcasing the diverse career routes taken by Sierra Leonean women living in the UK and in Sierra Leone. The event provided a space for the ladies to discuss their achievements, experiences and challenges with a new generation of change-makers. panelists included Willorna Brock, HR Consultant and Founder of Goshenn; Mary-Ann Kaikai, Creative Director and CEO of Madam Wokie Ltd; Georgina Awoonor-Gordon, Programme Manager at Comic Relief and Mariama Kamara, Founder and Director of Smiling Through Light. The panel was moderated by Naberay Bangura, TV presenter at the Wan pot Show on Sky TV.
Beam Talks is organised by Mariama Kamara. Mariama Kamara is the Founder & Director of Smiling Through Light. She started the company in May 2013, after a trip to Sierra Leone in 2011 on a placement with Restless Development as a SRH Curriculum Development Technical Assistant. Prior to that, she worked on different HIV, advocacy and campaigning project at local, national and international level with organisations such as SciDev.Net, African Health Policy Network, VSO, African Development Association for Progress, Restless Development and Africa UK in contributing towards the development of Africa. She has always been interested in development issues especially on poverty, energy, education, sexual and reproductive health and HIV issues relating to women and young people. Mariama has a MSc in Development Studies from Birkbeck College and BSc (Hons) in Psychology.