Sierra Leonean beauty queen, Shireen Benjamin has been crowned Miss West Africa 2009 at the Royal Regency Hall, Manor Park in London. The event which was graced by hundreds of people from all over the UK highlighted African beauty at its best and was indeed a showcase of African Fashion and culture. The organisers should take pride in the successful outcome of this amazing event. As a young girl, Shireen possesses a strong appetite for success. Hailing from West London with Sierra Leonean heritage, she is truly passionate about her involvement in this year’s beauty pageant. Her inspiration to compete for the title of ‘Miss West Africa’ stems from her inner spirit to emulate other role models who have proudly championed Sierra Leone.
The opportunity to compete in the pageant is one which Shireen had truly cherished as it has provided the platform to develop her strength. She aims to empower under privileged young women of Sierra Leone who have been through some of the worst plight of a brutal civil war in the West African country. She believes that this will contribute to building self-esteem, assertiveness and set goals.
Her vision is a world where all women can participate equally in the socio-economic, educational of their country. As an Ambassador she will highlight fundamental issues like poverty, HIV/Aids and Malaria and work towards educating people about the stigma surrounding the diseases. Shireen aims to promote safe sexual practices; and encourage people to be more aware.
In addition, she further intends to lobby governments to provide Mosquito nets to people in West Africa. as this would protect against Malaria which costs the governments a vast amount of money and to save lives from a disease that can be prevented.
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