One of Sierra Leone’s most respected women’s rights activists Elizabeth Alpha-Lavalie has died. There is no news yet of the cause of death.
Honorable Lavalie was MP of Bo District for over 17 years. She served as a MP both under the SLPP and current APC regime. She was one of the few women in the running for SLPP presidential flagbearer in the 2012 elections.
She graduated from the prestigious Annie-Walsh Memorial School in Freetown, and later went on to become a banker. In her public life she served in various leadership positions including; Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Commander of the Order of Sierra Leone, member of the ECOWAS Parliament, Eminent Person of ECOWAS Council of the Wise, President Women in Action, Coordinator Women’s Movement for Peace Eastern Region, Founding Member Mano River Union Women’s Peace Network, former Internal Auditor and Deputy Secretary General of the SLPP, and she was also served as the Chairperson Human Rights Committee in the Sierra Leone House of Parliament.
Honorable Lavalie was crucial to the Sierra Leone women’s peace movement that challenged Foday Sankoh to give peace a chance. She will be remembered both for her compassion, and commitment to peace and human rights.
Reacting to news of Hon Lavalie’s death Sierra Leone’s Gender Advisor to the President, Naasu Forna posted this on Facebook:
Hon. Elizabeth Alpha-Lavalie, you were one of the most patriotic Sierra Leonean women I have met and your dedication to Sierra Leone transcends your political affiliations. You always said Country First and you did put S/L First. I am happy that your NGO which we fought so hard to establish finally took off and you carried out the work of training women for leadership positions. We will ensure your dream of seeing more women in political decision-making is actualized. You were called Peoples Mama and indeed you are a Mother of many children! Your support for others had no strings attached; they were candid and Nationalistic and for that I salute you Hon. Alpha Lavalie! May your soul Rest in perfect Peace!
In one of her last public speeches when she was still vying for the leadership of the Sierra Leone People’s Party, Honorable Lavalie shared her dream for her beloved nation.
” We have to have a new Sierra Leone devoid of ethnic, tribal, regional, religious segregation and with a strong faith in God Almighty who created and endowed Sierra Leone with abundant natural resources which could be turned into wealth for all Sierra Leoneans if given a proper vision of leadership and better management.”
GoWoman mourns the loss of a strong woman. Honorable Elizabeth Alpha-Lavalie may your soul rest in perfect peace, and may Allah comfort your loved ones.