First-Lady Marieme Sall Receives 2017 DUSUSU Awards from Zuriel Oduwole
Fourteen year old ‘Film Maker’ & ‘Girl Education Advocate’ Zuriel Oduwole presented the First Lady’s category of her DUSUSU Award to Her Excellency Mrs. Marieme Faye Sall at the Presidential Palace in central Dakar on the 26th of May 2017. The Award recognizes the continuous work and documented successes of African First ladies in their overall gender development initiatives, with an emphasis on Girls Education. By UN Statistics, Africa has one of the highest rates of out-of-school children in the word, with most of them being Girls. These young Girls end up in early forced marriages, as young as 13 or 12 years old, because of the acceptance practices in their cultures.
It is against this backdrop that the UN Secretary General established the International Day of the Girl in 2011, when Zuriel was just 9 years old. She launched her Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up project in early 2013 at the Pan Atlantic University at the age of 10 to encourage out of school Girls to Dream, and launched the DUSUSU Awards in 2014 to honor First Ladies making a measurable difference..
“I know I am still 14, but if I don’t do this, who else would recognize the great work the First Ladies on the continent are doing. They work hard for Girls Education” she said addressing reporters at the Presidential Palace, through an English to French interpreter.
So far, the First Ladies of Tanzania , Kenya , Namibia  and now Senegal  have proudly received these Awards, which has no political affiliation, no multilateral agency affiliation, no government backing. It is highly regarded because it is the simple initiative of a Girl who recognizes the importance and influences First Ladies have, in tackling this African problem and challenge for Girls, of which she is one.
Because of this and many other initiatives she leads across the globe including meeting one-on-one with 24 world leaders, the US Secretary of State on January 6th 2017 – The Rt Hon John Kerry, honored Zuriel in Washington DC, calling her the Worlds Most Powerful Girl. She became the youngest person since the State Department was formed in 1789, to meet with a US Secretary of State in his office.
Her research volunteers, data managers and audit leads across Africa and the US have already began the search for the 2018 recipient.
Here are more pictures from the event.
First Lady Marieme Fall Receives Zuriel Formally Presidential Palace
Zuriel Welcomed to The Presidential Palace by First Lady Marieme Sall
Zuriel Reads Award Citation to First Lady Marieme Fall
Zuriel Listens to Vote of Thanks At End of Ceremony