ESSENCE Full Circle Festival Teamed Up With Designer Chiedza Makonnen To Empower And Educate Young Girls In Ghana
Photo Credit: Sean Wellington

On day 7 of the ESSENCE Full Circle Festival, attendees participated in a Day of Service to the local Ghanaian community by spending the afternoon with various local non-profit organizations during five separately-themed experiences. Experience themes centered around youth empowerment, women’s health, education and empowerment for girls, entrepreneurship, the creative industry and leadership.

ESSENCE Full Circle Festival partners included SheaMoisture, Microsoft, Conservation International and the Office of Diaspora Affairs.

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Among the experiences that came to life during the EFCF Day of Service was The Circle of Sisters.

Circle of Sisters Founder Chiedza Makonnen offers encouragement during the EFCF Day of Service in Ghana.
Photo by Sean Wellington

The Circle of Sisters is a Girls Leadership Initiative run by Chiedza Makonnen, a fashion designer and returnee who has lived in Ghana for more than ten years. Under her Revolutionary Underground Foundation, she supports young girls in the Korle Gonno area through education and after school activities to help them become leaders in their own worlds and realize their dreams. Miss Makonnen funds the initiative through proceeds from her fashion label, Afrodesiac Worldwide.

A young girl smiles while participating in a group activity during the EFCF Day of Service in Ghana.
Photo by Sean Wellington

Several EFCF attendees whose careers have landed them in various fields including law, entertainment, health and education, joined some of the young women from The Circle of Sisters initiative for a day of mentorship and group exchange. After the group exchanged introductions and each of the young ladies shared their career aspirations, they were grouped according to their potential future career paths.

Girls United co-founder Sophia Dennis interacting with young girls during EFCF Day of Service in Ghana.
Photo by Sean Wellington

Among the EFCF attendees present for the Circle of Sisters was Sophia Dennis, co-founder of Girls United by ESSENCE, which aims to serve as a safe space for young women and girls of color to come into their own and help them find their life paths. An inspiring young leader herself, Ms. Dennis shared her experiences with girls whose aspirations were limited by a lack of access to technology.

EFCF attendees engage with young girls from the Circle of Sisters initiative in Accra, Ghana.
Photo by Sean Wellington

Throughout the day, EFCF attendees rotated to have conversations with each group, sharing their own experiences as each group bonded and each of the girls got to know more about leading and owning their power as young women.

ESSENCE Full Circle Festival – Day of Service
Photo by Sean Wellington

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