My name is Emma Frobisher and I come from the UK. I studied for undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds where I received my Bachelors’ in Communications Studies. I spent the following four years travelling in Europe, Asia and Latin America and working with children in South Korea and Peru. I came to the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague in 2015 at the age of 26. Here I am studying my Masters’ degree in International Development, majoring in Social Policy for Development. I specialise in Children and Youth studies, but I also have a particular interest in gender and social justice issues.
I was introduced to participatory action research methods in my third term and found it to be an extremely interesting and exciting way to bring creativity into the development process and to empower marginalised groups whose voices tend to be ignored by those above. These participatory techniques proved to be very effective in collecting data for my thesis “Disability Mainstreaming or Away-streaming? The Case of One Family People and the Girl Power Programme in Sierra Leone“, which I began to work on in April 2016.
My thesis is part of a co-operative project of the African Studies Centre at Leiden University and the Dutch NGO, Liliane Foundation. This learning project aims to further the knowledge and capacity of Liliane Foundation and its global partners on the conditions of successful advocacy for children and young people with disabilities based on findings from two developing countries: Cameroon and Sierra Leone. My research concentrates on Sierra Leone, and in particular the work of a local grassroots disability-rights NGO based in the capital city of Freetown, called One Family People. This organisation is the strategic partner organisation of Liliane Foundation in Sierra Leone.