A renowned women’s rights campaigner and social justice activist, our founder, and executive director, Lindora Kolu Howard-Diawara, understands what it means and how it feels to be a woman searching for survival in a postwar setting.
Lindora experienced severe adversity as a child, including surviving a raging civil war that engulfed her homeland, Liberia, when she was only 12 years old. She began working for peace at 21, and the cause of women early in her life and has unceasingly advocated for equality at all levels while pushing for social cohesion across communities and cultures.
Her inspiration for change is deeply rooted in the stories of women and girls developing countries, especially those who possess so much potential for personal development and change within their homes, communities, and society but who also need partners to walk with—partners who can help them realize that they can be more than who they are told or believe they are. She is inspired by real-life stories of determination–stories that reflect the shifts individuals make from victimhood to agency and those that reflect the dignity of the human person. She is further motivated by the resilience of mothers and daughters in conflict contexts, who still manage to find the courage and strength to rise every time they fall.
Lindora is a Senior Chevening Fellow, an Alum of the US State Department’s International Visitor’s Leadership Program (IVLP), a member of the Pan African Women Entrepreneurship Program, An Alum of the New American Leadership Academy, etc. She is the bearer of several training certificates earned during programs held in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Across Africa. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Liberia, and a Master of Arts degree in International Peace Studies from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA.
This spirit of resistance, resilience, and resoluteness push Lindora to continue doing what she does for the cause of women, peace, and social justice globally. She has worked and associated with multiple local and international organizations, including Mercy Corps (with assignment in Mali), World Bank- Global Practice team on Social Urban and Rural Resilience (GPSURR), the Kroc Institute of Peace Studies’ Alumni Network- University of Notre Dame, Interchurch Organization for development Cooperation (ICCO)/Foundation, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Lisle International, and the National Association of Palava Managers (NAPAM).
With more than 15 years of professional experience in peacebuilding and development, she has helped facilitate and build capacities of hundreds of children, students, teachers, women, girls and organizations in peace education and conflict prevention at community level. She has also supported civil society capacity building and development on gender, peacebuilding, human rights, democracy, and organizational leadership and development. Additionally, Lindora contributed to building and sustaining the Liberian Women’s Peace Movement-A Peace Advocacy Campaign that helped end the Liberian Civil war- led by the Women in Peacebuilding Network WIPNET program of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Liberia) from 2002 to 2011.