Sarah Little - Founder of More To Her Story
Sarah Little is a journalist, poet, model, social entrepreneur, and founder of More to Her Story! She is also a world traveller, gender equality advocate and Fellow at the Lewis Institute of Social Innovation at Babson College.
And she is our newest featured Empowered Female!
After studying documentary filmmaking in Chicago and modeling, there came a point where Sarah felt called to do something else. At the time, she wasn't sure what that was. When she was 20 years old and a sophomore in college, Sarah decided to take a gap year from school and modeling to pursue other passions.
She moved to London for three months to volunteer part-time with an organization focusing on mental health and forced displacement. It was the fall of 2017, one of the heights of the Syrian civil war, and by that point there were nearly 6.5 million Syrian refugees -- nearly a third of the global refugee population.
That was also when the Rohingya people began fleeing Myanmar, seeking safety in Bangladesh. “The images that we were seeing, as the public, were just horrendous,” says Sarah. “The media was doing their job, but really only showing one side of the story.”
After months of seeing these images on the news media, Sarah decided she wanted to speak to those that had been affected by war and conflict, firsthand. She didn’t want to just read about it from third-party sources. Sarah wanted to hear the stories from those who had actually lived it. At the time she didn’t know what she was going to do with those stories; she just felt a strong urge to hear them from the people themselves rather than from a news or media source.
Sarah wanted to focus specifically on young women and girls, because she felt like they’d be able to relate to one another in a unique way. But Sarah didn't want to just be another journalist. She wanted to befriend these girls, and gain their trust.
So, she booked a one-way flight to Jordan, one of the countries most affected by the Syria crisis, and was hosted by an organization that graciously granted her access into Zaatari Refugee Camp. At its peak, Zaatari housed around 150,000 Syrian refugees, becoming the fourth-largest city in Jordan. Now, the camp houses around 79,000 Syrian people.
Fast forward, and she spent nearly three months in Jordan, commuting to and from Amman (the capital) and Zaatari Camp, 7 miles from the Syrian border. Sarah befriended countless young women and girls. Their stories really astounded her, and she realized there was a lot more to them than what we so often see or hear.
Sarah’s eyes were also opened to the massive gender disparities and injustices that exist in different places and cultures around the world. “Of course, no culture or country is exempt from gender inequality, but in some places, that injustice is far more visible,” says Sarah.
Her time in Jordan compelled her to want to hear more stories from girls living amidst, or escaping, conflict. Sarah traveled to Brussels with UNHCR, the U.N. Refugee Agency, and met with Afghan girls. She also traveled to Greece, Palestine, and Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, where there are 200,000 refugees from across Africa. In total, she has met and heard stories from girls spanning ten countries. These girls have inspired Sarah to write a book that is currently in progress.
They also inspired a platform that launched recently called More to Her Story, where girls can express themselves through poetry, art, photography, stories, or anything they want. The platform was born out of something Sarah hears from girls in her work often, which is: "I have nowhere to express myself and how I really feel."
“The truth is, girls' voices are too often silenced and suppressed around the world, and I just want girls to be able to raise their voices about issues that matter to them and issues they haven't felt comfortable talking about before.”
Sarah is very well travelled, and these trips are not out of character with her upbringing. As a teenager she lived in Qatar. By the time she was 18 years old, she had been to 36 countries and attended schools on four continents. So while the above things might raise eyebrows given her youth, clearly she’s an established traveller with an understanding of how many regions of the world work.
Currently Sarah is only 23 and has already accomplished an astonishing amount in her life. She truly embodies the spirit of an empowered female. We are blown away by her courage and empathy and we STRONGLY recommend everyone take some time to check out her website and social channels.
Her mission is to reach as many girls as possible. To that end, if you, or anyone you know would like to submit their work to her initiative, please visit her website listed below.
Sarah's Personal Website: www.sarahlittle.co