Born in Sierra Leone, Mariatu is a survivor of Sierra Leone’s brutal decade-long civil war. At the age of 12, she and her cousin Adama were held captive for more than 10 hours by rebel soldiers of the Revolutionary United Front. For three years, Mariatu lived in the refugee camps of Freetown and eventually immigrated to Canada in 2002.
Mariatu became involved with UNICEF Canada in December 2007. In February 2008, Mariatu travelled with UNICEF back to Sierra Leone and visited many of UNICEF’s projects for children. As a published author and UNICEF Canada Ambassador, Mariatu works to share her story and raise awareness about UNICEF’s work around the world.