Peculiar Sisters was founded over 27 years by a group of teenage girls living on a Liberian Refugee Camp in Oru Village Nigeria. Varria Russell-White founded Peculiar Sisters in 1994 in Oru Refugees Camp in Nigeria where the amazing refugees girls inspired her to set up a Girls empowerment group to inspire and motivate girls to aim higher in their educational and personal goals. When the group was founded, we mentored each other by pairing a Big sister with a little sister , a concept of supporting each other.
We raised funds at the time to organise concerts and feeding program. We protected each other against male violence by speaking against older men grooming and exploiting young vulnerable girls on the Camp. Our faith was instrumental in the building a community where girls could feel safe in the refugee camp and focus on their education and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
We knew losses and trauma following a brutal civil war in our home country Liberia where we lost our homes, parents, families, friends etc. As refugees girls we understood the weaponisation of women’s bodies, exploitation, limited access to good education, amenities and the silencing of our voices. We want to raise awareness, and to change the culture of gender- based violence.
We got together as a United force using our faith in Jesus to reframe our stories, by re-imagining our self-worth and our purpose in whom God has created us to be. We called ourselves Peculiar Sisters because we were living in very strange times and circumstances but we wanted to give our lives meaning despite our circumstance.
27 years later, all original members of the group are now powerful, inspirational, influential women, occupying leadership positions. They are mothers, preachers, teachers, pharmacists, healthcare professionals, business owners, nurses etc we have reunited to share our vision of female empowerment that has shaped our lives as women through our emphasis on female education, faith, mentoring and Hope for a better future for all girls and women.