”The journey is what makes the difference, not the destination”

Walk with us


Hello there,

My name is Ritalee, despite the presence of a loving mother, my childhood was marked by challenges – I was toasted from left to right, front to back.  My upbringing took place in a difficult and hostile environment that left me feeling lost. My identity was deformed and annihilated by my immediate family and relatives, and those entrusted with my care were unable to provide me with the guidance I needed. Instead, I found myself under the care of adult figures seemingly indifferent to my needs and emotions. In essence, I was given a roof but not a home.

Countless sleepless nights were consumed by contemplating questions of self-identity echoing in my mind: Who am I, truly? Am I merely the person they labelled me as? Do I hold any value? Can I make a difference in this world? Is there something I can contribute to, – make it a better place? I was obsessed with words such as compassion, freedom, and knowledge.  What would it mean, how would it benefit me and those around me?

As I navigated through these life challenges, one single question always haunted me: “Where are you from? – (where am I from?)” I despised this question, as it seemed to define me solely by my background and ethnicity. I hated and still hate the question with passion. Notably, (as) none of my parents’ countries, education, lineage and social standards made a difference for my circumstances. In the midst of these struggles, I made a decision to shape my own world, to create a reality of my own imagination. I rejected conformity and embraced my uniqueness, refusing to let my background, environment, or family dictate my path. From there and then, my spark was born, I “dared to be different“!

In 2001, on a rainy day in Monrovia, Liberia, I had a pivotal moment. Observing two young children across the street – hardly more than 2 and 5 years old – caught my attention. The elder sibling carried the younger. Witnessing this scene, memories of my own youth resurfaced. I couldn’t ignore the hardships faced by these children. Unable to resist, I approached them. My curiosity won’t let me be and as a mother myself, I called them. It turned out the mother was a young girl trying to make ends meet under the survival instinct in a war-torn country with no reliable infrastructure.

My spirit yearned to do more for her and her children yet my time and resources were limited. At the time, my mother operated a school, “African Aid Program,” where she taught practical skills to young adults for self-sufficiency. I assisted her with administrative tasks. I managed to enroll the young mother in a sewing and cooking skills program.

But the desire to do more for them lingered, even as circumstances spiraled due to the war. It was not enough to give me satisfaction. I wanted to let her know that it was not her fault and that I could give her a hand where others and the system had failed to stand with and by her. Knowing well that my departure was imminent, what could I possibly do to add value to her and her children’s lives? That would become my biggest haunted dream when I left. The desire to make a more profound impact persisted, but with the war, I could only do so much and eventually lost track of their whereabouts amidst the chaos. It’s a burden I’ve carried ever since – a weighty memory.

My life is a tapestry of experiences, from childhood to adulthood and through the journey of being a single parent. I’ve come to understand that every challenge holds the potential for transformation. Life itself has been my most profound instructor, an ongoing lesson – a road in progress. The learning process be it academically or orally taught me well; you will not graduate until the lesson is fully mastered and acquired! My life reflects the essence of this sentence.

Dare 2Be Dfrent is a result of my own failures, scars and struggles. Guided by unwavering faith and persistence, I’ve embraced my uniqueness, learned to love and forgive myself, and boldly dared to stand out. My aspiration has became to be the change I wish to witness in the world. Even in the face of challenges, my ultimate question became: “How can I turn this challenge into an opportunity for growth?”

By becoming sources of joy, a smile, and even a comfort in my (own)world – my journey has kindled a belief in others – a belief in the strength of embracing our indifferences. To discover their own voice, even if their impact touches just one life.  A togetherness is the combination of results that we can present to you today “Dare 2Be Dfrent”.

Here at Dare 2Be Dfrent we believe that knowledge is a path to freedom, emancipation and unity.  Together with Joyce, Mamoore, Sarah, Brecht, and many others, we want to be the platform that disseminate and achieve concrete results. Therefore, we invite you: “Join and embark with us on this transforming road, where every challenge becomes a stepping stone – an opportunity toward one’s growth“.

With determination, I Dare 2Believe that it’s possible

–              Ritalee Birabwa


We believe that by coming together and sponsoring, we can get better life for kids, people in need of good education, health and life in general.