Website: www.faceafrica.org
Twitter: @Saran.K.Jones
Instagram: @Saran.K.Jones

Age: 33

I live…on a plane. Smile. But home is technically in Boston, MA, and Liberia, West Africa.

I originate from…Liberia and Guinea.

In 5 phrases, I am…a global citizen. Clean water advocate. Fortune hunter. Wife. Mother. (In no particular order.)

I am…the founder of FACE Africa. A community development organization I created in 2009. We work to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and services in rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa.

SaranKabaJones2I am inspired to do what do because…I was born in Liberia but left in 1989 at the young age of eight, shortly before the country’s civil war began. With my father being a career diplomat, I spent my formative years living in Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, France and Cyprus before moving to the United States in 1999. I returned to Liberia almost 20 years later to find my country in desperate need and made it my mission to help, specifically focused on access to safe drinking water, sanitation and empowering women and girls through education and skills training.

If I didn’t do what I do now, I…wouldn’t be doing anything else because the work I do now is very much a part of me. From a very young age I was exposed to a world of diplomacy, travel and community service and I had the benefit of living in multiple countries, which armed me with a global perspective. So I knew from an early age that I wanted to do something that would help people in a meaningful way.

Everyday…I remind myself to 1. stop overextending myself and find my place of stillness and quiet, even if for just a few minutes and 2. to keep my circle small, pure and honest and purge anything or anyone that conflicts with that design.

I’m inspired by…dreamers and doers like Chimamanda Adichie, Ory Okolloh, and Chid Liberty of my generation who all inspire me beyond words. It’s really an honor to be part of a generation of creatives, of change makers and visionaries, disrupters and thought leaders. All young, all passionate and forward-thinking and all who share a deep commitment to creating an equitable and sustainable world in which everyone has access to opportunity and basic human needs. They inspire me on a daily basis and force me to consistently stretch myself, challenge myself, and grow within.

Personal style is…really the art of combining your taste, lifestyle, interests, desires, inspirations etc. Style for me is an evolving process and my personal style tends to depend on where I am in life. Right now I’m somewhat of a road warrior and travel quite a lot so comfort is a priority when it comes to my personal style. I wouldn’t describe my style as edgy or fashion forward but more safe and somewhat understated with lots of greys and nudes where I don’t have to put too much thought into it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t glam it up once in a while for a dinner with dignitaries or a fundraising gala!

Right now, I’m loving…

 

The person I admire most ismy father, Dr. Brahima D. Kaba, because he’s everything I wish to be and more.  

I empower others bybeing the change that I wish to see in the world. I truly believe that ultimately, the power lies within each and every one of us to fearlessly conquer our fears and insecurities and live our best lives.

10 years from now…I hope to be as good a mother, to the 2 young children (ages 4 and 6) my husband and I just adopted. They were orphaned by the Ebola crisis in Liberia. I want to be as good a mother to them as mine has been to me. I hope to see 2 thriving young adults.

My ideal weekend is…spending quiet time with my yummy hubby watching home movies and eating takeaway sushi.

I love to travel to and frequently visit…anywhere on the African continent. Africa is so untapped in terms of tourism, both regional and international. My goal is to visit every single country on the continent. I’m almost half way there with nearly 20 countries visited so far. My next destination is Kenya and Morocco.

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Purpose makes me feel alive, because it’s the reason that we journey. Passion makes me move because it’s the fire that leads the way.