Mabel Kongor is one of the many victims of early marriage in Sierra Leone, consequently she couldn’t continue with her education. She left school at age 13 and was soon busy looking after three children.
With limited education and no qualifications, Mable was unable to find work. She lived with her elder sister, husband and three children but feared that she would not be able to contribute financially to supporting her family.
In October 2021, Mabel began a tailoring course with our partner, Future Focus Foundation. They empower young people to find employment, by providing a combination of vocational training, business and life skills.
At the start of her course, Mable told us what the training would mean to her. “It will help me to have self-esteem and empower me to take care of my kids”
Mabel began with learning to take and record measurements, cut dress patterns and sew garments together. Before long she had moved on to making a range of items including baby dresses, shirts, face masks and shower caps. By the end of her training, she had covered business skills including profit and loss calculation, book-keeping and marketing, all essential for building a successful enterprise.
Now, having finished her training and gained a nationally recognised Level II qualification, Mabel is in a strong position to build a sustainable livelihood. She has begun saving money in a Village Savings and Loans scheme, and she plans to have her own shop so she can sell her clothing to members of the wider community.
Mabel is well on her way to achieving her goal. She is already selling baby clothes and bed sheets and has now secured a contract to produce sanitary pads for girls at the local primary school. With the money she earns, Mabel is able to buy more sewing materials, help support her family, and put a little aside for her future.
Mabel said, “Today I am a proud breadwinner in my family. I can now support my children’s education”.
Reflecting on the last twelve months she said, “The biggest change in my life is that I have acquired knowledge that will make me become self-reliant. With my trade I will be able to support my husband take care of the home and family members. I never dreamt of such success before until I got support from FFF to learn this trade. My life has changed from “Nowhere to Somewhere”