Umu was living in Freetown with her brother when she joined a Tools for Self Reliance course in partnership with Baptist Women’s Union. She had never been to school, and had left the family home aged 14 to escape an arranged marriage – her brother was looking after her, but Umu wanted to be able to earn a living, and contribute to their expenses. She signed up for a course in tailoring, and enjoyed learning so much she often stayed after the end of classes to practice. The business training that was part of the programme meant that Umu felt confident she could purchase the materials she needs for a job, how to cost and price her products, and planning use of income.
Umu said the biggest change was being economically empowered “so I do not have to be reliant on a man.”
Having employment makes me feel proud and has given me confidence.
Welding group, Malawi