MABINTY’S DREAM IS TO ONE DAY BECOME A DOCTOR AND FOR HER SON TO BECOME A NURSE.
Mabinty Conteh grew up in a village with her mother, abandoned by her father when she was eight years old. Once sixteen, Mabinty and her mother were promised a better life and education by a women from Freetown. After a year, the woman neglected her promise. Though Mabinty was still going to school, she had no money for books, a uniform, or food for lunch.
A twenty-one-year-old man in her community offered help and told her he would be like a “big brother” to her. Mabinty soon learned she was pregnant. The woman she was living with kicked Mabinty out and has not spoken to her since. She went to live with the father of her child but financial problems soon forced her to look for shelter elsewhere. When she came to Aberdeen Women’s Centre to register, she was approached by Hagar Olu-Jones or “teacher”.
Hagar teaches the girls sewing and tailoring and assists in health education and nutrition classes. She helps to inspire the young women that come to the class and build their confidence. At the end of Mabinty’s time in the programme it was Hagar who suggested that she join the Hostel Girls’ programme at AWC, which teaches young women skills in catering, hospitality, and housekeeping. Mabinty joined the programme and is now living with fourteen other girls at the hostel. She enjoys the camaraderie of the hostel and has made lifelong friends in addition to learning cooking, catering, and cleaning skills. Mabinty’s dream is to one day become a doctor and for her son to become a nurse.
AWC noticed that many of its Dream Team participants were homeless, no longer supported by their families, with no clear pathway back to school or employment.
With our support, AWC accommodates some of these vulnerable young women providing a safe home for 6 months, postnatal care, continued schooling or vocational training.
At the conclusion of their time with us, the project places girls in internships or jobs with oversight for their safety by AWC. These young mothers have learnt new vocational skills and are now able to provide for their babies’ long term wellbeing.