Mary's Story


Eighteen-year-old Mary Sesay was living with her older sister in Aberdeen when she became pregnant. Soon after she learned this she was told to leave her home because the space was too small for both mother and child. At this point, the father of her unborn baby became emotionally and physically abusive to Mary. Now Mary had no home and no partner to help her raise her child. A woman saw a pregnant Mary wandering the streets and took her in. She told Mary to go to Aberdeen Women’s Centre for prenatal care and while there Mary was approached by Hagar Olu-Jones.

Hagar is one of the instructors for AWC’s Dream Girls Programme -where girls are taught sewing, crocheting, tailoring, and health education- and actively recruits girls for the programme by meeting with pregnant teens who register in the maternity unit. Mary joined the Dream Girls programme and loved making friends and learning new skills in the class every week. Hagar noticed that Mary was a fast learner and told her about AWC’s Hostel Girls’ Programme, where she had the opportunity to learn skills like catering, hospitality, and housekeeping. Mary took Hagar’s advice and joined the program.

Since joining, Mary has been a shining example to the other girls in the programme. She works very hard and is one of the best cooks in the programme. Her dream is to work in the hospitality industry and make enough money to give her daughter Elvira, a quality education.

“My favourite things to make are pancakes and puff cakes. I love catering and cooking, and hope to work in the hotel business someday”

The dream Team

Sierra Leone has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the world made worse by the 66% rise in teenage pregnancy during the Ebola crisis. The need for a program that would deliver babies of such young mothers safely whilst providing health education, pre and post-natal care and a pathway back to school or a job was evident.

Our Dream Team project has  date supported 600 of these girls and their babies. We are expecting another surge in teenage pregnancies due to the COVID-19 crisis. The continuation of our services for this highly vulnerable group are critical. Many of these girls face social and economic problems and the Aberdeen Women’s Centre provides support to re-integrate them to their communities post birth.

On top of access to first-rate health care, these young women participate in a range of activities focused on social awareness, literacy and numeracy and health education, all taught by our on-site teaching staff.

Main goal: to transform their lives through education and empowerment at the most vulnerable moments in their lives, both economically and emotionally, through rebuilding their self-esteem and confidence.

A number also engage in a range of skills training including handicrafts, needlework, soap making, doormat design and production and cloth weaving.

We take a holistic approach to the wellbeing of our Dream Team transforming their health through access to safe birthing, whilst enabling continued education.  We empower these young women economically and emotionally, rebuilding their self-esteem and confidence at a time of great vulnerability.

The achievements we have made to improve the lives of our teenage mothers in 2018 is a direct result of the commitment of our dedicated donors, for which we are sincerely grateful

AMF's Dream Team Project

Making Dreams A Reality

The Dream Team girls participate in a range of activities led by our on-site tutors. The skills taught are targeted to give the girls the best chance of income generation and include:

  • Literacy and numeracy classes focused on counting and writing of numbers, simple maths; alphabet, word building, matching of words, spelling, reading and writing; identification of colours and shapes
  • Income generating skills – soap making, tailoring, arts and crafts
  • Health education
  • Counselling service is a platform that provides the best possible psychosocial care for teenage girls that are apprehensive about misunderstandings with their communities. In Centre counselling services offer support to participants to manage:

    • Anxiety
    • Anger Management
    • Depression
    • Mood Disorders
    • Stress
    • Family dynamics

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