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”