Africare “Brightens” Women’s Lives
Quote: “We work extra hours during the night and sell more clothes to clients in towns and nearby because now we have light from the electric generator that was provided by Africare. I am now able to raise money to send my children to school.”
Issue: Women’s empowerment
Country: Sierra Leone
The town of Kailahun is located in a remote area of Sierra Leone. Deplorable road conditions limit access to the town by trucks and other delivery vehicles. Travel by bicycle is even more difficult. As a result, the town has no electricity. Only the rich men of the town were able to buy generators that provide electric energy for their businesses, while the others, mostly poor women, lacked the financial resources to purchase such necessary equipment.
Madam Fatmata Vanah, 35-year-old mother of two young children, wanted to send her children to school but didn’t have the money. She was working hard designing and making clothing for sale in the town, but she could only work in daylight and could never make enough to generate the extra funds she needed. Then she joined Women-in-Action, a group of 30 young women in the Kailahun town area, and got help. With a grant from Africare for an electrical generator, the women were able to measurably increase their productivity.
“My monthly earnings have risen from 200,000 Leones per month (US$63) to an average of 250,000 Leones per month (US$80) due to increased proceeds from the business. We work extra hours during the night and sell more clothes to clients in towns and nearby because now we have light from the electric generator that was provided by Africare. I am now able to raise money to send my children to school.”