A story of transformation in Sierra Leone – Mariama

Discover the story of one woman and the remarkable transformation in her life, taking her from living on the streets of Kissy to becoming a worker in a local soap-making business.


Mariama is a young woman living in Kissy, Sierra Leone.

She left her family home as a teenager when she refused to go to school.

‘I did not have a good lifestyle. No one wanted to be around me because I did not have nice things to say’.

Life on the streets is dangerous for young women like Mariama, with gender and sexual-based violence being a significant risk.

‘When women find themselves on the streets, we do not know our potential. Then comes the violence and there’s no one there for us’.

Mariama’s life took an important turn when the Unique Family took her in from the streets and brought her into their community. They taught her the trade of soap making and selling, and now Mariama is an integral part of the local business.

‘It’s an important thing for the community to go out and find street girls and include them’.

Mariama packages soap at Dreamtown Soap-making centre
Image: Tom Price / Y Care International

In her role, Mariama is responsible for making the fire, putting the pot on the fire, and putting palm oil in to heat. This is the first stage in the soap-making process.

Mariama works for the Unique Family at the weekend because she is back in school during the week. She is enjoying school now and values its importance.

‘I didn’t go to school before, because I thought it was a waste of time. I would advise other girls in my position to go back to their studies because education holds their future, not the streets’.

With the money Mariama makes from work, she is able to provide herself with the essentials she needs to support herself. She has now been reunited with her family and she hopes for a future where she can become a nurse so that she can help people and save lives.

By supporting Y Care International, you are helping young women like Mariama to realise their full potential and transform their futures. Will you help achieve this and become a regular supporter today?

Learn more about becoming a Partner Church