War, disease and poverty left her with nothing.
But just £15 can help a young person like Maria into business. And out of poverty.

At the age of just 20, Maria had all the odds stacked against her. A civil war that claimed the lives of 200,000 of her fellow Liberians had only recently ended. She was growing up in the abject poverty of West Point, Monrovia, renowned as one of Liberia’s most overcrowded slums. And then she gave birth to her daughter, when she was still very young herself.

Despite huge challenges, she and her partner managed to scrape by on a very meagre living. But in 2014 Ebola struck West Point and for a time the entire area was in quarantine. Tragically Maria’s partner was one of those who caught the disease and died. She was left utterly alone to bring up her child with no money and no job. Fortunately, thanks to people like you, Y Care International was there to help.

Now Maria can care for her daughter and send her to school

Maria has shown incredible resourcefulness and resilience in the face of calamity. Thanks to a YMCA course funded by people like you, Maria had the opportunity to learn basic business skills. We then arranged funding in the form of a grant and small loan to help her set up her own market stall selling fashionable clothing fabrics.

Thanks to her hard work she is now doing well. She has her own pitch and is earning enough money to not just support herself and her daughter, but to send her to school as well. Her ambition is to expand her business to ensure they both have a secure future.

But Maria is just one among the hundreds of young people you could help to start again in Liberia. And just one of the tens of thousands you could help, all around the world.

More about our work here


Young people in Liberia have grown up in a country scarred by civil war. The conflict claimed more than 200,000 lives and destroyed the economy, the education system, and most of the country’s infrastructure.

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