When the Ebola crisis struck Liberia residents of West Point slum were suddenly forced into quarantine by the government.
‘It was so devastating. It was scary because you don’t know who is next. You fear everybody… Every day people were dying, people you know.’
Single mother of three Fatumata survived the epidemic but sadly her business selling charcoal went under, leaving her with no income to support her family.
‘One morning we woke up to find that they had closed West Point. We had no warning. So it became a big problem very quickly because we didn’t have enough food. And those who did have food started selling it for very high prices. We had no option but to buy it.’
Fatumata was forced to use up what little savings she had to survive, leaving her with nothing.
So Y Care teamed up with their local partners YMCA Liberia to help people like Fatumata rebuild their businesses following the outbreak.
‘When I found out I would receive the money I felt so encouraged because it meant I had the opportunity to help myself and my children.’
Fatumata now has a small warehouse which she rents out to other local women selling charcoal to help increase her income.
‘My confidence has grown because of the support I have had. I hope that it can continue to keep giving us strength, especially as women to help us contribute to our homes.
‘Since I have been part of the project I can relax. I started with just 50 bags of charcoal and now I have over 200.
‘In the future I want my business to get larger. To earn more money to help boost my children’s lives and help myself.
I want to educate my children. I want to be able to help them plan their lives and help them get a place and build them a house.’