Livelihoods in Liberia

A ten year civil war tore families apart and robbed them of the chance to get an education. As a result many simply don’t have the means to earn a living or hope of building a better future.

In this desperate situation, Y Care International’s youth livelihoods project has been a lifeline for young mothers in Liberia like Dabieh

Dabieh’s story is typical of the vulnerable young women the YMCA helps to learn trades such as catering and tailoring. She is 20 years old, with a two month old little boy, and lives with her parents and four nephews. Her father is disabled and, with so many mouths to feed, the family has always struggled.

They can only afford to eat once a day and when Dabieh’s son gets sick they have no money for medicine.

Dabieh is now working for a better future for herself and her son

When Dabieh’s father heard about the vocational training available at the YMCA, he encouraged his daughter to apply for a place.

Now Dabieh has been training in catering for over a year and will graduate soon. She has been learning how to cook all kinds of mouth-watering dishes: meat pies, different breads, biscuits and cakes. She has also learned other vital life skills like kitchen hygiene, literacy and numeracy.

For the first time in her life, Dabieh is hopeful about her future. She now has the catering skills to get a job or set up her own business. She will be able to earn a living and put food on the table. She will even be able to save a little so she can send her son to school and ensure he gets the education that she missed out on.

“When I graduate, I’ll start my own business selling bread. I’ll be able to finish my house, care for my baby and pay for him to go to school.”

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