Transforming Lives in Liberia: Famata Bono’s Journey

 Image credit: Tom Price / Y Care International 

Transforming Lives: Famata Bono’s Journey with YMCA Liberia

In a world where education and opportunity often feel out of reach, Famata E. Bono’s story shines as a beacon of hope. Born to parents living in poverty, Famata faced incredible odds. However, her determination to rise above her circumstances and her encounter with YMCA Liberia became the catalyst for a remarkable transformation.

Famata’s Humble Beginnings

Growing up, Famata’s financial situation made pursuing higher education an arduous task. But Famata was determined not to let her dreams fade away.

After successfully completing high school, the next step was clear – further education. However, financial constraints loomed large, leaving Famata at a crossroads. This is where YMCA Liberia enters the picture.

Famata Bono at her printing business, Monrovia.
Image: Tom Price / Y Care International

Embracing YMCA Liberia

Famata’s journey with YMCA Liberia began with her mother’s suggestion. She recognized the need for Famata to acquire valuable skills that could shape her future.

The path wasn’t easy; transportation costs, the struggle for expenses, and relying on friends for transportation money were all part of her journey. Famata was relentless in her pursuit of education and personal growth.

Nine Years of Empowerment

Famata became an integral part of YMCA Liberia, gaining valuable digital skills for her future career at the training centre in Monrovia, and later dedicating nine years of her life to its mission.

As she reflects on this experience, she says, “Meeting the YMCA was one of the best things that ever happened. Seriously.”

Equipping young people and Changing Mindsets

Famata believes strongly in the YMCA’s role in transforming the lives of young people in Liberia. The YMCA’s affordable fees make it accessible to those with limited financial means, providing an opportunity for personal growth and skill development.

After Famata’s journey through the three levels of the YMCA program (beginner, intermediate, and advanced), her instructors encouraged her to give back. She began as a Teacher’s Assistant and worked her way up to becoming a trainer at YMCA Liberia.

Unlocking the Power of IT Skills

Famata’s story highlights the significant impact of the YMCA in the realm of computer education. In today’s world, computer knowledge is an invaluable asset, and the YMCA equips young people with these vital skills.

Famata’s life took an impressive turn as she applied her newfound skills. She opened her own internet cafe, capitalizing on her computer knowledge, graphic design abilities, and other IT skills she acquired at YMCA Liberia.

She proudly shares:

“I was able to open my little cafe because I know where I came from. It was not easy. So, I have to do something, to benefit me and my family. I’m also helping other people.”

Equipping young women for the digital economy

Famata’s journey sheds light on the opportunities that arise when women gain IT skills. It’s an empowering experience that opens doors to respect, honor, and a world of opportunities. Famata encourages other women to enter the world of IT and contribute to the digitised future of their country.

Fulfilling a Calling

Although Famata’s initial dream was to become a medical doctor, she discovered her true calling in the world of IT. This newfound passion has allowed her to create opportunities for other young women to pursue fulfilling careers in IT and other industries.

Now, she works as a crane operator at APM Terminal Liberia, demonstrating how the skills acquired at YMCA Liberia can lead to unexpected career opportunities.

From Barriers to Triumph

Famata’s story embodies resilience and the capacity to overcome barriers. Funds and support were scarce, but her unwavering determination and her mother’s support were the driving forces behind her success.

Through YMCA Liberia, Famata learned functional IT skills and became confident with Microsoft Word, graphic design, and more, providing her with the tools to face the professional world with confidence and self-sufficiency.

A Beacon of Inspiration

Famata’s inspirational journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of organizations like YMCA Liberia. It’s an institution that not only equips young people with essential skills but also instills in them the ambition to rise above adversity.

With her cafe and flourishing business, Famata demonstrates the profound impact of empowerment and education, highlighting the potential that resides within all of us. Her story serves as an inspiring example for countless others who dare to dream, learn, and reach for their full potential.

Famata Bono at her printing business, Monrovia.
Image: Tom Price / Y Care International

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