Women's stories from Sierra Leone

Women's stories from Sierra Leone

This International Women's Day, Action Against Hunger is sharing a collection of inspiring stories of women who work for us and are affected by our work

By Action Against Hunger

Mar 8 2018

For almost 40 years, across nearly 50 countires, Action Against Hunger has led the global fight against hunger. In addition to providing lifesaving emergency treatment, we also work to provide long-term sustainable solutions to hunger so that families never have to face hunger again.

Many of our projects focus specifically on empowering women by providing the tools they need to fight against malnutrition and create a stable and safe future for their families.

In Sierra Leone, our programmes help train women in becoming small business owners whilst also helping them to grow and sell produce. This project has helped 2,026 women in just two years. Encouraging women to become small business entrepreneurs not only helps provide income but also gives women independence. Higher incomes also lead to a more varied diet, which in turn helps to prevent malnutrition.

Women from vulnerable families, such as Esther, Taimbay, Fatmata and Adama have been able to turn their lives around with the help of an Action Against Hunger initiative, where they received training and guidance on how to run a successful business. Here are their stories.

Taimbay Conteh

“I used to sell cosmetic products, but after attending the training programme, my group decided to switch over to selling fruits and vegetables. This business makes far more money for us than the cosmetics did and we have a much more customers because food is not limited to one group of people. The produce we grow and sell is in high demand, so it often sells out straight away. I used to have days where we wouldn’t sell anything and wouldn’t have any money to buy food to put on the table. We often went hungry. Today, even when we have a bad day selling, we have easy access to produce we can use to cook up meals”.

Fatmata Lavally

“I never understood why my previous business selling fish fell apart. I used to think my business was cursed until I signed up to take part in a training programme for becoming a business owner. It was only then that I realised my business had failed because of my lack of knowledge; I did not have the skills to manage it successfully. For example, I had no clue how to preserve the fish day on day or how to keep track of my spending. When my business was failing, I became increasingly anxious, as I could not provide for my children and I had to ask my family to help me take care of them. I have now restarted my fish selling business putting in place the skills I learnt and this time, I know I will succeed.”

Adama Kamara

“Thanks to the support of Action Against Hunger, I am a proud business owner. My business helps me provide for my family and it has brought us all so much joy. It’s lifted a burden off our shoulders.”


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