Building Skills, Changing Lives

Victoria of Sierra LeoneBread and Water for Africa® and our partner the Ndegbormei Development Organization in Sierra Leone are working together to give women a chance for better lives.

Who would think that learning how to sew or how to dye fabric could change lives and in turn change communities? Victoria, a 27-year-old mother of four who lives 9km outside the small town of Bumpe in Sierra Leone knows that it can.

Victoria and her sewing machineVictoria (pictured center) walks those 9km to and from Bumpe four times a week, without fail or complaint, to reach the small cement building that has offered her the chance for a better life. This building houses the Skills Training Center founded and run by Bread and Water for Africa® long-time partner, the Ndegbormei Development Organization (NDO).

Victoria and 49 other women are currently enrolled in NDO’s training program where they learn one of two trades: sewing/tailoring or gara tye-dying. After four months of long hours and lots of hard work, Victoria and the Center’s other trainees will graduate from this life-changing program and will be able to take their new skills back to their towns to help generate income for themselves and their families. These women will also have access to NDO’s micro-finance and savings program which will allow them to borrow up to 200,000 SLL (approximately $47) to buy the materials needed to practice their new trades.

Women in the NDO programWhen asked how this training had affected her life, Victoria proudly said, “I no longer have to rely on my husband to help take care of my family. Too many women in Sierra Leone think that they have no choice but to rely on their husbands, but now I know that that is not true.”

The NDO Skills Training Center is just one of many Bread and Water for Africa® projects designed to empower women so they can in turn empower their communities and nations.

Learn about other programs in Sierra Leone.