‘My own restaurant’
In January 2013 graduation time was once again celebrated in the vocational school supported by Women’s Bank in Sierra Leone. When it came time for a student’s thank-you speech, Elizabeth Yeabu Masaray’s voice began to quiver, and she faltered in her pre-written speech. No wonder, when the event was honoured by such high-ranking politicians as Deputy Minister of Agriculture Marie Jalloh in the audience. In her long speech, Elizabeth thanked Finn Church Aid, Women’s Bank, the ministry and FAWE, among others.
What was notable about many of the eloquent speeches of the distinguished speakers was that they rarely addressed those who were being celebrated – the graduating young women! Fortunately, Minister Elisabeth Rehn corrected this failing in her own speech. She also distributed the diplomas together with Finn Church Aid’s Regional Representative, Leena Lindqvist. A group of visitors from Women’s Bank was also present.
As timid as she might have seemed during her speech, 30-year-old Elizabeth Yeabu Masaray is a very strong woman. There is no doubt that she will succeed. Elizabeth studied both cooking and baking during her school year.
“I like both equally. The start-up kit includes flour, rice, cooking pots and bowls, which I will use to start a restaurant. I have already found a place for it in the centre of my little home town,” she proudly tells us.
In addition to her own restaurant, Elizabeth’s life is filled with her 12-year-old son. I do want more children, if I find a man someday,” she laughs.
Text: Veera Hämäläinen
This article was published in Women’s Bank Annual Report 2013 (Available in Finnish and Swedish).