Meet the girls and women
At 23 years old, Theresa is a successful and well-respected business woman in her community in Sierra Leone – but that wasn’t always the case.
As a girl she was forced from school because of poverty. By 18 she was a single mother of two young boys with no education or skills to earn a decent living. Theresa believed the only way to support her family was for her to meet a man to provide for them. When that didn’t happen, in desperation, she turned to the sex trade to support her children.
When Plan started a microfinance project in her area, Theresa attended the very first meeting where she signed up and met other women who offered friendship, support and encouragement. With some business training and a small loan to buy rice, vegetables, spices and palm oil, Theresa started selling cooked rice in the market. Eventually she earned enough to open a proper shop.
Today, both her children are in school and Theresa has built a thriving business and a new life for her family. She notes with pride that people in her community now come to her for advice and loans.
Return to the Because I am a girl project