Olivia Sackie 25-Year-Old

“Let Us Learn – TVET Program, a steppingstone for a Brighter Tomorrow”

Olivia Sackie is a physically challenged beneficiary who was born and raised by her father Mr. Joseph Sackie in Gotumo Town Community, Kakata Margibi County. Olivia’s ordeal began 10 years ago at the age of ten when she developed a high fever, causing weakness in her both legs and later got diagnosed with poliomyelitis. Olivia has developed a disability affecting both lower extremities and she barely walks without the aid of a crutch or pair of crutches. Ever since Olivia grew up and saw her condition, life has never been easy. “When I see my friends going to school, I can feel bad”. Complicated by her father’s failure to send her to school due to her condition, Olivia has gone through extreme difficulties and abject poverty. “At one point, I felt like giving up. The idea of taking my own life begin to make lots of sense to me”. She further explained “I have never been in class; I don’t have a skill that I can use to make a little contribution in my house even with my already- disabled and impoverished condition. Unbearably, my friends stigmatized my condition. I lost friendships due to this situation I am in.

During the TVET recruitment, when Olivia heard about the TVET component of the UNICEF-funded Let Us Learn Project, she went to her community chairman Hon. Anthony Mulbah and expressed her desire to learn to tailor. Mr. Mulbah who has attended many community engagement meetings called and supported by Youth Crime Watch of Liberia through the Let Us Learn program then brought her to the office to be enrolled.

During the recruitment exercise, Olivia was accepted as a special case. This decision has given Olivia the opportunity to triumph over her situation and change the entire narrative. After making maximum use of the opportunity, Olivia now heads a group of four beneficiaries from the tailoring session of the TVET program, each of whom has her own unique, soul-touching stories. Her group has decided to adhere to a sustainability strategy put forth by the project that involves working as a group instead of working singularly.

Olivia’s team since interning has been accepted and provided a space at MB Business Center, one of the renowned fashion, design, and tailoring shops located on VIP Road in Kakata, to join a group of professional tailors and fashion designers in the struggle to improve and perfect their career and skill while generating daily income. According to their plan, they agreed to start a weekly susu that will help them secure a space in the near future where they will relocate their business to become independent. “Right now, I can freely say that no day goes free without me earning something for myself. Olivia lamented, adding that the Let Us Learn Project has equipped her with not just knowledge and skills, but also a brand-new sewing machine that she now sees as a perfect stepping stone she can stand upon to excel and change her story. She said that the project has now given her hope for a brighter and better future for herself and her children.