A Typical Day for an Amani Liberia Woman: Ophelia, Felicia, and Theresa

Ophelia, age 30, takes a break to breastfeed her one-year-old son, Wilson, who glances up, smiles, and gets down to the business of eating. “I wake up at 4 o clock. I bathe my five children, I bathe myself, I make hot water for cooking.”

Ophelia walks to work each day from her home in Camp Four, a community in Yekepa several miles from the Amani center.  It takes her about two hours to walk the distance, which she manages with Wilson strapped on her back.

Ophelia is one of Amani’s most talented seamstresses, which is more impressive when you learn she can work on the machine while simultaneously wrangling a very inquisitive son. Ophelia is one of the first to arrive and last to leave Amani each day, where she churns out an astonishing number of folded totes and other products---all between Wilson’s frequent feedings.

When Ophelia gets home in the evening around 6pm, she is happy to say that she can unwind rather than cook; her 10-year-old daughter is in charge of dinner.

Ophelia takes a break to give Wilson a bath

Felicia, 24, wakes up each day around 5am. She prepares water and uses a bucket to bathe herself and her four boys, and then sends them off to school. She prepares the meal her children and husband (a student at ABCU) will eat for dinner that night and heads to Amani.

Currently, Felicia works as a cloth cutter, “but I want to learn tailoring also!” She exclaims. Felicia has begun attending Monday sewing lessons.

Anyone who asks about favorite hobbies will get a similar answer when talking with the Amani members; they love to sing. Felicia, however, says that though she loves music and singing, “I don’t have a good tune”. For entertainment, Felicia has a different response: “I love to play football!” She learned to play when she was young and plays with the children often.


“I wake up at 5am and get some water on the fire for a bath for my husband and children.” Then Theresa’s two older children go to school and her husband departs for a nearby university where she hopes to attend if she can find a scholarship. “And then I sometimes go to the market, maybe to buy coal to cook with. Sometimes I plait my baby’s hair.”

Theresa never stops radiating a humble smile during her interview as she explains that she cuts cloth most days at Amani. She also helps with miscellaneous tasks, such as copying down prayer requests during daily devotionals. She is a quiet, intelligent leader at Amani, and shows incredible potential for a management position.

Theresa’s older children come into Amani after school and spend the rest of the day with their mother before walking home together. “Then I go home and get some rest for the following day,” she says, still smiling graciously.

On the weekend, Theresa does not remain idle; instead, she is constantly working hard to stretch her family’s resources. “Saturday, I will be working in the garden, planting greens or bitterball---you know, for the soup, because I cannot be paying money everyday to buy soup!” she exclaims.
Theresa completes her responsibilities merrily, entertaining herself along the way with music. “I love to sing and listen to the radio.”


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