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Her Work Matters - Maryann's story

Emily Loud

As part of our #HerWorkMatters series, we're exploring the relationships between labour rights, empowerment and education, and encouraging others to share their stories.

Here, Maryann from Nigeria shares her experiences. 

“My parents are farmers living in the village. We are from a village in Ezeagu, Enugu state. I am the fifth of seven children. My first three sisters could not continue their education after secondary school. They had to go to learn tailoring. Two of my younger siblings are still in secondary school and they are not likely to further their education because of financial reasons.

I completed secondary school in 2011 but could not continue my education because of lack of funds. I worked as a nanny for a while but I did not manage to save enough money for my education as the salary was very poor.

I got to know about the school from some past students of Lantana College who are working in the catering department of a Conference Centre in Iwollo. I saw how their lives have improved and I decided that I will seek admission into the College.  I passed the entrance examination into the College but I lost my job because my employer did not want me to combine work and study. She needed me to work full-time for her as a nanny. This posed a big problem for me because I did not know how I would pay the fees at Lantana.

I started looking for another job so that I could sponsor myself in Lantana but I could not find any job that was compatible with my studies in Lantana College. I was very worried about the situation.

I was very determined to study in Lantana, even though I could not afford to pay my fees. I ran to my siblings for help. They promised to help but they did not have enough money to spare. I was very happy when I was told I had been selected as one of those to benefit from a scholarship from Wonder Foundation.

I am very happy that I can now study in Lantana College. My plan is to start working as soon as I complete my education and save up money to start my own business. I am interested in cake decoration and bulk cooking for parties and big functions.

When I start my own business, I will help my younger siblings to further their education. I will also contribute towards the renovation of our family house in the village and to take care of my parents, especially my mother who has suffered so much.”