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Young people tell their stories through photos

Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 23:20

"I am now making an order of 150 Caps a week, the boost from the photo voices has really pushed me this far Pauline  Mulbah


Unemployment is one of the major challenges faced by young people and more so, young women and girls who often face the difficult terrain of navigating the informal sector. Lack of adequate infrastructure and high cost of rentals in the city is a significant constraint for young women like Pauline Mulbah, a high school graduate and mother of one daughter from Monrovia.

The 26 year old Pauline is a local hair dresser in Monrovia, making about 450 LD a day from the business. Pauline is one of the young women trained by ActionAid Liberia in Photo Voices. The workshop took place in the month of October 2016. It was aimed to documenting the daily struggles of young women and men in the informal sector to bring public awareness to the challenges they face.  During the workshop, selected participants including hair dressers, pem pem riders, and street vendors learn how to use a camera to document their stories and bring visibility to their businesses. 

 It was very difficult to get customers because I did not own a salon and some time I could not have any customers at all because the clients did not appreciate plaiting from the streets. I used to struggle with this and I had no other source of income to take care of my needs and those for my daughter.”

After the training, Pauline went on to implement what she had learned. She used her sister’s phone as a camera and posted all what her work on her sister’s facebook account and put her contact numbers.  

People started calling me for orders; sometimes they will send facebook messages. My sister’s phone started to ring almost every hour for bookings of more caps. My orders increased from plaiting 15 [wig] caps a week to 150 [wig] caps a week”.

Pauline notes that she has started to save money for her own phone and space to rent a proper place for her entity.

“I came to realize that investing time, passion and right strategies in your dream makes it to come true. I look forward in growing up business as far as I can. My sincere thanks to ActionAid for providing me with the right tools when I needed them the most”.