Faustina decided to leave Ghana for Libya to look for greener pastures. When she got there, it was not what she had expected. “Work wasn’t easy there. Walking from home to the workplace, you might be arrested,” she recounts. Nonetheless, she stayed for four years. Eventually, as things did not get better, she returned to Ghana in 2017 with the support of IOM.
Back in Ghana, Faustina was assisted to start a chair rental business. People would patronize her service for events, such as weddings, funerals, or birthdays. When COVID-19 hit the country in March 2020, her business suffered since there were restrictions on gatherings. She needed to refocus. When the Government of Ghana introduced measures for the protection of all citizens, including the mandatory wearing of nose masks, she saw an opportunity for herself as a seamstress. “When COVID-19 started, sometimes, when you went out to the market, you met people on the bus, who didn’t wear nose masks. My mother asked me: ‘Why don’t you make some? When we go to the market, you can sell them.’ I thought about it, but I said, no, I’d rather give it out to people [for free],” explains Faustina.
Later, she joined a group of beneficiaries supported to produce nose masks under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. She produced 500 masks, which were then distributed in migration-prone communities across the country. While this helped her to address the economic challenges the COVID-19 pandemic was posing on her livelihood, she, at the same time, was able to support the Government of Ghana in its national COVID-19 response and help people to protect themselves and others from the virus. Faustina is a proud mother of one daughter who is studying in university. Her vision for the future? “I would like to help other people, especially children, who don’t have anybody to take care of them. When you set your mind on something that you want to do – you can do it!”
This article was first published here.
- Publication date
- 29 September 2021
- UgandaEthiopiaEritreaDjiboutiKenyaSudanTanzaniaSomaliaSouth SudanLibyaGuinéeGhanaCôte d'IvoireSenegalTchadThe GambiaMaliMauritanieBurkina FasoCamerounNigeriaNiger
- Improved migration management
- International Organization for MigrationUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees