Aminata’s Story

Aminata, Yarani, vocational student

Aminata (first on the right)

“I would love to work in the biggest hotel in the world!”

Aminata is a student at Yarani, the only vocational training facility in the most populous area of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.  

In a country with one of the largest gender gaps in Africa, women in Abidjan specifically suffer from the unequal economic situation, resulting in 32% of women having no autonomy over their own wage. Education is, therefore, all the more important for girls like Amanita to gain independence and a chance to enter formal employment. However many girls are forced to leave education early in order to get married or support their families financially through informal work.

Schools like Yarani challenge these issues by offering girls like Aminata a place to freely explore different career paths and prepare them for an independent life:

“When I came to Yarani, I didn’t have a clue as to what vocational trait I wanted to specialise in, but through time, I’ve gained a wider understanding of the hospitality industry…

By learning practical skills like cooking and baking, Amanita is able to use her newly achieved skills in her later life to escape the dangers of informal work and get formal employment.

However, being a student at Yarani did not only change Aminata’s career goals and employability but also her personal development and self-confidence, which transcended into her every-day life. “When I’m at home now, I take charge of the household and say ‘Ah, don’t get that dirty’, ‘Arrange that this way’, ‘Do this, do that’,” Aminata emphasizes how Yarani steered her into a new direction in her life:

“In the future, I see myself becoming an independent woman able to help and support my family. I would love to work in the biggest hotel in the world!

Aminata is a former student of Yarani professional training school in Côte d’Ivoire.

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