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Audrey’s story

“The mentoring has helped me to believe in myself. I have learned to value myself for what I am.”

Twenty-three year old Audrey is currently studying for a vocational training diploma in patisserie at the Yarani Professional Training School. Yarani prepares young women from Côte d’Ivoire by providing them with basic education, livelihood training and accredited diplomas.

“I had dreamed of becoming a doctor,” Audrey reveals. “But my family did not have the financial means to support this career.” This led to her working in a bakery for a while, where she says “it became a real passion for me.”

WONDER supports the work Yarani does by providing scholarships to help with women’s boarding and school fees. This enables students like Audrey to undertake professional courses and gain more experience, regardless of her family’s financial situation.

The importance of mentoring at Yarani is also fundamental to the school’s success. When describing her mentor, Audrey highlights how she listens to her without judgement.

“The mentoring has helped me to believe in myself,” Audrey explains. “I have learned to value myself for what I am.”

With this newfound confidence, Audrey hopes to one day open her very own bakery shop. “You are assured of being employed because they teach you the skills to work very well,” she said.

This has inspired her to be better. “I admired two of my teachers in baking whose enthusiasm and creativity contaminated me to want to be innovative and hardworking.” By interacting with positive female role models, Audrey has new ideas of what she is capable of doing.

Yarani is already transforming Audrey’s life. She has matured a lot since first enrolling and is applying some of what she has learnt outside of school. “I now accept cake requests from friends and relatives, and it is with this income that I can pay my transport expenses,” she tells us.

This entrepreneurial spirit means that she is able to overcome some of the financial barriers that might have held her back in the past.

Providing young women like Audrey with practical professional skills means that they emerge from the programme ready to contribute to their communities. It also gives them the means to take control of their own livelihood.

“I am proud of having learned that I can be independent with the skills that I have attained here in Yarani,” Audrey said. “We will be independent women thanks to your support.”