Quality Control Manager Hawa Baryoh and Electrician Bintu Missah on the interview with Alan Kasujja from BBC World Service Africa Daily
BHI team members Hawa Baryoh (Quality Control Manager) and Bintu Missah (Electrician) joined their colleague Isata Dumbaya, Midwife and Director of Maternal and Neonoatal Reproduction for Partners in Health Sierra Leone to speak with BBC World Service Africa Daily host Alan Kasujja about the skills training and important work happening at the Maternal Center of Excellence (MCOE) in Kono District, Sierra Leone.
Isata remarks, “60% of the builders on the project are women. And I think this is really telling of the [BHI] construction site manager, John Chew. If you talk to any of them, they’re so passionate [that] this is a hospital for women and children. Our children, ourselves, and generations to come will be having their babies here [so] they’re putting in their all. They work extra hours; they do whatever it takes, even if it means taking umbrellas to the job site in order to work in the pouring rain to prevent construction delays.”
Additionally, Hawa and Bintu both share how they have professionally and personally benefited from being able to work on this impactful project. In her youth, Hawa dropped out of school when her mother passed away and began selling popcorn to make ends meet. Now, she is able to support herself and her younger siblings with her salary as Quality Control Manager. Bintu attended a technical school to be an electrician but after getting her certificate, “there was no job [because] when I applied somewhere they refuse[d] me since I’m a female. They said I’m not capable of doing work that men can do because it is hard for a woman to be an electrician.” She had wanted to give up, but her friend and now colleague at the MCOE encouraged her not to give up. She remarks, “Now I can read plan[s], I can repair electrical tools, electrical equipment, even the wiring. I can [work] at heights that some men are afraid of, I can climb there.”
Listen and download the podcast here.
Hawa reads plans for the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and trains coworkers in Quality Control (L & R) and Bintu leads the cross-denominational team in Muslim prayer