From where I stand: “I work in construction, I am living my dream!”

Photo: UN Women/Minna Vestlund
Maira Assane Amade, 23, fulfilled her lifelong dream of working in construction after participating in the Rapariga Biz Joint Program implemented by UN Women, UNFPA, UNESCO, and UNICEF.

"Me and my partner had separated, I lived with my father and stepmother. I raised two children by myself, fought to get back to school, and I had no regular means of income.
I was completely dependent on my father, until one day a mentor from the Rapariga Biz program approached me and asked if I would be interested in joining the project. I was!
The mentor introduced me to professional trainings provided by the Institute of Professional Training and Labour Studies Alberto Cássimo (IFPELAC). I saw that there was a training in Civil Construction and enrolled immediately.
I always wanted to work in construction. As a child I used to walk past building sites and see the men working, dreaming that one day I would be one of them. I never saw women at any construction site, and people told me that construction was a job for men.
Following the professional orientation, I applied for an internship at a private construction company. The owner of the company was impressed by my perseverance, and in January 2019 he offered me a job as an apprentice.
Today, I have a steady salary, I can pay for my children’s school fees, and provide for myself and my children.
And the best part is: I work in construction, I am living my dream!”
Maira Assane Amade, from Lumbo, Ilha de Mozambique, joined the Rapariga Biz Joint Programme, funded by Sweden and implemented by UN Women, UNFPA, UNESCO and UNICEF in 2017. The program aims to improve girls and young women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as increase livelihood opportunities through  skills trainings.