Young Life in Freetown | Juggling Family, Friends, Life, and Work

Jobs and businesses sustain lives, bring in incomes, and provide independence for people in Freetown. But it’s not always easy balancing work and family and friends, as well as relaxation.

Samuel Swaray owns a building and contracts construction business, which he has been running for eight years—sometimes in places far from home. He said he doesn’t like it when he's away from his family, especially his mother who lives in Newton, but he has to support them, even if that means working hundreds of miles away in neighboring Liberia.

Sometimes when Mr. Swaray comes home for a break or for the holidays it breaks his heart when he doesn’t get along with his family.  Mr. Swaray said he loves his job as well as his family and doesn’t want to choose.

"Life is unstable without a job, " said Mr. Swaray, who is pictured with one of his contracts. 

Abibatu Sesay resides at Calaba Town. Everyone calls her  “Babie” for short.  She owns a small store, and she loves her business. She also said that her long hours at the shop have put a strain on her relationships with family and friends. She has lost most of her close friends because she doesn't take the time to see them. Babie said that being able to keep her business going for five years means a lot to her, but she doesn’t want to lose her fiancé, who’s backed her dream to build a business.

As an Operations Support Division (OSD) police officer Mr. Iroe Jones is trained in the use of firearms.
OSD Jones, who stays at Grafton, has been on the job for seven years. He also has a young daughter, who he says is always mad at him because he’s never home in the mornings to see her off to school or pick her up in the afternoons.
Mr. Iroe said most days his daughter is asleep when he gets home. They barely spend time together, except on holidays. He said he hopes that once his daughter grows up, she'll understand that he needed a job to see her through school and give her a good life. Then she won’t be so mad at him.

Abu-Bakr Sesay a bike rider, who's married with a kid and lives at Kissy Road, said that he's able to balance his work and life because he owns his motorbike taxi. He can choose when to work and when to spend time with his loved ones. Abu-Bakr said his wife and son are the most valuable things in his life, so he will do all he can to keep them happy. He’s been in the motorbike business for over two years.

For Young Life in Freetown, I'm Inyilla Conteh reporting.


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