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Issue:
Civil Society Development & Governance

Release Date: April 1, 2010

Video Testimony: K. Barber

Photos: A. Seegers

Pass It On! April highlight

April Pass It On! highlight
Photos by Alexandra Seegers

Passing on the Knowledge

I am so satisfied to be able to exercise my profession to show Nigerien society that you don’t only have men’s jobs. Women can do all professions. And with this knowledge, it’s my duty to transfer it to someone else.

FatimataIn life, there’s always a “first.” A first word … a first step … a first major achievement.

In Niamey, Niger, Fatimata Yero is proud to be the nation’s first female auto mechanic. It’s a non-traditional career that she’s had to work hard for, but today she owns a garage and the respect of her community.

“I am proud to be the first female mechanic,” notes Fatimata. “I was not the only woman to study my profession, but my female colleagues were not able to practice because they were too discouraged. They were discouraged by society. I faced so much insult just because of studying this, so now I am so satisfied to be able to exercise my profession to show Nigerian society that you don’t only have men’s jobs. Women can do all professions.”

Today, Fatimata works with Africare to train young people in auto mechanics in a Peace through Development Project (PEDEV) that aims to empower young people through developing a craft or skill. Since 2008, PEDEV has reached more than 7,000 youth through specialized training and certification courses. And in many instances, their new craft is paired with a micro-credit opportunity to make money as an independent business owner. 

The program keeps the youth focused, off the streets, and away from the influence of extremist recruitment. It also gives young minds an opportunity to be something they have always wanted to be but never had the chance… and to the nation’s first female auto mechanic, that means a great deal!

“I am very satisfied to be able to give value to my training because me myself, I was trained. Someone shared with me their knowledge, so with knowledge, it’s my duty to transfer it to someone else.”

Fatimata is passing on her knowledge to youth in Niger so they can have a better future.  You can become part of the effort. Keep her story going. 

Pass It On! for Africare.

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