Home Health Meet Sierra Leone’s Essential Workers: The Gardner

Meet Sierra Leone’s Essential Workers: The Gardner

by Alhassan Lamin

I’m 33 years old, and I have a passion for gardening; it’s been my hobby since I was young. Both my parents were farmers, and my life revolved around gardening and farming. I started gardening full time after I dropped out of school in 2018.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic came to Sierra Leone, my job was sweet and easy. Because work wasn’t stressful, I never had a day that I felt discouraged from doing it and working to meet my needs. I’m working for a company and have my farm, giving me more income to complete my monthly salary. By then, I met with different people, I had more recommendations to work on more farms, and in a month, I could have over five personal contracts.

Now with the COVID-19, things are not easy. There is general hardship, and work is scarce. I didn’t lose my job, and my salary didn’t go down. I can’t relent now because we don’t know when the next opportunity will come from in my work. I’m also single, which means I was able to feed myself during the pandemic still. No matter how hard things are, I can always provide for myself, even a little.

I have family members in the provinces that I am supporting. The usual support that I was sending to them drastically reduced because the pandemic affected what I earned. But I asked them to be patient with me cause things are not easy.

From now to the next six months, I hope to see more positive changes within my job to empower me more. Since I’ve dedicated myself to this work for a lifetime, I plan on going back to school and become a professional in agriculture.

Credit: OSIWA/Essential Stories

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