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Recipient:  Marie Paye – Age?   She said 16… LOL  (I’m guessing around 60 -70)

Empowered by: Silver Leaf Interior and Laura Groenier

Ma Marie and is originally from the Ivory Coast. She and her husband lived in Monrovia with their 7 children. One day (in 1990) while in the market buying food (a daily routine), she over heard people discussing the fact that war was coming to Monrovia. She went home and told her husband what she has heard… for about a week this became a daily occurrence. (Little that they knew that a serious 14-15 years long civil war was truly coming). About 2 weeks later, her husband decided to send her back to her family in the Ivory Coast before she drove herself crazy and increased her blood pressure more than it already was. Ma Martha left with the 2 younger children (ages 2 years and 6 months). She never heard from her husband and their remaining 5 children again until about 10 years later, when she got the news that her husband had been dead years earlier. Ma Marie doesn’t know if her husband was killed or if he died from natural causes. She wants to believe he died from natural cause because the thought of him being killed hurts too much. About 5 years ago, Ma Marie and the 2 children, whom she had taken with her, returned to Liberia in search of the 5 children that were left with her husband in 1990. She has not been able to find her children. But she has not given up hopes that one day, she will find them. Recently, she has heard rumors that some of the kids escaped to Guinea while others escaped to Sierra Lone as refugees. Ma Marie along with her 2 kids have been squatting with kind hearted people since their return to Liberia. Recently she was given a house to use (please see photo).

For income, Martha walks about 5 to 6 hours daily selling raw Fufu for a kind lady who pays her 300LD-400LD ($3-$4) per week depending on how much she sells. Her eye site is deteriorating making it very difficult for her to walk the streets under the hot sun and also to identify the money. These are photos of Ma Marie receiving her new supply of selling goods to now be able to successfully start her very own business.