She is married, but her father and mother both died when she was quite young and therefore she was burdened with the worries for an entire family when she was an 18-year-old. Without being aware of it, this situation caused her a lot of stress. As a result, she had some kind of epileptic fits because she was mentally overloaded all the time. In the Christmas holidays of 2008, we took her to the ‘Lamtoro Clinic’ in the district of Kololi, where she was diagnosed of just being too full of tension. We were advised to have a CT-scan of her brain made in Banjul hospital.
The stress diagnosis appeared to be correct, because the brain surgeon could not find any abnormalities in the scan pictures. Fortunately, from the moment Awa knew there is nothing wrong with her head and that she is not possessed by devils or demons either (which is a common thought in Africa in case of mental diseases), she has not had any attacks.
In order to enable her to earn some extra money for her family, we asked her what she would like to learn. Making clothes was something she liked and that is why we paid for a sewing course first and bought her a sewing machine after she had passed, so that she is not only able to make clothes for her own family, but also for selling.