I was eleven years old in 2009, when 1 was forced to drop out of school. My parents could no longer afford to pay school fees for all of their children. In Upper Denkyira west there is nothing about education for girls because they cannot work for their self and traditionally, boys’ education is the priority because they are able to do hard to take care for their families. I recalls, “I was getting ready for school as normal. Then my mother told me that I would not be going; only my brothers can go toschool”. This is my story.
My father – a galamsayers had fallen ill because he was poison on his way home on his left hand so it is not working, he only used his right hand to do anything and was no longer able to work again for 5 years now. The family had no source of income and sacrifices had to be made. My three brothers remained in school. My education was sacrificed. I was obliged to stay at home to run the house and nurse my father – simply because I am a girl and I’m matured enough to understand things and know how to go about things. Holding on to dignity -When I dropped out of school, I didn’t want my friends to see me helpless at home so I decided to work as servant at some chop bar so that I can feed my family, sometimes fetch firewood to sell for money and food.Not enough being ‘a gifted girl’.
Every morning as the young girl prepared my brothers for school, I longed to join them. I could not believe that my dreams of a formal education were shattered; I knew that I had the capacity to advance in school. Quality of life in upper Denkyira west is highly influenced by access to primary education, without it, a live of poverty and dependence is the norm. My destiny was to do household chores and care for my ailing father. Every time I saw my former classmates, I tried to I avoided them. “I used to be second to none in all the school examinations. My friends would call me ‘the gifted girl’. When I dropped school, I felt so much pain; I didn’t want my friends to see me helpless at home. I was so lonely.”
My mother then desperately sought casual work in Berber, the town nearby, with mixed results. A year later, things got worse. My father got another disease due to hunger related complications and my mother was also diagnosed with the stroke. The stigma of their parent’s illness forced my eldest brother to run away from home. I was desperately needed financial support to keep food on the table, not alone keep her siblings in school. The psychological strain had become too much to bear. Even if I managed in the short term, the chance to further her ability to read, write and advance .
a career appeared out of reach. I was a girl, in a community where female discrimination was the norm. “I wish my country can be enlightened on the education of girls. We are highly discriminated when it comes to education priorities,” The path to a bright future -boys and girls together making their way to school in upper Denkyira west.
Making the right to education a reality, I now have good reason to believe this will happen. 4years after my parents removed me from school, l managed to return to the classroom. This happened as a result of her meeting with Camfed Girls Association who quickly identified the various needs of my family. Practical support including paying school fees, pocket money, uniforms bags and the everything I will be need to further my education and psychosocial counselling was provided. My brother was encouraged to return and become the family breadwinner through the provision of a business setup grant. His small successful workshop now generates enough income to support the family. This has ensured that the boys and the me can attend school.
Camfed Girl Association is a partner in a wider Non organization that is engaging with communities around Africa to highlight the importance education to all girls stating from JHS to Tertiary. Efforts are also made to help people understand the causes of Teenage pregnancy, HIV/ STDs. They are assisted in the treatment and care of those affected. Through better understanding the stigma attached to it is also being addressed. I am one of many girls in the community who have been re-enrolled in school and provided with the materials needed to prosper and I’m now in tertiary a level 3030 students of Ghana institute of journalism and proud member of Camfed. Now girls in upper Denkyira west can do what others take for granted. They can access school to experience a love of learning as they read, write and prosper. My name has been changed to protect her identity and now a CEO of YEN ASEDE3 Foundation that is looking up on education and street children’s which has already started with some project concerning streets children.
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