2013 VOF Week 3
Ama, pronounced (Ah Mah), is 15 years old. She loves to play board games and she loves to dance. In fact, she is known in the neighborhood for having one of the best azonto(Ghanian)dance moves. Ama can be a little shy when you first meet her, yet once she gets comfortable, you can see that she is a vibrant young woman who loves to joke and laugh. Ama is deaf. She can only hear a little out of one ear. The things she can hear, have to be loud and at a very close distance. She can hear for example, the bark of a dog.
Every morning Ama, who lives with her aunt and her cousins, wakes up early to sweep and wash. She then helps her aunt to prepare the Kenkey and fish ( a popular Ghanian dish) that they will sell together for the remainder of the day. Her cousins go to school but Ama herself has never been to school. And has never been taught to use Ghanian sign language. She knows her ABC's and her numbers, but she cannot really read. Ama can only write her name, but still dreams of going to school one day.
Ama, pronounced(Ah Mah), is a 15 year old girl with so much potential waiting to be unleashed. She has a voice and a story waiting to be heard
I met her a few months ago when I went back for a visit to my home country of Ghana. Too often girls there are prevented from receiving a proper education because guardians or parents cannot afford to send them.Though Basic education is free in Ghana, guardians/parents are still required to pay the associated costs of uniforms, school books and other such items. Therefore if a girl is living in a poorer family, guardians/parents are forced to pick and choose who will get to attend to school, leaving other children like Ama selling food or other things, when they should be in school.
This is a major problem in Ghana. Most families that come from a poor background cannot afford to send their children to school. More often than not, if a family has two children( a boy and a girl) and can only afford to send one to school, preference will be given to the boy, because it is believed that he is more likely to succeed. This is the reason why illiteracy in Ghana is significantly higher in women than in men.
The importance of educating a woman needs to continue to be pushed in Ghana. Additionally, the need to help those who cannot afford to send their children to school has to be made more relevant. What government, families and society need to understand is that the consequences of f not educating a woman are severe on her children---the future of the country.
Every child has the right to education. Every child has the right to develop her voice, whether it be through speaking, writing, or signing. After all there is more than one way to tell a story...
Let our voices be heard
Let our truths be seen