The Right Push Can Make All the Difference

This article was written by a Teen Girls Club support staff member, Bridget Gyamfi, a National Builders Corps (NABCO) member of the Teen Girls Club.

Adwoa at school.

Adwoa is the only daughter of her parents’ eight children. Her family migrated from the Ivory Coast to the small village of Yawmensah in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. 

Yawmensah is a very small village, and it doesn’t have a school. After Adwoa’s family settled there, Adwoa had to walk around 2 km (1.2 mi) every day to school in the larger neighboring community, Timeabu. 

Since Adwoa’s mother tongue was French and classes in Ghana are taught in either English or Twi (one of the major languages in Ghana), studies became difficult for her. Adwoa had difficulty communicating with her teachers and her peers, which made being in school very uncomfortable for her. Adwoa’s situation continued to worsen, and she was asked to repeat a grade in school. This impacted Adwoa’s social life and isolated her from her peers. 

During this time, Adwoa heard of Self-Help International’s Teen Girls Club, which aims to help teen girls in rural communities with reading, writing, life skills training, and moving upward through school. Adwoa eagerly joined in 2016. She knew that her struggles were rooted in not being able to communicate at school, so she took the reading and writing class seriously. Adwoa said that, although the club was helping immensely, Self-Help’s Project Coordinator, Victoria, was the one who saw her plight and provided additional assistance and support.

After a year, Adwoa – who previously could hardly write, speak, or understand English and Twi – was learning at an accelerating rate, and her learning was reflected in all the subjects she was studying at school.

Adwoa with her classmates.

Adwoa was promoted to the next grade level where she is now the second best student in her class.

Additionally, her unbeatable performance in school qualified her for the 2019 inter-schools quiz in the district, a highly sought after and respected accomplishment in the district. Her teachers and the headmaster are all impressed by her performance. 

Adwoa is now a happy girl and feels proud of herself. She said the club has helped her academically and has also helped her improve her self-esteem.