This is the second posting of our new blog. With it comes some exciting news. Our Afafanto Scholarship Fund has been in existence now for 3 years. We have one student, Mariama Iddrisu who is finishing her final year in INDESCO Senior High School. In Ghana, high school is only 3 years and the more academic students usually go on to university. Some students do not finish primary school until they are 19 or older. Leah’s Dream was to offer the opportunity for more girls from the Northern Region to have at least a high school education. We are very proud that Mariama has stuck with her program and has improved greatly.
Last year we offered a scholarship to two students, Saaka Arabiatu and Mukuramatu Abdul-Razak. They are now in their second year and thriving. Saaka is at Damongo Senior High School and Mukuramatu is at Northern School of Business.
This year we are pleased to be able to offer a scholarship to FOUR young ladies thanks to the generous grant that Leah’s Dream received from the Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Honor Society. They are (drum roll please): Karim Rafiya of Larabanga, age 16, Patricia Abugragu age 18 from Bawku, Alisah Yussif, age 18 from Larabanga and Sophia Yakubu from Daboya. In her essay Karim writes “I am a brilliant but needy student and this scholarship will help me further my education after senior high school to the tertiary institution.” She likes “fufu with groundnut paste and volleyball”. Alisah states that ” in my community, the girls who lack education may be led astray and it leads them to pregnancy and I don’t want to engage myself in such behaviour.” Sophia writes ” due to lack of employment by my parents to support my education, I am applying for this scholarship to help finance my education, to have a better future career and to improve the image of the scholarship programme.” All the girls were selected based on their essays, their score on the National Exam, the remoteness of their villages and other minor criteria. I will post more pictures or them in the next issue of our newsletter.
Also don’t forget to check out our video and photo albums on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Afafanto.
The video highlights another of our Leah’s Dream projects which is the support of the Sangrakiku Women’s Shea Butter cooperative. We are helping them to develop markets for their excellent product in the U.S. Anyone wishing to help with this venture, please contact me.
As I am understanding the Ghanaian educational system, these girls must achieve at least a score of 36 on their National Exam, the B.E.C.E. which they take in June. The scores are posted during the summer season and students are offered admission to senior high schools based on those scores. As high school in Ghana is a boarding school, they are not guaranteed a school near their villages. This is a big adjustment for them. Their year usually begins in November to allow time for upperclass students to get started in September before the new students’ orientation.
Finally, a word about some of our future plans. We will be holding our 2013 annual fundraiser this year in March. It will be a silent art auction. There is much to be done so please volunteer to help out. I am especially looking for more participation from our Board members. Also, it is not too early to start thinking about joining us for a trip to Ghana hopefully this summer. The teachers in the primary schools can use lots of help in writing curriculum and learning new teaching methods. Please let me know if you have an interest in coming along.