The ride so far...
Above: (top) Benita, Debrah, (bottom) Siddika, Emmanuel
Siddika was a very shy girl, now she is breaking out of that shell.
Pokua is generally very outspoken, now she is a better listener.
Emmanuel was timid too, now he inspires other boys.
Benita is perseverant and is teaching the girls to do same.
We are the Girls in Leadership and Empowerment Action Program (Girls LEAP) and Boys for Positive Change (BPC) Program Associates for the 2018/2019 academic year and we want to share how the journey has been so far.
After completing senior high school (SHS), an opportunity came to work with Exponential Education. We went for interviews and passed.
We knew it was a great opportunity “to teach” but we didn’t know it was going to be a learning experience for us as well.
The year began on a relatively slow note as the Ghana Education Service (GES) was implementing a new system (The Double Track System) in the SHSs and so took a longer time to finalize the academic calendar.
Before the lessons started, we spoke to the SHS 2 students about the Girls LEAP and BPC Programs and those who were interested, took forms to fill out. After going through the forms, we selected some students to partake in the programs this year.
In all, there are 39 girls and 12 boys at the Asanteman SHS, 15 girls at the Ejisuman SHS and 24 girls at the Antoa SHS who are participants of the programs. Each school meets once a week after school for between an hour and an hour and a half.
Through the lessons, we realized how much impact has been made just by observing the differences in the utterances of the students. For example, before the lessons started, one of the male students didn’t think it was necessary for him to know how to cook since it was “girl thing” but now, he acknowledges that he was wrong at the beginning.
Another instance is when a girl was ready to give in to her parents who wanted her to marry an older man when she turned 16. She has now been able to educate her parents about the importance of her continuing with her education and they have rescinded their decision.
These stories make us feel fulfilled and it is definitely gratifying to know that we are implementing change in our own small way.
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