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Opinions of Sunday, 8 February 2015

Columnist: Alhassan, Abdul Latif

Meet the Girl Who Needs Your Assistance

Written by:
Abdul Latif Alhassan

I share the plight of a teenage girl I met during my friends wedding back at Northern Ghana. She only gave her name as Ayishah of Dohinaayili. This teenager caught my eye with her business of selling sweats at the gathering. She also caught my attention with the issue of social desirability, because her style of dressing never depicted the ceremony. Whiles all and sundry was watching Drama performance and other activities at the wedding grounds, this young lady was busily moving from corner to corner advertising her toffees and biscuits. Her ambition to sale was too much that I decided to interact with her.
Our conversation was mixed with sorrow, pity and laughter. Why laughter? When I questioned her as to why she was not in school, she told me “my elder brother has failed three times in the West Africa Secondary Schools Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and my father has decided not to take care of all his children education. As I was been shocked by her reaction to my question, I further asked as to how that could be possible. She said “my father told me that if he was a boy and was not able to make good grades after spending sums of moneys, how much more a girl? At this moment, I could not control my laughing desire as to how primitive her father’s thinking was. She continued; it came to a time when my father stopped giving me “chop money” to go to school. When a Parents Teachers Association meeting was called, I had to beg my next door neighbour to go and represent my parents, because my father said he will not attend the meeting.
According to her, all efforts she made to lobby her father to let her continue schooling have failed. She said: “I brought so many people to convince my father that despite my brother’s inability to make it, I can make it”. According to her, even one of her school madams who loved her a lot came and talked to the father, but he remained adamant. She said, “as part of my efforts to continue school, I resorted to self-financing through the sweats that I am selling but, it came to a time I could not continue anymore so, I took my mind off schooling”
When I asked her whether if she got sponsorship she will continue schooling, she said no, because she got frustrated in school to an extend she now fears the building of her formal school. As I was astonished with her response, I decided to ask of her plan of feature life. She said “I want to get some work and start doing” and mentioned seam stressing as her desired occupation. I noticed a change in her voice and her eyes began to pour out tears. With her shrinking voice, she said, with the tailoring, I went to enquire about it and I was told that I have to get my own tailoring machine, pay entrance fees of Ghs200 and the uniform and other expenses that have prevented me from starting the tailoring.
With the way and manner she was responding to my questions I realized that the girl was so intelligent because communication is an integral part of intelligence. If this girl is given the chance and convinced to go back to school, she can climb the educational lither successfully. Better still, if we want to respect her decision of becoming a seamstress, who knows, she can be one of the best seamstresses in Ghana and beyond.

Help somebody’s child and your child shall be helped in your presence or in your absence. I call on wealthy individuals, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Opinion Leaders and Philanthropists to challenge themselves to see to it that Ayishah becomes a better citizen. Contact her on the address: Tamale, Dohinaayili, H/No: E.L.105, 0246974555. Remember, giving in charity is the bed rock of all religious gifts.

May God reward your effort.

Thank you.

The writer is a National Service Person at Savelugu Municipal Hospital.