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Faiza

Aspiring Journalist, Ghana

I’m Faiza, a recent secondary school graduate from Tamale Metro in Ghana. I have big ambitions of becoming a journalist in the future. With CAMFED support through school, I became empowered to complete my secondary education and start achieving my dreams as an educated, confident young woman.

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I live with my parents, my siblings, and some members of my extended family. My daily life is usually very busy with supporting my family. I wake up early to pray and carry out house chores like sweeping the house and setting a fire to boil water for bathing. After helping my mom at her shop to sell goods, I go to the mosque for my last prayers and then return home in the evening. 

One of the main barriers I faced in my education was food insecurity. Like many other children living in rural Ghana, I often went to school hungry due to poverty, making it difficult to concentrate in my lessons. When preparing for Senior High School, some of my friends expressed their concerns for me continuing with my education, considering the challenges I was facing. I knew it would be difficult as my parents were struggling to support me and my other six siblings, but I was determined to stay in school alongside my fellow classmates and to reach my full potential.

I first heard about CAMFED from my sister when I was in Junior High School. After progressing to Senior High School, I was so excited to find out I had been selected for CAMFED support for the rest of my time at school. CAMFED started supporting me with school supplies including exercise books and a school bag, as well as groceries. I became so much happier with CAMFED’s support, as it felt like a heavy load had been lifted off my parents’ shoulders.

With CAMFED support, I felt even more motivated to work hard in school and become the best version of myself.

As well as financial support, I received psycho-social support through CAMFED’s Learner Guide program. Learner Guides are different from teachers as they are CAMFED Association members (young women who have graduated from school with CAMFED support) who would come to our school to not only support us with our studies, but as role models and mentors. The Learner Guide at my school helped me so much by listening to any problems I had in school or at home and by inspiring me to dream big and imagine a brighter future.

CAMFED Association members are friendly and approachable. They are easy to talk to and fun to be around.

Learner Guides deliver a life skills program called My Better World. I enjoyed participating in My Better World sessions, which empowered us with tools to navigate life’s challenges and manage our emotions, allowing us to attain our aspirations and to become better people in future. Through the program, I grew in confidence and developed leadership qualities, which include empathy, tolerance, optimism and a desire to support and uplift others.

Through My Better World sessions, I have learned to be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when I need help and brave enough to ask for it.

During the COVID-19 school closures, I discovered a passion for sewing and my mom enrolled me in sewing lessons, to do alongside my studies. As my sewing skills developed, I started designing ladies’ hats and turbans to sell. With the profits, I have been able to save some money for my future and help to relieve the burden on my mother. Despite facing difficulties balancing my studies and my entrepreneurial pursuits, I persevered and found a way to make it work. One day, I would like to empower other disadvantaged women in my community to learn new skills, like sewing, to improve their livelihoods.

(Left) Faiza, a CAMFED Association member and recent secondary school graduate (right) a ladies' turban made by Faiza.

Here I am today as a CAMFED Association member (left) and a ladies’ turban I made to sell (right).

After graduating Senior High School, I joined the CAMFED Association — a network of young women leaders educated with CAMFED’s support. Through the network, I have acquired new skills and knowledge, including how to create an impressive CV, and interview skills. I felt motivated to join the CAMFED Association to become a ‘big sister’ to other young women and mentor them to make informed decisions, just as I had been guided during my time at school. 

Along with the inspiring CAMFED Association members, I also look up to Anita Akuffo, Natalie Fort and Faiza Mohammed, who are all examples of educated women who have achieved their ambitions and now work for top TV stations in Ghana as journalists. 

Currently, I am pursuing a diploma in Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Development Studies in Tamale, with plans to enroll in a journalism school after graduating. I feel hopeful that I will achieve my dreams of becoming a journalist. 

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