CAMFED Association member, welder, and fabricator, Ghana

Leticia at the Women in TVET Conference, Accra in March 2022

Leticia with her metal sculptures at the Women in TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) Conference in Accra in March 2022

I’m Leticia from Gomoa Central, Ghana. I grew up in Ablekuma Central in the Greater Accra Region with my parents and five siblings. My dad worked as a carpenter and my mom as a trader, but with a large family to support they faced financial challenges. As the fifth child I wasn’t sure I’d be able to complete my education.

My journey from a teenager up to a young woman that I am, has been rough and smooth. But through determination and hard work I have been able to make it through.

After I completed my Junior High School, I was selected to receive support from CAMFED so that I could progress to Senior High School. From a young age, I wanted to work with my hands, but I was still figuring out my path. When I had finished my studies I gained some experience in the Monitoring and Evaluation Team at CAMFED Ghana and was able to learn about different career trajectories for young women.

With encouragement from my sisters in the CAMFED Association, I enrolled at the Design and Technology Institute (DTI), Accra, to study welding and fabrication. I received partial sponsorship from DTI under its partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, and additional support from CAMFED. Even with this backing I still faced some challenges — many people around me were surprised that I had chosen to enter this male-dominated field and worried I would not succeed.

Leticia during her course at the Design Technology Institute

Leticia practices sawing and welding during her course at the Design Technology Institute

Doing what I am good at as well as monitoring my progress and celebrating my achievements has been a source of my self-confidence and self-belief.

During my time at DTI, I took every lesson seriously and participated in all parts of the course. My focus, determination, and tenacity helped me to come through. I was proud to earn a position as course representative at DTI, meaning that I would lead my class and carry other responsibilities.

Education and training have played an important role in my career by equipping me with the necessary skills and preparing me for the job market. They are enabling me to positively impact myself and my community as well.

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I now run a business making metal gates, balustrades, window grills, and decorative sculptures. I am training up an apprentice to help me to fulfil my customer orders as the business grows. Through CAMFED, I had the opportunity to speak about my work and my entrepreneurship journey on national television.

To my dear ladies out there who may want to enter a male-dominated field, please never underestimate your capacity, strength, and ability.

On International Women’s Day 2022, I exhibited my work at the Women in TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) Conference, Accra. I hope to inspire other young women to pursue opportunities through TVET and fulfil their potential. I am always driven to lift up others because I strongly believe that success without a successor is not a success.

Visitors to Leticia's stand at the Women in TVET Conference included CAMFED's Sally Ofori-Yeboah and school students

Visitors to Leticia’s stand at the Women in TVET Conference included CAMFED’s Sally Ofori-Yeboah and school students

As part of giving back to the community, I provide stationery items to students to aid them staying in school. I also have an upcoming project that seeks to positively impact the lives of underprivileged children in rural communities through mentorship, education, and entrepreneurship.

In future, I hope to be a great entrepreneur in the creative industries in Africa and to make sure that others can break through the glass ceiling alongside me.

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