Growing up in a large family unit, Husina worried she was a burden to her hard-working mother. She is her mother’s third child, but one of nine children on her father’s side. Husina’s parents divorced soon after she was born, and shortly afterwards her father passed away.
As a single parent, Husina’s mother did her best to meet the basic needs of her children by trading in clothes and fabric. She worked hard to care for Husina’s brother, who lives with a disability, and managed to send her older daughter to training college. But by the time it was Husina’s turn to go to secondary school, the family’s resources were strained. Sometimes extended family would help out, but the money didn’t go far. Husina was anxious about the future of her education and about the daily hardship she knew her mother experienced.
“Once we, the girls, stand up on our feet and rise to conquer everything, we will become somebody, we’ll be valued, we’ll be respected in the society.”
When CAMFED and the Mastercard Foundation stepped in to support Husina’s education, she was overjoyed and became more determined than ever to succeed. CAMFED’s holistic approach covers more than just school fees, so that for girls like Husina, their whole future does not ride on the cost of stationery or menstrual products.
“Everything about CAMFED makes me happy. They provide sanitary pads, exercise books, notebooks, calculators and anything we need in school… which makes us comfortable enough to study.”
Husina pictured with CAMFED alumna (CAMA member) Hannah. She is growing in confidence with educated young women as her role models. (Photo: CAMFED/Eliza Powell)
Husina (left) walking with her friends, CAMA Member Issah and fellow CAMFED scholar Belawu. (Photo: CAMFED/Eliza Powell)
Husina’s favourite subjects at school are science and history. Following the opportunity to participate in a leadership scheme at KNUST University, Husina developed new skills and confidence. She learned about public speaking and debating, helping her get elected as a school prefect. This stands her in good stead to fulfil her dream of becoming a lawyer.
Husina already has a clear desire to address social injustices and bring about positive change. She looks up to members of CAMFED’s alumnae association, CAMA, who are activists and philanthropists in the local community.
“There are some young ones who are not able to make it, they are not able to get education. On behalf of… those students, I wish to join CAMA just to support them.”
Inspired by CAMA, Husina worked with other CAMFED scholars at her school, to take action about the inadequate toilet facilities. Along with a lack of sanitary wear, toilet facilities that are unsafe, unclean or lacking in privacy are another gender-related reason that girls drop out of school. Husina and her peers garnered support for their project and ensured the renovation of a toilet block.
By unlocking potential and unleashing leadership qualities, CAMFED and CAMA are working to enable girls like Husina to become agents of change, who can break the cycle of poverty and inequality for good.