At an early age Rosalinda decided she wasn’t going to be invisible. She promised herself that she would give a voice to marginalized girls everywhere. Now, an enthusiastic women’s empowerment advocate and public speaker, she seizes every opportunity presented through CAMA and her university to share the perspective of voiceless girls and young women.
“No matter the situations I find myself in, no matter how difficult it is, I keep fighting until I win.”
Without this determination, Rosalinda’s story could have been very different. Born in the Northern Region of Ghana, her start in life was a difficult one. Rosalinda's mother had been a child bride, married to a man many decades her senior. Rosalinda's father died an old man when she was only 11 years old, leaving her and her siblings in the care of a young mother with limited opportunities, struggling to support the family.
There was no option but to send Rosalinda to live with foster parents in the Upper East Region, with the promise she could attend school. It was challenging for Rosalinda to adjust to a new family and new routine. She had to wake up at 4am to do her chores, before setting off on the one and a half hour walk to school. But her resolve never faded, and in spite of the harsh circumstances, the family tried to ensure her educational needs were met.
“I was determined to stay in school. I knew that education was the only way to liberate myself.”
Rosalinda in her role as Learner Guide, teaching secondary students (Photo: Eliza Powell/CAMFED)
Rosalinda mentors girls, helping them to understand their rights and prevent discrimination (Photo: Eliza Powell/CAMFED)
At school, Rosalinda was eager to learn and progress both in and out of the classroom. She was made a prefect in Senior High School, and enjoyed the leadership role despite its demands. She also represented the school at Civic Education Class competitions around Ghana, and set up various clubs including one for aspiring television presenters with Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and a poetry society.
With CAMFED’s support through its partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, Rosalinda is now studying Law at university, using it as “a weapon... to fight against any discrimination.” She is part of Central University Students’ Parliament House, and has been appointed as a member of the Tribunal for the Law Students Union. Growing up she felt she never had the opportunity to air her views, and she recognises that there are so many marginalized girls whose voices are not heard, and who keep being discriminated against.
Rosalinda speaking at a Mastercard Foundation Leadership & Enrichment Camp (Photo: Eliza Powell/CAMFED)
“I believe that, when you have knowledge of things, it impacts you and it empowers you.”
Though she is an aspiring lawyer, Rosalinda does not limit her ambitions just to one field. As an already flourishing advocate of women’s empowerment, she hopes to travel the world speaking on television and radio about the issues affecting her peers.
Rosalinda has also started her own non-profit organization which provides vocational skills training, such as weaving, to young mothers, so that they can become financially independent. She is planning to start a pig farming business in order to generate funds to support her training center. Above all, Rosalinda wants to be an advocate for women’s empowerment.
She told us: “CAMFED gave me my opportunity, so now I want to help others get theirs.” By giving young women like Rosalinda a voice, we have the opportunity to empower future generations of girls and create lasting, systemic change.
Read Rosalinda's blog: Raising my voice for justice and gender equality