Mariam is a tenacious, playful 10 year old girl from northern Ghana, specifically a remote part of the country that is vastly less developed than the South. She lives with her mother and sisters, who she loves to play with; her father passed away when she was just a baby.
For too many girls in this region of the country, education simply isn’t an option because families can’t afford the uniform and school books required to attend school. Mariam remembers seeing her friends returning from school in their uniforms, and longed for this to be her life but because her mother had little money, she had to stay at home and work.
This also had a huge impact on her confidence and self-esteem, as she knew her friends were learning to read and write, but she could not. She was worried and stressed that her life would follow that of her mother’s, and she’d never be educated.
When Mariam heard that Hope for Children were starting an education programme in a nearby community, she walked for miles to the neighbouring village to find one of our team and ask if she could join.
The following week she received the uniform she so longed for.
“I love my uniform. It is provided for me by Hope for Children and this is what I always wear now. I like wearing it to school and being confident in school. And any other activities that demand that I be in uniform, I am proud to wear it.”
As much as her uniform has enabled her to go to school, it has also had an enormous impact on Mariam’s confidence – her uniform represents so much more than just an education, it symbolises her future.
Now, Mariam wants to become a development worker so that she can go to other underprivileged communities and give more girls the same chance that she has been given.