After meeting the Accra students, I returned to Kumasi to deliver acceptances to students at Esreso D/A2 and St. Augustine’s Anglican Primary. While all the students were happy to be accepted, Fauzia of St. Augustine’s was especially emotional. Following introductions, students were informed of their acceptance. I was mid sentence explaining that selections were based on academic record, familys’ indicated financial need, and leadership potential when Fauzina lifted her hands to cover her face. She began crying. I asked why she was crying and she said she had never been given a scholarship before. After a minute or two she stopped and thanked me.
Also impactful was meeting Hamdalatu. Hamdalatu was a last minute addition to the first class. I was informed by her teacher of her intelligence (she’s been consistently in the top of her class since elementary school) and the hardship her family faces to support her. The teacher said, “she won’t be able to go to secondary school if you/GEIG doesn’t help.” Hamadalatu has been paying for her own school fees since she was in class 3. She earns all of her money for school by selling water or acts as a servant to her guardian’s first-born. She does not see her mother often.
In her interview Hamadalatu mentioned wanting to be a nurse when she grows up, hoping to work her way to eventually become a doctor. She also mentioned feeling frustrated when she sees friends spending money on treats and food at school, and she can’t afford any of it, as all her money that she earns goes to her schooling – to her, “life becomes dull.”
Unfortunately, students with stories like Fauzia’s and Hamdalatu’s are not uncommon in Ghana. I’m hopeful that in the years to come GEIG can support many more deserving students.