Say "Hi" to Gifty

by Because I am a Girl

Gifty is an 18 year old from the Upper Manya Krobo District of Ghana. She is the only girl among many siblings. After completing her morning chores, Gifty walks 2.5 miles to attend the only secondary school in the district. After returning home, she walks a further 10 minutes to collect water before joining her mother on a nearby farm to bring food back for the evening family meal. Because Gifty’s family does not have electricity, she must quickly complete her homework before preparing the dinner.

Despite these and other daily challenges, Gifty has become an active member of the Rights of the Child (ROC) club in her community, where youth regularly meet to discuss child rights issues in their community, as well as carry out regular community clean-up exercises each month.

Gifty’s passion is soccer, and she is currently a member of a local girls’ soccer team which carries out awareness raising activities in various communities. These activities aim to educate people from local communities about problems facing children - particularly girls - which can affect their survival, protection, development and participation. The team usually carries out these activities during soccer large competitions and trips. Themes such as child labor, child neglect, school dropout, and child trafficking among others are discussed. The team also performs peer to peer education activities on adolescent health reproduction and gives their members the opportunity to find other means of addressing these problems. Being part of this team has helped build Gifty’s confidence in public speaking and given her opportunities to participate in educational tours in her region and country.

Gifty says she hopes one day to become ‘the best journalist of my time’. She hopes to continue to advocate for girl child development. For Gifty, a major challenge in her community and region continues to be teenage pregnancy, as well as other cultural barriers that affect girl child development. She adds, ‘I also intend to work with child friendly organizations in the district to motivate children in schools to learn hard and achieve great things in future.’