Girls Scholarship Program, Ghana
(2013)

In 2013 Forgirlsake partnered with Create Change, a Vancouver-based organization founded in 2007 that impacts the lives of Ghanese girls who face extreme poverty, providing them the financial and personal support they need to stay in school and achieve success. With Forgirlsake’s help, 60 girls were able to complete their last year at secondary school and graduate in 2014.

In Northern Ghana over 40% of people live in extreme poverty. Only 20% are literate, as most people cannot afford to go to school beyond the primary level. At the high school level, fees jump from $10 to $250 a year and since families earn about $500 per year from subsistence farming, high school is an impossible dream — and even more unlikely for daughters. Moreover, girls are responsible for cooking, childcare, laundry, and fetching water, so even if they could afford school, most families would prefer to send their boys rather than lose a house laborer.

As a result, most rural communities in Northern Ghana have no female high school graduates, and thus no women to take on leadership roles in the community or political sphere. Thanks to Create Change’s Girls’ Education Program, girls are being supported at the high school and post-secondary levels. Traditional families are becoming more aware of a girl’s earning potential if she is educated. And so rather than keeping them home for domestic chores, families and communities are beginning to see the long term value in educating their daughters.

 

Photo courtesy of Warren Zelman Photography.
What’s happening now?
In the past nine years, Create Change has sent more than 1,000 girls to high school. Many were also assisted in becoming working professionals. They empower girls to become leaders through degrees in community development, teaching and healthcare. Educated girls are also leading a number of programs helping rural communities climb out of extreme poverty. To learn more, visit www.createchangenow.ca
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