Achievers coding class for girls in the slums of Ghana

As part of the BBC’s Young, Geeky and Black series looking at black coders, Bola Mosuro travelled to Ghana to meet women and girls being taught to code by a non-profit group, the Achievers Ghana, which aims to bring an education to girls living in slums._86951837_classroom1

This is a coding class, organised by the Achievers Ghana of Nima. About 80 girls attend in this classroom on the first floor of the local mosque.

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Girls being taught HTML and how to make web pages. Achievers also aims to give these girls a voice which they’re expressing through websites and blogs.

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Resources are hard to come by – so most of the class is taught on paper. Electricity is also a problem, as there are regular blackouts. There are a couple of laptops, which the girls crowd around to practice their skills.

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The mostly Muslim girls come from far and wide to Achievers each day to get training in a number of courses, including coding.

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This coding class was originally started with the help of local NGO Tech Needs Girls, founded by several successful female coders. As well as teaching coding, they’ve also brought mentors to meet the girls.

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Amadu Mohammed used to work in a bank. Now he runs the Achievers Ghana. It was set up in 2011 by a young girl called Amina. At the age of 12 she was saved from being forced into a child marriage thanks to Amadu, who at the time was giving children in Nima extra lessons.

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Nima is one of the largest and poorest districts in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. It suffers from inadequate infrastructure and services.

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Rasheeda’s grandmother wants her to be educated, but doesn’t have the money to send her to school, so she sees the Achievers club as a gift from God.

A coding class for girls in the slums of Ghana

Amina Ismail in Senior High School

IMG-20160118-WA0002After struggling with setbacks in basic education due to early and force marriage, Amina Ismail, Co-founder of Achievers Ghana, had finally made it to the Senior High School.

Amina graduated Rising Sun Montessori school, which supported her with a scholarship, in July with aggregate grade of 11. After a long allocation wait she finally received placement in SHS (Senior High School).

Located in the Eastern Region of Ghana, Nifa Senior High School where Amina is currently studying. With a strong passion to become a journalist, Amina never quits studying.

“I want to become journalist so that I can help expose those who treats girls and women badly and help to defend women and girls rights” said Amina.

To support her through SHS, Amina has received a full scholarship from a generous donor.

If you interested in sponsoring a scholarship for one of Achievers girls, please contact: Amadu Mohammed (mail@achieversghana.org)

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Achievers Ghana hosts World Peace Day 2015 in Nima

On 21st September, Achievers Ghana joined the rest of the world to celebrate “Peace One Day” on the theme “Reducing Domestic Violence.” The day was commemorated in a huge dubar attended by over 10 public and private school children within the community.

peace day1We are extremely grateful to all the organizations who honored out invitation including the Leading Ladies Network, Project Abroad and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). We also thank other invited guests such as our honorable assemblymen, honorable aspirants and members of the political domain, our local leaders, heads of schools, teachers, parents, the community and children for helping grace this occasion and bringing even more light on the issue of domestic violence within the community and the country at large.

It was a truly valuable experience for our young Achievers and we are grateful for all the life lessons you shared with them. World peace must indeed develop from inner peace!

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RisingSun Montessori’s Scholarship Exams for the Achievers

risingsunIs another academic year again and Achievers Ghana as usual has been given another opportunity to send girls from Achievers to write exams in order to qualify for full scholarship for the RisingSun Montessori School. Our profound gratitude goes to the Board of Directors and Management team of RisingSun Montessori for helping to salvage the plight of the girl child in slum communities such as ours.

The Leading Ladies’ Network – Achievers next corporate sponsor

Achievers Ghana is extremely pleased with our gradually increasing list of corporate sponsors as we welcome the Leading Ladies’ Network as one. With their support, at least five new girls will receive full sponsorships to stay in school in this new and upcoming academic  year – very exciting!

Even prior to this, and since February this year, the founder, Yawa Hansen-Quao, as well as the entire Leading Ladies’ nextwork team had supported us in numerous ways including our efforts towards girl mentorship and advocacy. We ardently look forward to continuing this extremely rewarding partnership, Yawa, Olivia and team!

The girls say Thank You!

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Hafsa Issah….a future poet

Hafsa joined Achievers Ghana in our early years. She vividly remembers the day her father came home from his prayers and encouraged her to. He had found a group of young girls – young Achievers, he would later learn – studying on top of the roof of the local mosque. He was so impressed he wanted his daughter to be one of those girls.

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I used to stammer. I was so conscious of it. I never thought I would be able to speak in front of an audience in a million years……… says 12-year old Hafsa.

3 years down the road Hafsa has become one of the best public speakers and poets at Achievers. Her favorite poem, Change the World and the World will Change you, has changed many. She has contested in poetry recitals including at the 2014 Ghana Islamic Tournament and has even represented the Achievers on National TV.

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Hafsa is one of the five Achievers on full scholarship at the RisingSun Montessori School. She wants to become a journalist. Through this she also wants to be able to do advocacy work on issues such as food preservation and its implications in her community.

Here in Nima, she says, people lack very basic knowledge on how to properly preserve their food. It is quite common for people to get sick as a result; I have a friend who died. As a journalist, I plan to help in this area………And she will!

Hafsa is only 1 of the over 200 girls from Nima being supported and mentored by Achievers Ghana.

Do you want to help keep more girls like Hafsa in school this upcoming school year and even beyond? Join the 2015 Ramadan Fundraiser by reaching out to mail@achieversghana.org or +233 (0)243458138. The girls deserve it!

I can stand in public and talk……Aisha Ibrahim

 

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14-year old Aisha grew up in Nima. She was raised single-handedly by her grandmother, Bere (she calls her).

Bere is very pleased that Aisha has now become an Achiever and can pursue her dreams of becoming a journalist. Even as a child, Aisha would sit in front of the TV to listen to the news being read. She developed a passion for reading and can’t wait to go to the University in the next 5-6 years to learn about broadcast journalism.

Aisha heard about the Achievers through friends in the community. So one day, she says, I took a trip to the roof of the mosque to see for myself. That day we learned about patience, and since then I continue to learn something new and valuable each day.

Aisha has improved in all aspects of her education. She admits that being an Achiever keeps her positively busy. I can stand in public and talk, she says,  as if she still can’t believe it.. At first I would be shivering, almost in tears…

But the best part of her story is that she gets to stay in school. She admits that Bere would not have been able to continue paying her fees and textbooks…… Bere hasn’t been well in the last few years. I really hope Achievers Ghana can continue to support me all the way up to the University.

Aisha is only 1 of over 200 girls from Nima being sponsored in school by Achievers Ghana.

Do you want to help keep girls like Aisha in school this upcoming school year and onwards. Join the 2015 Ramadan Fundraiser by reaching out to mail@achieversghana.org or +233 (0)243458138. They deserve it!

 

I want Achievers to help support my education….Hajara Mustapha

I want Achievers Ghana to help me achieve my goals by supporting me in my education…..the 13-year old says.

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Hajara Mustapha is from a family of 8 in Nima. She dreams of becoming a medical doctor and helping her community understand and practice preventive medicine. Her very first day at Achievers, Hajara admits being so impressed by the poetry recitals by some of the Achievers that she knew at once she wanted to become an Achiever.

Since joining in 2014 she has participated in several programs including the Ghana Islamic Tournament, Project Abroad, tech needs girls and the Sisters’ Forum. Hajara has also had the opportunity to appear on radio to talk on girl-child education.

Hajara says she now sees the value in education more than ever. I want Achievers Ghana to help me achieve my dreams. And then I want to give back to Achievers and my community. This 13-year old has grown a lot. She now leads as General Secretary and runs Worldreader’s e-library program. But maybe even more importantly, Hajara says she now understands her fundamental rights and can stand up for it.

But Hajara’s story isn’t unique. She is only 1 of over 200 girls from Nima being sponsored in school by Achievers Ghana. Do you want to help keep girls like Hajara in school this upcoming September term? Join the 2015 Ramadan Fundraiser by reaching out to mail@achieversghana.org or +233 (0)243458138. They deserve it!

The 2015 Ramadan Fundraiser: My Education….My Hope

Yesterday the world celebrated the Day of the African Child, which commemorates the massacre of hundreds of children in South Africa who were demonstrating for their basic right to education.  Each day, as an organization, we continue this march to ensure that All girls especially in slum communities in Ghana are empowered through education. We couldn’t be more pleased then that  this year the theme has been ending child marriage in Africa.

As we officially launch the 2015 Ramadan Fundraiser, My Education….My Hope, we will continue to do just that –  keep the 200+ girls  we’ve  been able to enroll with your constant contributions and support in school. We will continue to  raise awareness for  the numerous girls who are constantly being denied opportunties to education due to cultural or social beliefs, globally.

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40% of women are married off as children in Sub Sarahan Africa according to UNICEF………………But guess what? – We can all help put a stop to this!!!  With your support, we can continue to make a difference to disadvantaged girls in the Nima-Maamobi community this holy month of Ramadan.

To learn more about how to support the 2015 Ramadan Fundraiser, contact achieversbookclub2011@gmail.com. 

Amina (Achievers co-founder) talks at TEDx

Our 16-year old co-founder and Deputy Director, Amina Ismail Daru, shared her story at the recent TEDx Spintex Women held at the British Council on May 30th. As she spoke about her traumatic ordeal at age 12 that ultimately gave birth to the organisation, she moved the audience to tears.

In my part of the world, she said, it is very common to see a girl-child being married off. When I was being forced into marriage, there were several people who thought nothing could be done.

And then confidently looking up and smiling, she adds, BUT NOW I AM FREE……

The plight of the girl-child in communities such as mine is abominable, but we can all help change this. It won’t happen overnight, but it  will have to start with us and our willingness to help create the world we dream of….

Now that you are aware, do what you can, with what you have, where you are – to help!

 

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