A newfound confidence to lead: Carolyn's Story

Carolyn is a student of Class 6 in Ghana, and the Organizing Secretary of her girls club. Her passion for learning and helping her community are a testament to how education changes everything!

Carolyn’s girls club, created by her school with support from Impact(Ed)’s Discovery Project, has transformed her outlook on life. Before becoming a part of the club, Carolyn faced difficulty working with other students in class. Her teachers noted that she was timid, unable to make eye contact and seldom spoke up. Now, she has found a new confidence – in and outside of the classroom.

 “Even though (the club) helps the girls, it also helps the boys know that girls are also supposed to stand up for their rights, and are not supposed to be looked down upon,” Carolyn says with a smile.

The girls club is a key component of the support provided by the Discovery Project to Carolyn’s school. Funded by the UK Government’s Girls’ Education Challenge to get more girls in school and learning, the Project targets schools in marginalized communities in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. Apart from teacher training, use of technology and media in learning, and community mobilization for girls’ education, the Project trains female mentors to teach essential life skills through girls’ clubs. The clubs also provide safe spaces for girls to speak out their minds, and builds their confidence to set their own goals.

Following a social entrepreneurship training at the girls’ club, where she learned about creating a business plan and using it for the greater good, Carolyn and her friends came up an idea. Since their school was located far from any school supplies stores, students often had to venture out long distances to buy essential stationary. With the guidance of their school headmistress and club mentor, Carolyn and her friends at the club launched a small business selling stationary inside the school. Using a donation from the headmistress as seed money, they procured school bags, pencils and other items, and began selling them for a small profit.

Soon after, Carolyn and the other girls decided to use their business for good: they started using the proceeds to help students who couldn't afford to buy the school supplies on their own.

“The profits from selling our goods we use to help the other girls who are in need," she says.

A core component of Carolyn’s girls club is the role of the mentor. Their mentor is more than an educator to Carolyn and the other members: she is their confidante, role model, and support system.

Carolyn says, “Our mentor is someone who is ready to listen to you, whatever the problem is. She’s calm-hearted and always at our service.”

Carolyn has come to believe education is an essential path for her and her peers to achieving their goals.

“Education is the process of acquiring skills, knowledge, and other things that involve understanding...if you have an education you have better understanding of what you are about to do, of what is ahead of you!” 

Carolyn demonstrates the correct method to wash hands at her school. Photo: Impact(Ed) Ghana[/caption]

When she grows up, Carolyn wants to become a journalist as well as an entrepreneur.

“Especially when we are in this COVID era, [reporters] risk their lives to go and report news on the TV for us all to listen and know what is happening all around us. That is why I want to become a reporter."