I am from Sandema Balansa, one of the poorest communities in the Upper East Region of Ghana. My parents are peasant farmers and could not afford to feed me and my siblings a proper meal. Peasant farming is their main occupation. In basic school, we hardly took breakfast before going to school, and lunch was an impossibility. The only assured meal was supper, which sometimes we missed on Sandema market days. Footwear was a tertiary basic necessity, and we commuted barefoot in the hot sun to school every day.
Our situation was compounded with the stigmatization and discrimination leveled on the family due to my eldest brother suffering from polio. He became a cripple and our whole family including myself experienced stigmatization. It is only by God’s grace that he had the sponsorship of various organizations including HCC that helped him in his education. He is now a role model and inspiration to us all.
Despite all these challenges we did not give up on our goals. We continued to work hard towards our future dreams. When I was a teenager, I had to burn and sell charcoal or cut and sell firewood during weekends and holidays to get money to purchase learning materials like exercise books, pamphlets and other needs. I had no other option than to do this because my peasant parents could hardly feed us properly let alone pay money for educational necessities.
In the face of this challenge, I managed to complete junior high school in 2012. I was admitted into Sandema Senior High Technical school to offer the course of my choice. At this point, my educational goals were in jeopardy because my parents could not pay for my admission fees, let alone the uniforms and other educational materials.
Fortunately, I heard of HCC and approached them with my admission letter. I was advised to write a letter seeking for financial assistance which I wrote to and the reply was positive. That day became one of the best days in my life which I will never forget. Because, that reply gave me hope and boosted my morale to work hard towards my dream of becoming a nurse. Through HCC’s immense support, financially, morally and socially, I completed senior high school successfully in 2015.
With the support of HCC, in 2017 I applied to two Nurses’ Training Colleges and was accepted into both. 300 applicants applied to the Presbyterian Nurses Training College Bawku and only 101 were admitted, of which I was one.
As I write this appreciation, I am in the school library feeling enthusiastic and electrified as I am now in my second year of training. I am full of joy and pride that at long last, I am near the realization of my dream of becoming a nurse to render care to individuals, families and communities at large...my childhood dream.