When people describe me they say I am a strong lady with dutch directness who works with great passion, especially for something she believes in. And yes I am a fighter. I'm a single mother in a well paid and high pressure job working for my dream client(Nike) wanting to make the lives of girls in Ghana a little better.
What happens if a girl is educated, has access to (sexual) healthcare and family planning information, has access to and is in control of her economic assets, is safe from violence and exploitation and has the confidence to make positive choices? That girl would be a strong part of the (social) economy of her country and a role model for her peers, her family and her community. Wouldn’t that be a most positive, powerful thing? This does require breaking the current perception of that girl and her community. Because for this to change, we will need to get the whole community on board (incl. community leaders, church leaders, parents, teachers and policy makers). If we work with the sensitivities of communities and families and are able to improve awareness, we are able to give that girl the environment to excel. And in the end, this positive change in attitude and perception will not only affect her family, peers and friends, but will ripple throughout the community, other villages and even have the potential for institutional change and growth for future generations.
Ghana is a country of untapped potential and unheard voices. Only 50% of girls enlist in secondary school and only half of those actually attend. About 20% of girls are married by the age of 18 so end up taking care of their families. This can result in a negative sense of self and a lack of awareness of one's own talent, especially when there is no space or enabling environment for girls to explore their potential.
I experienced this myself when I was working in Ghana when a teenage girl came up to me and asked how she could register on a dating site in Europe to marry a European man. She thought this was the only way out. Not using that beautiful gift of her talent and not being part of the growth of her country which she doesn’t want to leave to begin with. But by not being part of the (social) economy of a country means that country is more likely to stay in the downward spiral of poverty, making the position of girls even worse.
I'm proud of:
the person I am today. I have learned so much from so many people in so many different countries and walks of life. I would not have changed anything. I am now looking at broadening my horizon and learning more about the power of community and facilitation, hoping to improve myself.
What I think of Community Life Competence:
It is a powerful instrument of change and such a great community to be part of.
What do I want to do to spread Community Life Competence?
Facilitate Community Life Competence in my community, Launch a facilitation team
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Share Community Life Competence with potential partners, online facilitation, Knowledge Management
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