In August 2014, Gladys Obuo will graduate from ABAN as a trained seamstress. This is no small accomplishment – her hard work of the past two years has equipped and empowered her to break free from a cycle of poverty. Gifts from donors like you have given Gladys the strength and resources to build a stable future for herself.
Soon she will return to Tutu, a city north of Accra where her grandmother and siblings live, and begin a sewing apprenticeship. Before celebrating this important next step, Gladys agreed to share her memories of ABAN with us.
What is your favorite memory of your time spent with ABAN?
I am happy every day here because all girls in the house get together to chat and do other fun things together. But this place can also be quiet. Everyone is kind of in control of their own life. So I get time to reflect on my life and what I want for my future.
How have the women of ABAN, staff and classmates, empowered and inspired you?
When I entered the program, I had a lot of issues bugging me and I would cry a lot. I learned to open up to people and when I did that, I received advice, support and encouragement. At ABAN, I know I am never alone. I am now able to concentrate on my apprenticeship and not worry so much about everything.
How has ABAN helped you surmount the challenges you face as a woman in your community?
The skill training has definitely helped me. I know that once I am perfect at dressmaking, I will be financially sound to make good and healthy decisions.
What was your favorite childhood toy?
I had a Barbie doll, the kind that you could braid the hair. I sewed dresses for her and carried her with me everywhere.
What would you do if you won $1,000,000?
I would start up a big business in dressmaking. I would get all the industrial machines I would need for a smooth operation and employ a lot of people to work for me. I would invest in other businesses as well, like selling cloth in a cloth factory.
If you could start your own nonprofit today, what would be its mission?
To take care of young girls from poor homes experiencing abuses of all forms. Just like ABAN does, I would like to give them shelter and the opportunity to make better lives for themselves.
What advice would you give to a new ABAN girl?
I would plead with them to be patient and remain focused on their skill training so that they can take better care of themselves in the near future. I would want them to know that this is just a phase that will pass, but before it does they must take advantage of the programs that ABAN is offering in order to be great.