Dorothy and Candy in their uniforms
“Meeting Self-Help has brought something big to my family. It has really taught me the value of useful advice; help comes in many ways apart from money. The advice from SHI has indeed brought joy to my family.” - Charity
Many African youth have lost their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in search of greener pastures. Often, their families are left wondering about their fate. “My husband may be a victim and I lived in constant fear," said Charity, a twenty-eight year old mother of two.
She lamented, “Poverty and hardship have engulfed my family and life has been so unbearable. The father of my first child denied responsibility for my pregnancy and my current husband left home and I have not heard from him since February 2016.”
Charity has two lovely children, Dorothy and Candy, aged 10 and 5 years respectively, in Class 2 and Kindergarten 1 at Ama Badu D/A Primary School. Charity tells Self-Help that after Dorothy’s father abandoned them she became traumatized and dejected. She was able to pull herself together through counseling from family members and friends. “After putting that ordeal behind me, I later met Ofori and we gave birth to Candy, my second child. He took good care of us until one day he decided to travel to Mali,” she told SHI. “He used to send us money for the first six months after he traveled and suddenly I lost touch with him.” After not hearing from her husband she went to her in-laws but they had no information about him either.
Ofori was a carpenter and would carve stools for Charity to sell. “My only source of income was from the sale of the stools, so when my husband left I was doing virtually nothing that could fetch me money to keep my family. I was feeding my children from my mother’s purse.” Charity said that after attending a meeting organized for the women of Ama Badu she was motivated and decided to start her own business of selling food at Ama Badu D/A School. At the meeting, she heard Self-Help staff talking about the need for parents to work hard to send their children, especially daughters, to school.
“Until that meeting with Self-Help, I had decided that Dorothy would not go back to school the next academic term but I had a change of mind at the meeting.” Charity told us that she had been hoping that her husband would come to their aid, but after meeting Self-Help at Ama Badu she decided to take matters into her own hands and began to support herself independently. She started a small business by selling prepared rice to schoolchildren during their lunch break since there is often nothing for them to eat at that time, even if their parents send them to school with lunch money. Though she was afraid the business would not be viable, she was encouraged by the advice she got from SHI. She is grateful that her daughter Candy gets breakfast at school each day through Self-Help's School Feeding Program, so Charity doesn’t have to worry about what Candy will eat in the morning. She feeds Dorothy some of the rice, and sells the rest to students during lunch break.
Charity tells SHI that her household is food secure and her business is doing quite well. She said, “Prior to the meeting all I was looking forward to was to get money from someone to buy clothes and sell. I never thought of starting a small business like this because I did not know this could be of great assistance to my family.”
Thank you for your support of children like Charity's this year! Happy holidays to you & yours!
PS: Still shopping for a last minute gift for your loved ones? Consider making a gift in their honor! When you support this project, you can download and print off a gift card to give to your loved one so they know exactly what a difference you're making in their honor this season!
Charity sells rice at the school
Candy, 5, Charity, and Dorothy, 10