I live in the village of Abenta. The name of my Chief is Odikro Danso, I know this because that’s how everyone calls him. Some of the elders in my village are Gyaase (Sub-Chiefs). There is Mr. Awuku and the Okyeame (the Chief’s Linguist). The Okyeame is the mouthpiece of the Chief, so everywhere the Chief goes he goes with his Linguist so that whatever the Chief talks, the Linguist will explain to the people. They are always part of the Chief’s entourage. I don’t know the Gyaase’s name but I call him Nana.
I have two friends here at Abenta, Maabena and Senyo Gladys. I come from a city called Tutu but I had to move in with family in Abenta. I don’t like living in the village because I miss being in the city. Everyone here are farmers. We have mills that grind cassava.
In the evening most people meet at the junction, but I don’t really know what happens because I am always home by then.
My favorite place in all of Abenta is at the Village by Village base because no one there sends me to do things.
The happiest day in my life was Sunday 15th of May, 2015, when my parents organised a big party for me after I had recovered from a serious illness. I became ill and was taken to hospital. The illness became very serious and my parents knew I would die, for according to them, I was almost dead for two weeks at the hospital. So they had no hope that I would get up again. They said in the third week, I began to move my hands and legs and later, I was able to speak.
When I become well, my parents organised a party for on 15th may, 2015. After the church service, our relatives and friends of my parents came to our house. My friends also came. I put on a new dress my parents had bought me for the part. Fowls were prepared for me and all the people were invited to the party.
We danced to good music after taking the food and drinks. I was carried shoulder high round the house.
My friends were singing ‘welcome back to life, welcome back, Mary Danso I became happy for the whole day.
Many of the people who came there donated some money to my parents to congratulate me on my recovery from the sickness. It is a day I will never forget in my life.
I like rice and bean stew because it gives me all the nutrients that my body needs. The rice contains carbohydrates, which give me energy for my daily activities. It makes me strong. The salt contains iodine and calcium. The calcium makes my bones grow. The iodine in the salt makes my mind grow. It also helps me not to forget things that I learn.
The beans in the stew contains protein. The protein make me grow faster. The vegetables in the stew gives me vitamins, which are very necessary for our bodies.
The vitamins make my immune system very strong. Finally the oil contains fats, which help my body to grow in size. It makes me to grow fat. Rice and beans stew is very rich in nutrients and that is why I like it very much.
I am the vice president of the Abenta girls club. Being part of the club has taught me to dress well and respect people.
Selina Gakpe lives in the village of Abenta, a small village of about 450 people in the Eastern Region of Ghana. She is from the Ewe tribe. She is 15 years old and lives with her father, 4 brothers and 3 sisters. She attends Abenta Methodist Primary School where we undertook a girl empowerment project.
My name is Mensah Emmanuella. I am thirteen years old. I come from Dodowa but I stay at Gboloo Kofi.
I have one sister and three brothers. My brothers are Eric, Aikins and Emmanuel and my sister’s name is Bernice. Eric is a driver in Accra, Aikins works with volunteers at Village by Village and Bernice is a teacher. My mother’s’ name is Janet Obu. she is a seller and a farmer. My mother sells waakye and plants maize ,cassava, plantain and okro on her farm. My father’s name is Benjamin Mensah. I did not know my father because he died before I was born.
I am a member of the Tidsall Gboloo Kofi Girls club and I have learnt a lot from the club like being early and being healthy always.
Village by Village has helped my brothers and sisters to finish school.
I like drawing very much and this is a drawing of the house I want to stay in when I grow up.
I love my family very much.
Emmanuella (Manuella) has been known by us for 10 years. From the village of Gboloo Kofi, her family welcomed the charity and gave the founder a home whilst he was building a well with the community. We have watched Manuella grow into a young woman with a great sense of who she is and a very vibrant character.
She has been part of the girl empowerment project that we have undertaken in Gboloo Kofi and has been vocal in her thoughts. We asked her if she would draw a picture for us and tell us a little about her family.
Regina has been part of the girls mentoring programme that we undertook in the village of Abenta. With her distinctive brown hair she has become well known to us and has a very vibrant character. We asked her to tell us about what her typical day looks like, this is what she told us.
My name Regina Banka. I am 15 years old. I come from Togo but I was born in Abenta. My favourite colour is blue. I love dancing and playing ampe, netball, football and volleyball. I attend school at Compassionate Kids international (in Adawso) and I am in primary 4.
Every morning, I wake up at 6 o’clock and fetch water from Abotow, a small pool in near by the forest as my sisters sweep the compound. When I get back from the forest, I get ready for school. I get to school at 8:30 if I can get a Moto which is a shared low powered motor bike with up to 4 other people. If I don’t get a ride, I have to walk and get to school at 9.
At school, my favourite subject is Maths. I close from school at 2:30pm and get home by 3:30pm.
I help my sisters cook supper. I like to cook Akple and Okro stew. After supper, I have my bath and go with my friends to the roadside. After staying there for a while talking with my friends, I go home, do my homework and go to bed.
I am fifteen years old. I come from Nigeria but I stay at Abenta, I am dark in complexion and about five feet five inches tall. I have a little tribal mark on my left cheek, a broad face and a round nose. I am a pupil at Abenta Methodist Primary School and I am in class six, the subjects I like best are English, mathematics and science I like these subjects because I want to become a medical doctor in future but I can’t because my mother has died, after she died things was difficult to me but I pray to God.
Editors note: Adiza has been part of our reading club in Abenta since it was started last year. As part of the programme she has read 10 books meaning she gets a reward. She is amazing, she has worked so hard and loves reading. The photo below is her receiving a new bag, pencils, notebook and markers to help her in school. She is also the President of the girls club that we also run which seeks to empower the girls and raise aspirations. Jamie, a Peace Corps volunteer here runs the reading club and the girls club.