Hilda is 14 years old and recently graduated from Grade 6 at Takumi Community School in Toh-Kpalime, Ghana. Her father, Christian, is a farmer and her mother, Precious sells items in the market. Faced with financial hardship, a few years ago, her parents were forced to make a decision that no parent should ever have to make. Since they were not able to take care of and provide for her, they sent Hilda to live with a relative in Hohoe, a larger town located three hours north of Toh-Kpalime, her hometown. It was in Hohoe that Hilda began her primary education.
After several years of living in the new household with her relative, her parents soon learned that Hilda was suffering abuse. Many Ghanaian children in similar situations who are sent from villages to larger towns for better educational opportunities are vulnerable to physical, sexual, and verbal abuse. In addition to such abuse, oftentimes these children are forced to work as house help to earn their stay. In these situations, they have little to no contact with their families and therefore must endure horrible conditions and abuse with little to no support.
Fortunately, Hilda was returned to her hometown, Toh-Kpalime after making contact with her parents and began attending Takumi Community School in February of this year. Hilda’s academic performance has greatly improved since her transition to her new school in just a short time. Access to such a large collection of good quality reading materials has enabled her to practice and improve her language comprehension. It is clear that the dramatic improvement in her emotional and mental health has put her in a better position for academic success. Hilda graduated from Grade 6 and has now started Junior Highschool, Form 1. After all she’s been through, she has found a reason to smile again.