While we want every child to attain the highest possible level of formal education, not all children are meant to be academicians.
Some may attain the highest level in academics, while others become great in vocational skills or other ventures. This is why our staff in Ghana expose children to extracurricular activities that often lead to income-generating ventures.
The Pokuase Church of Pentecost Child Development Center asked Golda, a jewelry designer, to train children to make earrings, necklaces, wrist bands and other items with beads.
Golda loves to make jewelry and she has the passion to teach anyone these skills. She really enjoys teaching the children at the development center because they learn quickly and are very enthusiastic.
There is a big demand for jewelry made with beads, because they are worn by both men and women. Some designs can also attract the international market. Golda tells us,
“Bead making is a lucrative business and a good source of income for youth. You do not need a lot of money to start making jewelry.”
Many sponsored children are now making jewelry with beads at home and selling them to help their parents financially.
Vida is one of the children already making money from selling jewelry and she took the bead-making lessons seriously. When this class was first introduced at the child development center, many of the children did not want to take part in it, because they did not know how beneficial it would be.
Vida’s friends tried to discourage her from participating, but she says,
“Every opportunity is an advantage for the future, so I shall take the opportunity.”
Vida was eager to know more. She asked Golda questions, which made Golda give her more attention and in a short time, she was very good at the craft.
Vida chose to invest some of her savings in beads. Within a short time, she was able to sell what she made. Her mother and father also had some money, to which Vida added her profit from the jewelry.
The family was able to start a petty trading business, which allows Vida’s mother to come out of the scorching sun and away from her job in the stone quarry.
And not only did Vida’s bead business help the family start a business, it also helped her buy most of her senior high school supplies.
When Vida qualified to enter secondary school, her father was ill and not working. Their capital was diminishing by the day and it was our Complementary Interventions education fund that allowed her to attend school.
After we covered Vida’s school fees, and bought her text books and other items, her parents still could not afford her toiletries or other personal provisions for the boarding school. It was Vida’s money from selling jewelry that saved the situation.
Vida is in her second year of secondary school, where she reads science with the hope of becoming an ophthalmologist.
Even though she sometimes doubts she will be able to achieve her heart’s desire because of her economic situation at home, she does all she can to contribute to her school expenses.
“I know I am on the way to becoming what I want to be, but sometimes I wonder if it will be possible. None of my older siblings have gone to the university, because there was no money.
I shall use all that I have been taught at the child development center to better myself and others. I pray to become an ophthalmologist, but I shall also design beads for my personal adornment and for making extra income.”