Ghana is one of many countries that now offers free basic education for children. But in Ghana, “free” does not necessarily mean free. Though there is no tuition for primary education, children’s families still must secure books, uniforms, school bags, school supplies, and shoes for their children to attend school. The cost of these requirements prevents many children from disadvantaged families from using their government’s “free” education.
Kofi Afrifa is a junior high school student with seven siblings. His family could not afford to buy him basic supplies, including the shoes he needed to protect his feet as he walked the seven miles to and from school each day. Though Kofi was a brilliant student, his long commute and lack of supplies wore down on him and, discouraged, he began skipping classes and falling behind in school.
When Winnifred Selby, Founder of EPF Educational Empowerment Initiative and recipient of World of Children’s 2015 Youth Award, visited Kofi’s school, his science teacher shared Kofi’s story with her. Considering how simple and inexpensive it would be to give a lifetime of potential back to this young man, Winnifred decided to help.
EPF Educational Empowerment Initiative gifted Kofi a new bamboo bicycle, school uniform, school bag, books, and supplies. Kofi’s interest in school increased again and his academic performance got better and better. In May of this year, he successfully graduated from Junior High School.
Kofi will continue his studies at a Senior High School, beginning this month. EPF Educational Empowerment Initiative will continue to sponsor the costs of his school supplies, as needed. But the turn in his fate has galvanized Kofi and he is anxious to contribute to the costs of his own education. He has started his own “coconut clinic” where he sells coconuts and coconut milk and saves the proceeds to contribute to his educational expenses.
Winnifred Selby is the recipient of the 2015 World of Children Youth Award. To learn more about Winnifred and EPF Educational Empowerment Initiative visit worldofchildren.org/winnifred