Not many of her kind are least fortunate to have access to basic education, let’s alone enrolled themselves into Senior High School(SHS), to even come out with flying colors despite their woes.
Similarly, nowhere in the history of Ghana it has been told about Kayayei who has demonstrated outmost discipline, commitment and dint of hard work backed by an admirable academic prowess as an achievement.
But standing tall among her peers, 22-year-old Abudu Salah, Kayayei who resides within a slum in Accra has defied every odd; break through the cycle of poverty, torture and all forms of abuses to get herself enrolled into a Senior High School to study General Arts course.
Ms. Abudi did not only managed to secure an admission into SHS for the sake of it but went ahead to prove herself as the second overall best student in the 2018 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations(WASSCE).
Yes, she did the unthinkable, come out with flying colors; scoring a six A’s and Two B’s, a result many refer to as an excellent performance by all standards even by the West African Examination Council(WAEC), the examining body.
Brilliant Salah hails from Mamprugo, a town located in the Moaduri district of the Northern Region of Ghana where poverty is rife. A situation which compelled the youth to migrate out of town many miles away down south in search for greener pastures.
Among the 2018 batch of student who completed Ken Hammer Senior High Technical School (KENHASS) in Goaso, a community located in the Brong Ahafo Region, Abudu Salah by her remarkable performance in the 2018 WASSCE was adjudged the second overall best student of the entire school.
Abudu also happens to be a peer educator on Ending child marriage programme implemented by the Purim African Youth Development Platform(PAYDP) and supported by UNFPA.
Narrating in an interview how her journey to SHS began, talented Salah disclosed she got herself registered into the Senior High School(SHS) to further her education through personal savings which she has acquired working as Kayayei with just a little support from her mother, a petty trader in the north.
“I lost my dad while in SHS at the time government has not introduced the free Senior High School education when my mom was the only one taking care of my junior sister and I.”
“Payment of school fees was a problem at that time so I had to travel from the north all the way down to Accra(city) to work and get a little money, send it back to my mom for her to top it up then I’ll take it to school. I was doing that till I completed SHS.”
Kayayei, also known as head porters are young women and girls who earn money by carrying loads on their heads in urban lorry parks and markets. Usually migrants, who hailed from the three Northern Regions of Ghana, their work is insecure and poorly paid. Kayayei tends to have limited social safety nets, inadequate housing and are disproportionately affected by violence and abuse including rape, theft, forced marriages etc.
Many of these young girls between the ages of 6 to 28 years, you will find them carrying loads on their heads in marketplaces within cities in Ghana today have either migrated from the north down to the south to look for money or a better life in total oblivious of dangers associated with Kayayei job.
Recounting one of her worst ordeal working as Kayayei at Tudu in Accra where she resides, Salah said: “I remembered two years ago when there was a continuous heavy downpour which lasted for several hours. Where to sleep was a problem, we run here water, we run there water, everywhere was flooded”.
“We couldn’t even know where to sit before daybreak, all of a sudden we all broke down into tears. The question I asked myself was, “will I also be alive to see the break of day or die?. Had it not been a good Samaritan who took us in his car home, we will all have perished on that tragic night”.
Abudu aspires to further her education to the nursing training college where her dream of becoming a professional nurse in the future can be fulfilled but lacks financial support.
She has therefore appealed to philanthropists, individuals, corporate organizations, NGOs and government to come to her aid and support her to get enrolled into nursing training college to be trained as nurse who can one day contribute to saving lives.
To support her achieve her future ambition including other Kayayes who need help to go back to school, please feel free to call 0548081478 or send an email via firstname.lastname@example.org