Article #21 in the YCC Kids Club Ghana Student Life Stories Project
How I Was Preparing for My Journey Before a Terrible Loss Occurred
By Tamakloe Fafali, Age 15
In September of 2005, I left my parents and my hometown village of Adutor to move to Sogakope, the capital of the South Tongu District, in order to further my education.
I had enrolled in one of the best private schools in the area: Mawuli International School. I had never attended a private school before, because in my home community there are only public schools.
Ewe was the only language I spoke at home in Adutor, and so I was not conversant in the English language when I entered Mawuli. I found it very difficult to communicate with my new friends and teachers! By the second term, however, I began to cope with the teaching and even became fluent in English.
My teachers were surprised by my positive attitude, and believe it or not, they assigned me the top honor of being the Class Prefect! This meant that I was in charge of all of my peers. My teachers also helped me join an organisation called Youth Creating Change. YCC is a nonprofit organization that helps youth to advance in education.
Soon, YCC started an exchange program with Kingston Youth Service of the United Kingdom, and I was again selected to participate! The first half of the Cross-Culture program took place in Sogakope, Ghana in August of 2009, and at this time a student and teacher group from the United Kingdom visited Ghana for three wonderful weeks! Since that first half of the Ghana-U.K. Exchange, we have been doing our best to raise money to visit our Kingston partners in the U.K. this coming August.
But then disaster struck. First, I lost my sister, who was only twenty-five years old. Three months later, my father passed away. Oh! What a shock! I have been very, very troubled since then.
Meanwhile, I am in my final year of Junior High School and my only other living sister who is thirty-one is studying in the University. Who is then going to pay our school fees when my mother is all that we have?
All these sadnesses have made my academic performance reduced. My teachers advise me to concentrate on my studies, be prayerful, and try to forget about the past.
My teachers are right: I do not want to fail my final exams. That would prevent me from going on to the Senior High School. Failing would also keep me from my target of visiting London for the return half of the Ghana-U.K. Exchange program. In many ways, this Cross-Culture exchange program is the main thing keeping me going right now.
I must not let my tragedies keep me from embracing these amazing opportunities and reaching for my goals. As our elders tell us: “Chances will not come to you twice in life.”
Lillie’s Note: Fafali deserves some great comments from readers around the world! Please do leave her some, stating your geographical location!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!