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Fafali’s Article: Shock and Opportunity

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!

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steph zizi

Tuesday 16th of November 2010

I agree, good opportunities like this won't come twice. So once you get an opportunity, go for it.

Daniel

Tuesday 26th of October 2010

I feel so bad for you to lose two people at once! That could of set your mind off of your studies! Study hard!

Amy Baggott

Thursday 10th of June 2010

Fafali,

I am so sorry for your awful losses. I am proud to have you as my exchange partner, and your determination to continue working hard and studying is inspirational. During the short but life-changing three weeks I spent with YCC in Ghana you were an amazing person to have as a partner and friend to learn with and teach with and you are a credit to your family. I remember you speaking with great admiration about your parents and sisters, and I know that your father and sister would be very proud of all that you are acheiving and will acheive in years to come. Losing a family member is always a tragedy, and especially at such as young age as your sister was. I understand how troubled you must feel, but I know your strength and faith will help you through this dark time.Like you, I am greatly looking forward to your visit in August and cannot wait to help welcome you into Kingston's community. I hope that you are able to read this, but if not, if anyone else reads this who is in contact with Fafali I would be very grateful if you could pass my message on.

With lots of love, Amy

Imported Blogger Comments

Thursday 27th of May 2010

Stephanie said... Fafali~ Wonderful article! I found a quote that says, "There's no better place to search for hope than the future; a concept that gives everyone in existence a reason to live."

By focusing on going to the Senior High School and the exchange program it's clear you are already searching for that hope in the future-keep on doing that and you can achieve anything you set your mind to! Stay strong! ~Stephanie (From MN, USA, currently in Pamplona, Spain)

March 13, 2010 12:55 AM

Ladyexpat (Nancie) said... Dear Fafali,

I am so sorry for your loses. I think you can honor both your father and sister by continuing to succeed in your studies. Make them proud!

Best of luck with your studies and the exchange program.

Nancie (A Canadian living in Korea)

March 13, 2010 8:44 AM

Trisha said... Fafali,

What a wonderful opportunity to travel to London!

Seeing the world is a gift, and allows you to dream about what you might do in the future.

Enjoy the trip & Senior High! Trisha (Atlanta, USA)

March 16, 2010 1:01 PM

cassie said... Fafali,

Your strength and perseverance is admirable. You sound much older and wiser than your age! Good luck on your journeys!!

March 18, 2010 8:22 PM

Anonymous said... Fafali-Sometimes life is very hard. But the pain of even the hardest times does not last forever. You will find a way to channel the good memories of your father and sister into your life and then to the lives of everyone you meet. You plans for an education and travel are a way to begin that. My best wishes to you for a great future! With love, Pat (New York, USA)

March 19, 2010 1:12 PM

Luddy Sr. said... Fafali,

You have suffered some terrible losses very early in your life. I know it must be tough to stay focused on your goals in the face of these things. I can sense you will power shining through however. The previous comments are correct, you will honor the memory of your sister and father with your success. Keep working hard while taking time to remember your loved ones.

-Kwabla (Connecticut, USA)

March 28, 2010 8:35 AM

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