Hikmat Baba Dua, Partnership Coordinator at the League of Young Female Leaders
In Ghana, the League LitClubs commenced in 2014 with just a community of 25 girls. Fast forward into 2016, the numbers have grown and over one hundred girls and boys have benefited from the LitClubs and its associated programs like Stand Up for Girls on the International Day of the Girl. Many of these girls, having been groomed in safe learning spaces with guided mentors, developed among other things great self-esteem, public speaking skills, and other leadership skills to serve as leaders in their schools. These skills that they gain encourage them to participate in their school’s democratic processes to emerge as leaders. One of such girls is Abubakari Raihana; the senior prefect who is a girl.
Abubakari Raihana was selected into the League of Young Female Leaders LitClub at the E.P Junior High School in Tamale, Ghana in 2015. Little did she know that her life would soon evolve around one of the LitClub strengths; COURAGE (the strength to do something that you know is right, even though it may be difficult; as defined by LitWorld). She has demonstrated great commitment and enthusiasm within her LitClub space and she has proven to us that the four expected outcomes of the LitClub program are practical. Raihana is in her second year of the LitClub curriculum.
The senior prefect role is synonymous to the students’ president. It is usually rare to come across a senior prefect who is a girl, unless it is purely a single sex school of only girls, especially in the northern region of Ghana. Raihana knew perfectly of the challenges that a girl leader could be confronted with, but she was determined to run and to win.
“I believe that just as boys, girls too have the potential and capacity to lead if they are empowered to do so. As a LitClub member, I have learned a lot through our mentors. Before joining the LitClub, I didn’t like drawing, but now I am able to paint the world I wish to see because they made me realize that creative art is important for my growth and development. I am particularly a proud LitClub girl because it made me realize I have a voice and I can use it for the good of my community. I became very confident in myself and always remembered the constant reminder our mentors shared about girls being leaders and so when the time was due to change the leadership of my school, I wanted to be number 1 and courage led me on,” says Raihana.
Leaders have emerged from all five LitClubs we ran. Therefore, with an unflinching commitment to raise a generation of female leaders who dare to dream and to become, Raihana’s story is one of the many stories that motivates our LitClub leaders and mentors, as well as our LitClub girls, to make transformational literacy with positive mentorship the defining theme of the world we envision.