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Journal of Misery and Hope Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Rashid, Canada Dec 27, 2002
Human Rights , Education   Opinions


Mary is 12 years old from Denu, a small town in the Volta Region of Ghana. She was just nine years of age when she was separated from a her mother. Mary recalls one sunny afternoon when a woman, that her mother told her was her aunty, came to visit. Mary overhead from the conversation between the mother and the aunty that she is to be taken to the city of Accra to school. She was trilled and happy that her dream of going to the city of Accra has finally been realized. Later that day with the absent of the aunty, Mary’s mother informed her of the supposedly good news. Mary's mother has no formal education; she has lived in abject poverty all her life both as a teenager and as adult with her drunkard husband. She has always wished that Mary would be taken to the city to live with this aunty of hers so as to enable her attend the school that she wanted her daughter to have but which she has not been able to give her or provide for her. But any time the issue of Mary going to the city was raised he vehemently protested citing situation where by young girls are taken to the city to become prostitute. Nevertheless, Mary's mother defiantly insisted that Mary should be given the same chance as those girls and she shall turn out to be different. The following morning with the strongest objection of the father, the woman connived with Mary's mother and
Mary was smuggled to Accra. As the lorry got closer to the city, Mary began recollecting her unpleasant years back in the village. She had to look on while others children are taken to school. She had dreamed of putting on the yellow and brown school uniform of the only school situated at the outskirts of her village. Weeks and months went by and yet her parents were unable to pay for the high cost of school fees the school was charging. She quickly abandon the notion of ever stepping her foot in that school. Now she, Mary poor and lanky girl as she is, has the chance to go to school and to mingle with the children of the affluent. The prospect trilled her and she was eager to reach Accra. Here in Accra, she plans to learn feverishly and to take her destiny into her hands (thin from many years of poverty). As the lorry pulled it breaks, Mary quickly said a word of prayer to the almighty for guardianship and then stepped out. She was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people in the city of Accra, the capital of Ghana. She proclaim to herself, Mary has arrived. A week after she has arrived at Accra, she was taken round her community and far beyond as an orientation for what is yet to come. She became convinced that she was been taken round so as not to go missing after the close of school. What she didn't envision was her so called aunty’s sham and what really lay in stock for her. After three days, late into the evening of the following week, the woman summoned Mary to inform her of her maiden assignment. The assignment: to sell ice-water on the streets of Accra. With constant threats to her life, the realization dawned on her that her slim hope of schooling was fast eroding and that she was going to sell ice-water for the rest of her young and struggling life. She dared not go back to her village; even if she could make it, she will face the wrath of her father. I need not elaborate further on Mary's life under the woman she calls her aunty. Now Mary has been liberated from her callous aunty, but at what cost you might ask? Mary's story is not different from thousands of youths who are brought to the city of Accra of going to school but to work under harsh conditions. Some end up on the street and others turn out to join thugs and gangs. People who get the chance to attend school are no different from their peers who
cannot afford the huge financial cost involved in attending school in the developing world only the affluent can afford to go to school. I believe every individual should be given the chance to go to school.



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