support Porridge and Pens’
Girl Power project and
sponsor a girl
through her education

Porridge and Pens Girl Power aims to promote girls’ education. Its main aim is to ensure girls from deprived backgrounds transition from primary through junior high school to senior high school, with the possibility of being awarded a scholarship to a higher education establishment such as university or vocational college.

Every Girl Counts

After the success of the Brightlingsea School, Porridge and Pens thought long and hard about future projects in Ghana. We wanted to continue to work in the Ashanti region of Ghana and where we are needed the most, so we started Porridge and Pens Girl Power.

Girl Power works with 11-15-year-old girls from the stadium area of Kumasi – around an hour from the Brightlingsea School – who attend a local government primary and junior high school.

 

How does Porridge and Pens Girl Power help girls in Ghana?

We work with girls who are in primary or junior high school age (11 – 15) and who struggle to pay their school fees at government schools. The girls we work with are likely to drop out of education if not awarded a place on the Girl Power Programme. Porridge and Pens Girl Power provides termly grants to each girl to cover the costs of the following:

 

School & exam fees

School feeding fees

School uniforms

Medical costs for health problems such as malaria

School resources

Sanitary products

Transportation costs

A termly trip out with other girls on the programme with mentors Shirley and Mabel

Sylvia’s story

Sylvia is six years old. She should be attending primary school every day but she has a very low attendance record which this year has reached an all-time low.

Sylvia is one of our 11 girls who still lives with her parents, however they are very poor and it is a daily struggle for them to afford her education, food and water. Many parents are forced to give their children up as they cannot afford to provide for them, with Sylvia our fear is that this may be close to happening. Sylvia’s father used to be a taxi driver, a few years ago his car stopped working and they do not have the funds to repair it. Their income is now relied upon by her father getting a few jobs here and there. Sylvia’s mother has just had a baby and is not currently able to work. Resultantly Sylvia’s attendance at school has suffered because of this, sadly so has her mood.

Due to sponsorship from two generous supporters, Sylvia will now receive a full educational grant.

Teachers have described Sylvia as a quiet young girl who “does not fill her academic potential because her belly is too often hungry”.  Enrolment on the Girl Power programme means the world to Sylvia, she can eat two substantial meals every day and can drink enough water to stay hydrated under the African sun. She will also be provided with a new uniform of her own, not like the oversized second hand one that she wears every day.

You can see Sylvia every day at break and lunch time caring for her three year old brother who attends the school nursery. She cares for his every need and before payment of her feeding fees, any food she could afford she would have to share with him.

In just a few days of being enrolled on the Girl Power programme, Sylvia begins to show a smile every day.

£20 a month will support a girl through our Girl Power Programme, giving them everything they need to remain in school.

Your donation will provide the student with everything they need to progress and be happy at school.

Successes so far

Porridge and Pens Girl Power has previously awarded a grant to Mabel Boateng who is completing her vocational education in Catering Studies. At the age of eight, Mabel was abandoned and left to live with a wealthy family who needed a house girl to complete the chores. This was an unpaid position in exchange for a place to stay.

Mabel was often beaten if she didn’t complete her chores on time and , as a result, often didn’t attend school. She was kept back year after year at school and felt embarrassed as she was older than her classmates.

Porridge and Pens has given Mabel a termly grant to study and board at Ramsyer Educational School since she doesn’t have anyone to look after her. She dreams of becoming a chef when she graduates in a year’s time. at which point the Girl Power programme will continue to help Mabel with finding a job and a place to live.

This final stage of the programme will continue until she can stand on her own two feet. Mabel is currently one of only 3% of young people in Ghana attending a higher educational establishment.

support Porridge and Pens’
Girl Power project and
sponsor a girl
through her education

Porridge and Pens Girl Power aims to promote girls’ education. Its main aim is to ensure girls from deprived backgrounds transition from primary, to junior high school to senior high school, with the possibility of being awarded a scholarship to a higher education establishment such as university or vocational college.

Every Girl Counts

After the success of the Brightlingsea School, Porridge and Pens thought long and hard about future projects in Ghana. We wanted to continue to work in the Ashanti region of Ghana and where we are needed the most, so we started Porridge and Pens Girl Power.

Girl Power works with 11-15-year-old girls from the stadium area of Kumasi – around an hour from the Brightlingsea School – who attend a local government primary and junior high school.

How does Porridge and Pens Girl Power help girls in Ghana?

We work with girls who are in primary or junior high school age (11 – 15) and who struggle to pay their school fees at government schools. The girls we work with are likely to drop out of education if not awarded a place on the Girl Power Programme. Porridge and Pens Girl Power provides termly grants to each girl to cover the costs of the following:

School & exam fees

School feeding fees

School uniforms

Medical costs for health problems such as malaria

School resources

Sanitary products

Transportation costs

A termly trip out with other girls on the programme with mentors Shirley and Mabel

Sylvia’s story

Sylvia is six years old. She should be attending primary school every day but she has a very low attendance record which this year has reached an all time low.

Sylvia is one of our 11 girls who still lives with her parents, however they are very poor and it is a daily struggle for them to afford her education, food and water. Many parents are forced to give their children up as they cannot afford to provide for them, with Sylvia our fear is that this may be close to happening.

Sylvia’s father used to be a taxi driver, a few years ago his car stopped working and they do not have the funds to repair it. Their income is now relied upon by her father getting a few jobs here and there. Sylvia’s mother has just had a baby and is not currently able to work. Sylvia’s attendance at school has suffered because of this and sadly so has her mood.

Teachers have described Sylvia as a quiet young girl who “does not fill her academic potential because her belly is too often hungry”.

Sylvia has kindly been sponsored by two of our supporters and will now receive a full grant.

Enrolment on the girl power programme means the world to Sylvia, she can eat two substantial meals every day and can drink enough water to stay hydrated under the African sun. She will also be provided with a new uniform of her own, not like the oversized second hand one that she wears every day.

You can see Sylvia every day at break and lunch time caring for her three year old brother who attends the school nursery. She cares for his every need and before payment of her feeding fees, any food she could afford she would have to share with him.

In just a few weeks of being enrolled on the girl power programme, Sylvia begins to show a smile every day.

£20 a month will support a girl through our Girl Power Programme, giving them everything they need to remain in school.

Your donation will provide the student with everything they need to progress and be happy at school.

Successes so far

Porridge and Pens Girl Power has previously awarded a grant to Mabel Boateng who is completing her vocational education in Catering Studies. At the age of eight, Mabel was abandoned and left to live with a wealthy family who needed a house girl to complete the chores. This was an unpaid position in exchange for a place to stay.

Mabel was often beaten if she didn’t complete her chores on time and , as a result, often didn’t attend school. She was kept back year after year at school and felt embarrassed as she was older than her classmates.

Porridge and Pens has given Mabel a termly grant to study and board at Ramsyer Educational School since she doesn’t have anyone to look after her. She dreams of becoming a chef when she graduates in a year’s time. at which point the Girl Power programme will continue to help Mabel with finding a job and a place to live.

This final stage of the programme will continue until she can stand on her own two feet. Mabel is currently one of only 3% of young people in Ghana attending a higher educational establishment.

Background to Girl Power
In Ghana, it’s not free to go to school. With 45% of the population living on less than $1 a day and 78% of the population living of less than $2 a day, families are unable to pay for their children’s school fees; school feeding fees; school resources and exam entries.
Only 37% of children complete their senior school education and girls’ participation is substantially lower than boys.
Only 3% of young people aged 18-21 are in higher education, such as university or vocational schools. 30% of students enrolling onto higher education courses are female. Without completing a higher educational course, students cannot take on jobs within teaching or nursing, other skilled professions.
Restrictions facing girls going to school in Ghana:
 Expectations to fulfil traditional roles – completing the chores often come before going to school
Unable to afford sanitary products
Stereotypical views – girls should stay at home and boys should go to school
Girls should support the family by working rather than attending school

How you can help

Support a student on the Girl Power scheme for £5, £10, or £20 a month

Hold a fundraising event. contact us for more information

Buy a girl a year’s supply of sanitary products for only £20

Girl Power case studies

Diana's Story

Diana is in Junior High School; her teachers tell us that she is kind hearted and lovely to teach. Diana really likes school although her home life isn’t easy.

Her parents are too poor to afford her school fees. They live in a rural village far away from the school, although Diana’s parents love her and wish she could have remained with them, they wanted to do what was best for her and value the role of education in her life. Diana stays with her uncle near the school who gives her money for her daily feeding fee’s and in exchange Diana completes all the chores in his house.

Diana saves her school feeding fees given to her by her uncle and uses it to pay for her school fees.

Diana is incredibly bright and hardworking.

Diana would benefit from being part of the program greatly, she wouldn’t have to worry about saving her school feeding fees to pay for her school fee’s. Diana would also benefit from a new school uniform and the school books she requires to excel at school.

Irene's Story

Irene is six, she is in Primary class 1. She has three siblings and they all live with their Mother.

Their father left the family and Irene’s mother really struggles to provide for the girls and pay for the feeding fee and school fees.

The teachers have recommended her to be part of the Girl Power Program since they are very concerned about the girl’s welfare at home and their mothers.

Irene needs a new school uniform amongst the other things she would receive if part of the program, to secure her place at school.

Marian's Story

Marian is 13 years old, she has just started Junior High School and is in class 1.

Her teachers have recommended her to be part of Girl Power Program because she is academically very bright. She is incredibly self-motivated and wants to better herself for her future.

Her Mum remarried after her father passed away, however her step father refused to allow Marian to come and live with them. Marian was abandoned by her mother who went to live with her new husband. We are not quite sure why Marian’s mother abandoned her. We also know that Marian has a brother and a sister. Her teachers describe Marian as being the mother and the father to both her siblings.

She works hard to look after them and she frequently misses school when she doesn’t have enough money to pay for her school fees. She works after school to pay for her and her brother and sister’s education.

Marian’s life will never be an easy one. If she secures her place on Girl Power, we can make sure Marian stays in schools and has the things she needs to break the cycle of poverty for her future.

Marian has now been sponsored.  This means she will be enrolled on the programme and receive a full educational grant.

Dora's Story

Dora is eight years old and in the Primary 3 class.

Dora has very sporadic attendance since she works as a house girl for a wealthy family who send her to school when she has completed all the chores in their house.

Her parents stay in a rural village and couldn’t afford to send her to school, so she was sent away to live in the city.

When she does come to school, she doesn’t come with her school feeding fee, so her teachers have reported to us that she goes hungry throughout the day. We do not know what her home life situation is like, or how well she is feed. She is very small for her age.

Dora is expected to complete the washing, cooking and tidying before she leaves for school each morning and when she returns from school she gets straight back to the house work.

She completes her homework late in the evening, she would really benefit from receiving all the school books she needs and from the school feeding allowance provided each day, as part of Girl Power.

Francisca's Story

This is Francisca. She is eight years old, yet she has only just started Primary School. Francisca was not able to start school at the same age as her peers because her parents couldn’t afford to pay for her education.

Francisca lives with her mother who is a single parent. Francisca’s mother works hard selling water on her head in a small basket to try and keep up with Francisca’s school fees.

Francisa’s Grandmas is very sick and has nowhere to live so they have taken her in as well. This means the family are living of the very small income of £2 a day.

Francisca’s feeding fee at school alone is £2 each day, so the family cant afford to send Francisca with her school feeding fee after they have paid for her school fee’s each term.

When Francisca gets home from school she helps her mother by selling water all afternoon and late into the evening. When money is tight, Francisca won’t come to school as she is out selling on the streets.

When her teachers held the meeting about the children they wanted to be placed on the Girl Power Program, Francisca’s name was put forward but since she hadn’t been at school all week she was removed. Once she heard about this, she became very upset and begged her teacher to place her back on the program. We believe Francisca’s attendance will be far more regular with her school feeding allowance each day, acting as an incentive for her to come to school rather than selling water on the streets with her mother.

Francisca has now been sponsored and enrolled onto the project with a full grant.

Agnes's Story

This is Agnes, she is in the eldest primary class and 12 years old.

Agnes doesn’t stay live with her parents, she stays with someone else known to her parents. Agne’s teachers are still trying to find out who she is living with as she doesn’t seem happy or cared for.

Agnes has told teachers she sells water for a wealthy lady after school and during her weekends and in exchange she gets her school fees paid for but not her school feeding fees.

Agnes is another one of the girls who goes hungry all day and her grades at school are suffering because she lacks concentration when she hasn’t eaten for a long period of time.

Mariama's Story

This is Mariama. She is in Junior High School and is another one of the girls hoping for a place on the Girl Power programme who doesn’t live with her parents.

Mariama doesn’t have any of the school books she needs to study and comes to school without her school fees, Mariamma is also one of the girls who doesn’t come to school when she has her period each month.

Mariama would really benefit from the programme’s monthly supply of sanitary pads and daily feeding fee allowance.

Jennifer's Story

This is Jennifer, she is in Junior High School and age 14.

Jennifer’s friends contributed to pay for her school fees last term as her mother is so poor. Jennifer’s father abandoned the family, for reasons we don’t know.

Jennifer has some good friends who will share their lunch with her each day. Her school uniform is very tattered at the back and she doesn’t have the school books she needs to complete her homework so she is often getting in trouble with her class teachers.

She was desperate for a place on the Girl Power Program, so she doesn’t have to rely on eating her friend’s leftovers anymore. Jennifer doesn’t come to school when she has her period, she uses tissue as a sanitary pad. She would benefit from the programs monthly supply of sanitary items, so she doesn’t have to remain at home a few times each month when her period comes. She currently uses tissue rather than sanitary pads.

Martha's Story

This is Martha, her teachers describe her as a ‘sad soul’.

She doesn’t live with her parents, we don’t quite know why. Martha has been recommended for a space on the Girl Power Program since her teachers think she is so sad, but she will never tell them what’s wrong.

We suspect its something to do with being very hungry throughout the day as she doesn’t have any money to pay for breakfast or lunch and she walks a long way to school each day.

Her teachers have said although she is a quiet girl and very sad, she works very hard and throws herself into her school work. She would really benefit from getting all the school books she needs so she can continue her studies when she gets home.

We really hope that when Martha gets her space on Girl Power, we will see some signs of her becoming a happier young lady.

Hawawu's Story

Hawawu is nine years old and is in primary class three. She doesn’t attend school regularly and her grades are weak.

Hawawu is Muslim and lives with her parents and her four brothers and sisters, her parents struggle to meet the educational and feeding needs of having such a young family. The father has a small and unreliable income.  As a result, Hawawu’s school fees cannot always be paid. At times she has attended school with no school fees and has sadly had to be turned away by her head teacher.

Despite this Hawawu has a real passion for learning and is always energetic at school whether it be playing with her friends at break time or learning English language in her favourite class.

Before enrolment on the Girl Power programme, Hawawu would too often come to school without money for food and her friends would try to share their food with her when they could. This is a physical struggle since she now walks two miles every day to attend school.

Hawawu has now been sponsored and receives a full educational grant.

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