Building a Community of Learners during a Pandemic

December 14th, 2020 | Blogs

Recognizing the importance of education, volunteers in Ghana are stepping in to meet the challenges of this difficult year to help girls keep learning

The Kanania community in Ghana does not have a formal school, so children must travel to another town for school. But because of COVID-19, many students have dropped out. World Education is supporting two learning centers that serve 59 out-of-school girls in Kanania.

Faustina Wapadi works hard to keep the girls at one of these centers from dropping out. She is one of 411 women who World Education trained as volunteer education facilitators. They are trained in basic teaching skills and serve as role models who mobilize communities to keep girls learning. 

Faustina uses everything she has learned to make her class engaging while meeting the needs of every learner. She can be seen teaching her students under trees and her perseverance has led other organizations to support her efforts with dual desks, benches, tablets, and other teaching and learning materials. 

This year has been particularly difficult: as poverty has increased because of COVID-19, more and more girls are dropping out of school. To protect them while learning, World Education supplies Faustina’s class with masks, a bucket and soap for handwashing, and frequent coaching on safety protocols.

Faustina is motivated by the changes she sees in the girls as she gives them her time and shares her resources with them. The girls say that they feel happy and safe with Faustina, even outside the learning center. They often head to her house for assistance because she always makes them feel welcome.

The Strategic Approaches to Girls’ Education (STAGE) project combines formal school and informal learning to lower the barriers that highly marginalized girls face at the individual, community, school, and system levels. STAGE targets areas of Ghana with high levels of extreme poverty to reach girls who are vulnerable due to early marriage, pregnancies, disabilities, and more. STAGE is implemented by World Education, Inc., under the UK Foreign Commonwealth Development Office funding for “Leave No Girl Behind.”

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