The increasing focus on the Zongo communities by respective governments, civil societies and organisations (for maximum exploration towards development) is an indication that there is much more potential unexploited in such communities. Until that is attained (thus, the fullest development of the Zongo communities), we cannot deny the fact that the inhabitants, especially women and children, have mountains to rise above in order to live a normal life. Further, it is true that in attaining the breakthrough for our brothers and sisters in the Zongo communities, it becomes imperative that a continuous engagement of the children and youth are taken seriously.
Realizing the crucial role women play in the transformation of a society (in resonance to the adage of Dr. Kwegyir Aggrey that—“…You train a woman and you train a whole nation”) coupled with the fact that she is a lady (once a girl) raised in the Zongo community into becoming a senior news anchor and the Assignment Editor of Metropolitan (Metro) Television, Humu Gaage has chosen to contribute her quota towards helping in the empowering of the Zongo girls through a project dubbed “The Zongo Girls’ Rise Project”. According to Humu, once we engage the future mothers of the Zongo communities at their ‘girl stage’ and raise them with the mind set of solving the problem, they will grow to also raise the future inhabitant with same.
The 2019 AU Day (25 May) became a ‘seed sowing day’ for the commencement of these all-important permanent solutions to the Zongo problems. While Africa all over had different styles of commemorating the day, in one of the Zongo communities in Accra, the capital of the Republic of Ghana, this ground breaking project by the young female journalist who grew up in a Zongo community in the Northern part of the country, Humu Gaage, was started.
“The Zongo Girls’ Rise Project” which will be a year-long one, according to her, will host formal, semi-formal and informal activities with/and for girls in the Zongo communities. The activities will cover areas as Reproductive health, Literacy Exploration and Self Discovery/Empowerment. First of the project is “The Zongo Girls’ Exams Clinic” which ‘kick-started’ the entire revolution on Saturday, 25 May, 2019 at the Community Youth Cultural Centre, Kawukudi.
“The Zongo Girls’ Exams Clinic” engaged over 200 final year female students drawn from the Zongo communities—Mamobi, Nima, Kotobabi and Kanda—in a day of Examination Workshop & conversation which is geared towards empowering them to sit the examinations without fear & ‘self-provoked intimidation’ and excel. The workshop which had experienced tutors who have handled final year students for past 10 years in the core subjects—Mathematics, Science, Social Studies & English—take the candidates through routines that will help them know how to answer questions also Mrs Agnes Teye Kudjoe, Head of Public Affairs WAEC, who in a conversation with the students detailed out the “do’s” and “don’t’s” to aid to help them pass their exams peacefully.
Hon, Freda Prempeh (Deputy Minister of Gender, Children & Social Protection) who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event joined forces with the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Dr Affail Monney—Guest Speaker— to commend Humu Gaage (Project Ambassador) and team for the initiative and also took the opportunity to inspire and encourage the girls to write the exams and excel.
In a speech delivered by Ms. Humu Gaage, she stated that the main purpose of this laudable initiative is to adequately prepare the female students in the Zongo communities to enable them excel in the upcoming basic education certificate examinations. She acknowledged Achievers Ghana, an NGO in the Mamobi/Kawukudi community, the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development, the Deputy Minister of Gender, children and social protection, TT Brothers & Alhaji Sinare for their respective support towards a successful event on Saturday. She also took the platform to pray for support from more organisations and individuals for their next project dubbed “The Zongo Girls Self Discovery”.
The workshop commenced at 9:00 am and closed at 1:00 noon. Tutors who were Resource Persons at the workshop were Frank Nutifafa (Social Studies), Oswald Okaitei (Science & English) and Paul Okyere (Mathematics).