I believe that you and I can achieve our goals and make a difference in society when we bring our passion and a “never give up” approach to all we do.
Living my Philosophy
I live by this philosophy and I share it in my speaking engagements and my professional and personal life.
I would be delighted to speak at your next event or facilitate workshops for you. If you would like to be creative, you are welcome to come and learn how to weave with us in Australia. I now live in Sydney, Australia.
A little About Me
I am the co-founder of a social enterprise generating income for rural families. It is called G-lish Foundation and is located in northern Ghana.
I completed a Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney in 2014.
I never imagined I could have this life when I was a child. As a child I lived in extreme poverty in a village called Dulugu in Ghana. I didn’t go to school until I was eight years old because my family had no money, and I didn’t wear shoes until junior high school.
My grandma paid my school fees when I was eight and my primary school was a scattering of stones under a huge Baobab tree in Dulugu.
I was blessed with being academically talented and I made it to junior high school and then a respected senior high school. My parents lived in poverty and sold their animals so they could pay my fees throughout school. I even traveled down to the south of Ghana and worked in cocoa plantations in slave-like conditions to raise money between junior and senior high school to pay senior high school fees.
University in Ghana
As far as I could see, university was my only way out of poverty. I made it to university on the good grace of a bank manager who loaned my father around $150 to allow me to pay fees for the first year—more money than my father earned in a year. My father paid him back and I survived on bananas and tea and the kindness of fellow students who invited me to eat with them. Many days I slept on an empty stomach.
At university, I began volunteering with local non-profits to give myself future opportunities.
Meeting an Australian
It was late 2008, just after graduating, when I met an Australian woman working in Ghana. We met and carried out an event to bring two sides of a warring conflict together in Bawku, Ghana.
In 2009, together we moved up north to Bolgatanga where I come from. We were considering how we could combine our skills to create a useful non-profit–it had to be about baskets–when I accidentally discovered how to turn plastic waste into twine to make baskets, a tradition from my area.
Starting G-lish Foundation in Ghana
In early 2010 we set up G-lish Foundation. We developed the technique to make recycled baskets for the first time ever in Ghana and created higher than fair trade incomes for the women weavers in the village where I grew up who joined our project.
Now we work with three villages and continue to undertake ground-breaking projects that generate income, transform the environment and create social change in rural, impoverished communities. You can read about the impact here.
Coming to Australia and MA Peace and Conflict Studies
I came to Australia to live with my Australian partner as a permanent resident in early 2013 to undertake a Masters at the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. I could never have dreamed this even ten years ago when my father told me I couldn’t go to university.
I graduated in June 2014 with my MA in Peace and Conflict Studies with a Distinction average from the University of Sydney, one of my proudest achievements.
I secured my first full time job after my MA with the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in Cambodia as a conflict transformation and peace-building practitioner travelling to Myanmar where I conducted workshops and training for government institutions across six states. Returning to Sydney, since June 2016 I have been employed as a Programs Manager for African Programs for Catholic Mission, Sydney.
You can also join me in a weaving workshop in Australia and learn how to weave Bolga baskets using recycled materials from Ghana and Australia.
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