The By Grace Foundation is a female founded 501(c)(3) nonprofit that sponsors the training and education of women in impoverished communities.
In Ghana, By Grace sponsors technical training, specifically sewing, for women without the means to afford it. Becoming a seamstress is a highly regarded profession, and By Grace sponsors training so that women are equipped to become entrepreneurs and stop the cycle of generational poverty in their families.
These are their stories.
How old are you?
Do you have a Builsa name?
Yes, my name is Deborah Awennala. Awennala is my Builsa name, which means, “God is good”.
Did you grow up in Fumbisi?
Yes, but I didn’t complete my childhood there. I grew up in Fumbisi and then Sandema and then back to Tamale.
When did you meet me (Emily)?
You? I don’t know how old I was. Since I was a baby.
You go to school?
Yes! I am in school now.
What are you studying?
I’m studying fashion and design
What do you hope to be?
I want to be one of the biggest fashion designers in Ghana. Not only in Ghana…in the world.
What makes you want to be a fashion designer?
If you look up fashion in Africa for instance, it doesn’t just have to do with fashion. Fashion includes culture and acts. It’s something that promotes the Ghanaian culture. That’s why I like fashion.
You help your mom right now?
Oh yes. That is why I started studying fashion, because I started helping her and learning more from her.
How important is it for girls to have education?
It’s very important because a girl can’t always depend. How do I say it, a girl will grow up and a girl will get married, so the girl will depend on her husband. You have to do something for your family though. Your husband can not take care of you and your kids and your family as a whole. You have challenges, so it would be good for a girl to have her own profession.
Are there a lot of opportunities for jobs for women?
It depends on the kind of job you want and what you have studied. In Ghana, it’s difficult to get a government job.