By Grace Ghana

“Fashion includes culture and acts. It’s something that promotes the Ghanaian culture.”

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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. 

 

Deborah

How old are you?

21

 

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. 

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“Small, small catches the monkey’s tail.”

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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

 

Ajouma

How old are you?

25

 

Why did you want to learn to sew?

I wanted to help myself.

 

What is your favorite proverb?

Small, small catches the monkey’s tail.

 

Why do you like that one?

If you’re patient, you will catch the monkey’s tail.

 

What would you like to say to someone who sponsored your sewing?

God bless that person.

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“I want to be respected.”

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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. 

 

Munira

How old are you?

15

Why do you want to learn to sew?

I am learning a skill because I want to be respected in society

 

(Munira was ill on the day of interviewing and unable to answer many questions. She is still a valuable part of the By Grace team though, and we want her voice to be heard whether she has 5 or 500 words to say)

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“Expectations of me are low. I want to surprise those people.”

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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. 

 

Theresa

How old are you?

20

 

Where are you from?

Kisonayili

 

Why do you want to be a seamstress?

I’m learning to gain this skill so that I can prosper.

 

What’s your favorite proverb?

A dry branch will bud to surprise those who gather sticks.

When a tree is cut down and dry, nobody expects it to bud again because it’s not connected to a branch. But this proverb says that such a branch will bud to surprise others. So basically, what it means is that those people who don’t have expectations of me will be surprised by what I can do. Those who have lost hope in me, I will surprise them by what I can do.

 

Why do you like that proverb?

I like this proverb because expectations of me are low. People don’t expect much good from me. I want to surprise those people by exceeding their expectations.

 

What would you like to say to someone who sponsored your training?

I just want to say thank you for helping me to learn a skill. I want to say God bless them. 

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“This can help me in the future.”

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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. 

 

Zilpa

How old are you?

16

 

Why do you want to learn to sew?

I am learning sewing because this can help me in the future

 

What do you mean by that?

Any time I am short of money in the future, I can always sew and get money from that.

 

What is your favorite proverb?

“if they are cooking something and you are waiting while they are cooking, they don’t need for you to ask, ‘what are you cooking?’, because eventually, when they are finished cooking you will know. In short, “No need to ask what they are cooking. When it’s done you’ll know.”

 

Why do you like that one?

There are times when you are doing something and people ask so many questions. You have to wait and find out.

 

What is one thing that you would say to the person who sponsored your sewing?

I am going to say Thank you to them and I am going to pray for them, that if they should be in need of something, somebody else will help them get it.

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"In the future I want to get something to take care of my children."

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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. 

 

Iddrisu

Did you go to school?

Yes.

Can you tell us about your family?

I come from a poor family. My mother is not really in it, but my father is a farmer. My father has two wives. My mother is the first wife and had five children; two girls and three boys. The second wife has two girls and one boy. I have two children of my own.

 

Are you from Tamale?

No, I’m staying in Tamale but I’m from Salaga.

 

Why did you come to Tamale?

My husband. When he married me, I came and joined him in this town. I came here because of marriage.

 

Do you like Tamale or Salaga better?

Salaga is my hometown, so I like Salaga more than here.

 

Why do you like it there?

Because it is my hometown.

 

How did you meet Madam Lamisi?

My house is right over there. So, we know each other from being in the same area.

 

Why do you want to learn how to sew?

In the future I want to get something to take care of my children

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“I want to be able to support myself.”

TheByGraceFoundation_NonprofitEmpoweringWomen_Ghana336.jpg

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. 

 

Hadija

How old are you?

18

 

Where are you from?

Diara

 

Can you tell us about your family?

There are 10 people in my family. The family are all farmers

 

Have you gone to school?

Yes. I completed High School.

 

What was your favorite subject in school?

Social Studies

 

Why did you like that?

It was easier for me to understand than the other subjects

 

What was something interesting that you learned?

I taught reading and loved reading

 

What’s your favorite book?

My social studies textbook

 

Why do you want to learn how to sew?

I am unable to continue school because my father couldn’t support me. When he heard of this opportunity he helped me join.

 

What’s your favorite proverb?

There’s a fruit called Dawa Dawa. If you carry a bunch of Dawa Dawa fruits, you will be stabbing your ears a lot because it will hit your ears all the time. The meaning is that if you get into trouble you should be ready for the consequences.

 

Why is it important that you learn how to sew?

I want to be able to support myself and my family in the future.

 

Is there anything you would like tot tell the person who paid for your sewing?

Thank you. 

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"This is what I love."

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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. 

 

Azara

How old are you?

I don't know

 

Can you tell us about your family?

My father and mother are both farmers. There are just over 10 in my family.

 

Why do you want to be a seamstress?

So that in the future I can look after my parents and myself

 

What are the other options if you weren’t sewing?

I could have tried to sell things. Or tried to be a hair dresser. That is all.

 

Why did you choose sewing?

This is what I love

 

What is something your mother told you?

My mother told me I should focus on what I’m doing and not get distracted by any other thing. I should focus on what I’m learning.

 

If you could say one thing to the person that paid for your training, what would you say?

I would say that I’m very grateful to them.