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Meet the Students: Wasila Yussif, Nolbed

Meet The Students

“I am Wasila Yussif, and I am from Aboabo Zongo, a slum community in Kumasi, Ghana. I live with my single mother, Talata as we all call her, and two siblings. Talata is a petty trader that sells sugarcane by the railway in Aboabo. She has no formal education and cannot read or write. But fortunately for me, she understands the value of education and is determined to support me in every way she can.

My family’s financial situation got worse when my father consistently shirked his responsibilities. The situation became unbearable, and divorce ensued. This affected me mentally, physically, emotionally, and academically. My siblings and I started skipping school frequently. I dropped from 1st to 10th position in Junior High School. This shocked most of my teachers, and after learning about my family situation, they decided to help me with day-to-day spending allowance as an incentive only if I could work hard to bring my grades back up.

Talata started a second trade by selling watermelons for additional income to support our education – she sells the watermelon in the morning and sugarcane at night. The income from both trades could barely support us, so I was inclined to help her sell sugarcane. It became a norm for me to go sell every day. When I worked, I came home late every night. Roaming about late at night was a dangerous thing to do in my neighborhood. As a girl who sells at night, men and boys always pressured me into accepting their sexual proposals, which I refused continuously. This pressure from males is prevalent in my vicinity and causes most to drop out of school, become pregnant, or prostitutes. My newfound and unwanted trade job of selling sugarcane made learning difficult for me, however, due to my determination and passion about going to school to become a role model for girls in my community and also to prove that girls are worth educating, I never rested.

I continued selling sugarcane when I started KNUST High School. I joined several sports teams including soccer, hockey and a variety of athletics events and became passionate about the role of sport in my life.   I led a couple of these teams and contributed a lot to my school’s sports achievements. Even though I loved these activities, they posed a lot of challenges. I had to wake up before dawn for training, go to class, and then go for hawking sugarcane after school. With determination, hard work and perseverance, I was able to emerge 1st in my class and be the best in the sports teams. Through my sports and academic performance, I gained a one year scholarship, which reduced our financial burden and allowed me to stop selling sugarcane, but instead to enter boarding school to concentrate on my academics. Through these challenges, I managed to stay focused. I learnt to be independent, resilient, supportive and determined.

After high school graduation, a friend told me about the opportunities that Nolbed Foundation provides. I applied and got accepted into their 1-year Pre-College Program. Besides providing us access to college, the program sharpens our leadership skills and presents us opportunities to solve critical problems within our communities. After six months of joining the program, I was accepted into the Smith College Class of 2021 with a full scholarship that covers tuition, room and board. My dream of becoming an Electrical Engineer is getting clearer, and I believe the challenges I endured so far has prepared me well for what’s ahead.”


Comments
  1. I’m even speechless. The organization in question should try and bring this girl to come and speak on our local radio stations in zongo so that she can be a role model to some one. I’m really touched by her story

  2. hmmmmmm tears running out of my eyes.I never knew she was that lacking students or would have swapped my sister for her.i sat with her fr exams twice buh knew she was a perfect and wow student.
    May Allah help her achieve her aim
    may Allah help this foundation richly and continue helping students

  3. This is great. May your wish of becoming an electrical engineer come to pass accompanied with blessings.

    May your future be clouded with brightness, Āmīn.

    And to NOLBED Foundation; may your work be rewarded in many folds, for taking care of the needy is a valuable cause worth emulation and applause.

    Kind regards.

  4. Wow! Marshall Allah Tabarakallah. Congratulations my dear Sister; I she’d tears when reading ur story. But Alhamdillah u attained admission to continue ur tertiary education. Am proud of u been a Zongo girl and never give. Thank u Nolbed for de opportunity rendering to our Zongo youth. May Allah be with you

  5. Masha Allah. She is really an inspiration to all young and upcoming youth especially the zongo community. May Allah help her and continue to uplift her to become what she intend or aspire to be in future, in Shaa Allah.

  6. Masha Allah
    May ur dreams cam to pass Wasila,
    Keep learning as hard as u can. Keep rising the zongo community.
    God bless u too nolbed foundation

  7. You are a blessing in ur family dear friend.
    I remember when we went for 2014 inter- schools at Baba Yara this girl grabbed most of our points for us. At the end of the term too she emerged as 1st in her class. Thank you Nolbed for supporting her. Mmadwemma is proud of you Wasilla.
    Your dream of becoming an electrical engineer ll surely come to pass

  8. Such is life i personally no this girl but never no that’s how she’s suffering though i no the father too.
    He is always busy working hard in the community i was having a conservation with him he said to me anything that i get i spent it to the education of this children.
    Wasila may Allah see true.

  9. Hmmmmm My hard working sister you have remembered me of my past pains but all the same Alhamdulillah, Allah is great, all thanks to Him. Allah knows how to console every weeping soul and I must confess that He has done it for you, me, Samira and Aisha and I believe He will do it for Rashard as well. We the family are very proud of you. Keep going higher. The sky is your limit .

  10. God bless you Wasila. God bless the people of Nolbed. I am not generally shocked about her story because we were close in the Senior High School. She left something out “she always gave to people despite her situation” She is very lovely. Encourages, motivates and gives out when she can. I love you Wasila. You are going to see and be in higher places. ♡♥
    Mmadwemma’15
    Pra House

  11. She was my junior in high school, very hard-working and respectful. I have lived in the Zongo community and the challenges when faces when trying to rise up are sometimes unbearable. God bless you NOBLED FOUNDATION.

    Knust shs is very proud of Wasila.

  12. Wasila’s example is worth emulating.
    Young girls must understand that humility and descency pays.

    Other undividuals and organizations should also affect the lives of other needy children and youth sameway.

    Congrats Wasila

  13. Wasila uve really made me proud. She is a very calm, respectul n an intelligent childhood friend of mine. So fun and lovely to be with.
    May Allah help you to rip the fruit of your toil in the house of Education. Keeping making us proud.
    To Nolbed foundation, i will say may the glorious Lords bless you and all your efforts in assisting tge young guys and girls in our zongo community. We realky appreciaye your support especially to my good friend Wasila. May Allah keep the foundation moving. Aameen

  14. wow what a true story it’s very motivative, advisable and inspirational. May the lord almighty fly you to your last ambition and destination in Jesus name amen. when ever determination exist failure cannot dismentle that flag of ………..Victory

  15. All the old students of KNUST Senior High school are really proud of you Wasila. You always were happy that we didn’t not even know what you were going through.Your future is bright and God will always be with you and your family and make you glow worldwide. We love you

  16. I grew up from aboabo too and I feel and understand what this girl went through. Though growing up in the late 70 to the 80, Aboabo was not as slum shattered as in the 2000s most of my age mates dropped out of school due to lack of support as well as peer pressure. The pressure is even worse for girls. Kudos girl for making it

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