Meet Esinam Amuzu, the 21 year old volunteer from Ghana.
Born and bred in Accra, Esinam grew up in a slum in Ghanas capital city where she was exposed to many problems from poverty, drug related violence, gun violence and others. What stood out for Esinam in particular were the high rates of young girls dropping out of school as well as an extremely high rate of teen pregnancy. Esinam told us that young girls would be lured by men who promised them love, support and finances and, once pregnant, the girls would have no choice but to drop out.
Esinam was first propositioned for sex at age of 12 and, at the time, many girls her age in her community were already pregnant. She wanted a different future for herself and for her friends and she broke out of this cycle when she developed a passion for “helping others, helping children, helping anyone really”. Esinam lives each day knowing that there is someone, somewhere, whose life could be changed through the work that she does.
Esinam is a serial volunteer. Any project, any campaign, any organisation that needs volunteers in her area can rely on her to lend a helping hand. She has worked with women, young people, in education, in empowerment and more. When she was in high school she joined a project called Curious Minds. Curious Minds is a radio show and organisation that works to ensure that all young people are well informed and can meaningfully participate in decision-making that affects their lives. They do this through advocacy, sharing information and knowledge, building partnerships and training young activists on local, national and international levels.
Esinam has just launched a project called the My Teen Life Project where she aims educate adolescents, young mothers and girls on sexual and reproductive health issues. “One girl might hear me and decide to go back to school, a young mother might hear me and decide to do something with her life. I want all young mothers to know that becoming a mother is not the end of your life”. Esinam speaks of the gender inequality in Ghana “Men make all the decisions and have all the power, there are no women’s rights, a man can beat his wife simply because he is the man. I have seen it all”.
Her advice to anyone who wants to make a difference is to never, never give up. “There were so many times in my life when men offered me what I wanted. The love that I wasn’t getting at home, the money that I didn’t have, I could have given up and given in”. She lives her life with conviction and hopes that other young people do the same.
Keep an eye out for more on Esinam’s My Teen Life Project which we plan to feature once it has found it's feet.
If you would like to learn more about how you can make your difference for young women and girls or if you are interested in starting a project relating to woman’s rights and gender equality, join the movement or sign up for our Hand Up Programme and have the opportunity to be mentored by Esinam or other mentors like her.
*Images courtesy of Esinam