The year is 1885, no wait the year is 2015 it just looks and feels like 1885. I am sitting in a small fishing village about an hour outside a Accra. All the building are colonial and the people are dressed very traditional. The Queen Mother, Faustina, is sitting in state at the family house. Women arrive to tell her how things are going. They sing songs of the work of women and praise to God. The men arrive separately and tell me their job is to protect their queen. They sing me the warrior song. The harmonies are beautifully blended. I close my eyes and I am in 1885.
The women still smoke their fish in this clay and wood smoker. The men go to sea in shifts, day and night. The children are not encouraged to go to school but instead to go to sea. The ocean is over fished. Chinese fishing boats with huge nets take the fish away. Often the villages goes hungry.
Why have I come here? This is not a Ga village. It is far from my usual projects. But it has a secret that has captured my heart. It is the original village of a girl we rescued several years ago. Her mother died leaving two small girls behind. They were to be sold off to fishermen for use on the boats. They would bale the water or worse yet, be asked to free the nets in the water.
My girl was only 8 years old! She had never been to school. Never heard English spoken or worn real shoes. Many of you have met her. I don’t mention her name to keep her safe. In 4 years she has earned her way to Class 6. She loves to read and adores school. I came to this village so I would know her humble beginnings and appreciate how far she has come.
Queen Mother, Faustina, has a school. She has uniforms. She registered the children. But she cannot convince the parents to change and agree that education is a necessity. Some things never change.
THE YEAR IS 2015 AND MY GIRL IS EDUCATED AND SAFE!