Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Meet Aganalie Anuda, as we celebrate women

 International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women in the past and present. In order to commemorate this day, we are looking into the everyday life of a regular woman, this will include her daily challenges, future ambitions and the role Youth Alive has played in her community. Her name is Aganalie Anuda.
Aganalie Anuda
 Aganalie lives in the Dasendema part of the Biu community in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Her main source of income, like most others in her community comes from farming rice, millet and maize.Even at the age of 54,she still loves to sing and dance and is very active within her community. She helps support her husband and five children with whom she lives with.

Being a farmer comes with its own challenges. Due to the lack of combined harvesting machines, most if not all the farmers in the area harvest the crops by hand. The work usually starts early in the morning at 6 o’clock, with the day ending around 7 o’clock in the evening when it starts to get dark. While some prefer to take a break at midday when the sun is at its most intense, others carry on working in the scorching hot sun. The days are long and laborious for both men and women alike. However being a women comes with extra family responsibilities after work hours such as cooking for the family.

For a lot of people who have never been to school, they have problems with confidently voicing their opinions in community gatherings. Aganalie on the other hand was one of the most vocal people during our sensitisation on women’s rights. Instead, a lack of education has only held her back in terms of entering an alternative professional occupation.

Aganalie Anuda displaying her Right as a woman

Farming, being seasonal work in the Northern parts of Ghana means that, there is no work for half of the year. This puts a financial strain on farmers during the dry season. Aganalie told us, because of this, it is difficult for her to put all of her children in school. Despite the financial challenges, she is determined together with the husband to give all 5 an education. Her main motivation is to work harder so her children can go on to pursuing professional careers, therefore they can live more comfortable lives.

Although her priority is her children, Aganalie has aspirations of her own. Within the next year she hopes to advance her farming work into a bigger business. By purchasing grains in the north and selling them in the south in large quantities, she can make a much larger profit so it would be easier to support her family throughout the whole year.

Asked when she first heard of Youth Alive and international service, Aganalie replied it’s been about 3 to 4 years. She believes Youth Alive and International Service have positively helped the Biu community to develop in many aspects. Sensitisation on different issues delivered over the years, has educated the people. As a result, the community hardly sees disabled babies being killed which was the practice in the past, family disagreements and domestic violence. Instead, there has been an increase in female children attending school and disabled people being empowered by being able to take part and contribute in community gatherings. Furthermore she mentioned that some local students have gone on to become teachers and others work in hospitals as nurses and doctors.

After speaking to Aganalie we discovered the importance of Youth Alive’s work in the community, helping women like Aganalie herself, feel empowered. She is an ordinary woman that is one example of a role model to her family and community. And it is ordinary women who achieve small but great things.
Happy International Womens Day!
Written by Mahera Hussain and Rosie Paine

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