Meet Our Clients Joanna Benyin
“When I moved to this community I realised that many of the children around here were staying at home with their parents and were not going to school. I saw that there was a need to provide them with a school to go to. The rate of illiteracy at the time was very high in this community and parents didn’t see that there was a need to send their children to school. The parents had not been to school either so they didn’t know.
When I first set up this school – God First International School - I invested a lot of my personal savings into it. At first I bought some land and put a wooden structure on it that was our first classroom. We had 8 children in our first class; this was about five years ago, now we have between 200 – 250 attend.
Soon we had a need to convert the wooden structure into this bigger school. So when we started to expand I came to Opportunity International for help and they gave me 2,000 Cedes (£360) to help build two classrooms and a well so that we had clean water in the school.
Once the classrooms are done I want to take out another loan to build some new washrooms and toilets. It is very important that we improve the sanitation in the school because if we don’t keep the environment clean and the children clean they will get sick and this will affect their education.
This community faces many challenges – most of the parents in this community are farmers and some are also unemployed. They often don’t see the need to bring their children to school or can’t afford it. We allow some children to come here who are not paying school fees – about five children – some of them are orphans and there are some who come from bigger families of more than four children so we give these families a discount to ensure that all of their children can go to school. I want to be able to help children with few opportunities to be able to succeed.”