Friday, March 7, 2014

LOEP Introduces... Blessing Gbah

The first time I met Blessing Gbah, she seemed a shy and cautious little girl. We were in the schoolyard of her elementary school and there were a lot of children running and playing and generally excited because of the visitors at their school (the LOEP training team). Right away I noticed the beautiful child with velvety skin and an intense gaze. I could tell this little girl was curious, but not willing to approach me to find out what she wanted to know. Her friends had no hesitation, however and they were having a grand time daring each other to touch my clothes, my hands, and my hair, giggling the whole time. After some time playing games of “Duck, Duck, Goose” and “Hot Cassava” in the very hot school yard, Blessing became convinced I was approachable and was just as eager to play with my camera and laugh with me as were her friends.

Blessing and her friends the day that I met them 

Blessing is now ten years old and in the fourth grade at Maretha Preparatory International School in Paynesville. Her favorite subjects are vocabulary and reading, and she has dreams of one day being a journalist when she grows up. When she is not in school, she enjoys playing with her friends and especially jumping rope.

Blessing (center) with some of her friends 

Blessing lives in Paynesville with her mother, father, younger sister, and baby brother.  Blessing’s father is a gifted teacher, one of LOEP’s Trainer of Teachers (ToTs). Her mother is a market vendor. Both parents work extremely hard so that both of their daughters can attend school (baby brother is too young for school now). Their commitment to educating both of their daughters (and son, when he is old enough) is exceptional and to be commended. Blessing and her sister are keenly aware of the sacrifices their family makes for their education and know it is a privilege to go to school.  They work hard to make the most of their opportunity for education.  
A recent picture of Blessing with her family 

Whether she continues on the path to journalism or follows her dreams elsewhere, I know that Blessing will be a great asset to her family, her community, and her country. Keep up the good work Blessing!  There are plenty of folks here in the U.S. who are wishing you great success!

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