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From sponsored child to teacher

Kaaku Laariba is excited about her future career in education

By William Anim-Dankwa
CCFC, communications manager, Ghana

“Has your son received the money?” asks Kaaku Lariba, a shop assistant at the MTN shop on Yendi’s main street, 100 kilometres from Tamale, Ghana. Lariba is happy to complete a mobile-money transfer for a client — at a shop owned by one of Africa’s leading telecommunications companies based in South Africa — but it is Friday and she’s anxious to spend the weekend with friends and family.

Spending time in her community with loved ones has new meaning. Thanks to Christian Children Fund of Canada (CCFC) supporters, the former sponsored child’s hometown has been transformed — it now has toilet facilities, a good school and clean water.

Lariba has a long history with CCFC. “I was eight when I joined the sponsorship program,” she says, recalling the nourishing food, gifts, medical check-ups and access to education she received as a sponsored child. “When I was 18, I was graduated from the program, because I had come to the graduating age. I was in senior high school. When the news was broken to me I felt very sad to be separated from my sponsor, but I was happy I had been supported in my education,” says the now 20-year-old.

And, although she completed her studies, Lariba has plans to further her education. “I need to re-sit the exams privately to improve my math and science grades to be admitted into teacher’s college. I will register now and write the exams in September,” she explains.

In the meantime, Lariba is expanding her communications skills at MTN. “I am in charge of transferring money and customer service,” she notes, adding that she is now more confident relating to people and hopes to build on that at teacher’s college.

It’s getting dark, and it’s time to close. Lariba locks the receipt books in a cabinet, closes boxes of new phones and turns off the lights. She’s grateful for the work but excited about the prospect of beginning a new chapter in her life.

And, Lariba is well on her way to building the soft skills she needs to succeed. “She is hardworking, respectful and polite,” says Diana Aseye, her manager at MTN. “I am really proud of her.”

Lariba has mapped her future, but click here to find out what children currently benefiting from Christian Children's Fund of Canada want to be when they grow up.