The report published by the Times of a group of female porters, popularly referred to as ‘kayayei’, aspiring to be lawyers, must be a source of hope and inspiration to the under-privileged in the society.
The report indicated that about thirty young porters, mostly from the northern parts of the country, who have expressed interest in becoming barristers at law, were invited by the Chief Justice to participate in her initiative, the Chief Justice’s Mentoring Programme.
They consequently joined 89 students selected from some Senior High Schools for the programme, meant to inspire and prepare the country’s female youths to aspire for greater heights in life.
The Chief Justice’s invitation of the girls as a way of mentoring and encouraging them, is quite laudable.
The ‘kayayei’, most of them junior and senior high school leavers, have been compelled by the harsh economic conditions up north, to trek down south to try and raise money to support themselves and their families back home.
They have to endure many difficulties, as the situation in Accra is also not rosy, and end up being exploited, all over.
The Times finds it gratifying that despite the hardships encountered by these girls, often considered magina-lised, have not given up hope. Indeed, they have remained focused and steadfast, holding on to their dreams of reaching the top one day.
Fortunately, with the assistance of people like the Chief Justice, they are on course to becoming somebodies in society.
This must send a strong message to all the disadvantaged in society, that their current situations should not hold them back from attaining their ambitions. Rather, they should see their problems as challenges and strive to surmount them.
The Times appreciates, that the going may not be so easy and, therefore, asks the government to put in some social interventions to assist these ‘Kayayei’ to alleviate them from their plight, and enable them to achieve their goals.
We suggest, for instance, that the government grants them scholarships or other forms of financial assistance, to set them on course to attaining their ambitions.
We also challenge the numerous women’s advocacy groups to view this as a human rights issue, and expend some of their funds to sustain the girls.
Poverty should not be a barrier to the fulfillment of one’s dreams, and those who show resilience should be offered the necessary assistance to enable them to succeed.