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Case Studies

Sample Youth Story: Selina

Amy Hill

The day after I finished secondary school, I told my parents I was going to the capital city. It’s far from our village, a 20 hours drive. My mother said, ‘You should not go!’ My father said, ‘You should go!’

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When I reached the city, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t understand Twi or English very well. I was at the bus station, and I saw a girl who was a porter. I greeted her, I said, ‘I don’t know where to sleep, I need help.’ She told me to come with her. We stayed in a room together with 10 other girls.

One day I was going to my work as a porter, and I met a girl I knew from the village. She told me she lived alone and that I could stay with her. That evening, she and some of her friends were dressing up. They said, ‘If you want to survive, you should have sex.’ They were doing it for money. They told me they would make up my eyes, give me new clothes and shoes.

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At first I thought maybe I should do it for a while, so I could make some money to go back home. But I knew my parents would kill me, if they found out. When I said no, the girls got angry. They told me if I wasn’t going to do it, I had to leave.

I still work at the market, but instead of carrying goods, I help a woman cook and sell rice and yams. I went back to my village this year to visit my family, at Easter. I told the girls there that the city is not how they imagine it. Instead of moving there, they decided to stay home, even though life is hard in the village too.

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