Fofone Agbolan

Coordinator Project Nima, Ghana

My name is Agbolan Benjamin Fofone . I’m originally from Togo. I moved to Ghana when I was 7 years old so I would be able to go to school. I ended up in the slum area of Nima. I had no parents but my big sister was there for me and took care of me. I ended up at a primary school in Nima This school got many visitors from other countries who came supposedly to help us and have fun with us. It was nice to meet them but they came, left and we never saw them again. I never got to know where they were from, and worse I didn't see much positive change at the school after they left. But it was many people who came to visit.

But one day it was one particular woman called Christina Wenngren who came, and she came back. Through her something called Project Nima was founded.

I heard of Project Nima but had no knowledge about it. But I saw something interesting, and that was that my friends who were involved started to show good results from what they did in that group.. who was calling itself Project Nima. They were all changing into something very good. So I had interest in becoming a part of that union. So one day I went to the white lady who actually came often to the school to check up on us. and I had learned her name was Christina Wenngren.

I saw my chance to be part, so I went to her and told her I was interested in joining Project Nima and I told her why I wanted to join. I told her about my parents, how I fled Togo and was now living in the slum Nima and how I wanted to help other children. I told her I knew Project Nima already had enough ambassadors but I asked if she could just give me one week to show her I'm serious and what I can do. I said that if she didn't like the result I would accept and promised I wouldn't bother her again.

She gave me the week I had wished for and I worked harder than ever before to show her how much I wanted to be part in this new union. After the week she welcomely accepted me in Project Nima and I was so proud of myself. As an adult I have gotten to know that Christina had decided I could join already after I had made my speach that first time I approached her. But that she wanted me to feel that if I work hard for something, believing in my actions, I can do anything so she didn't tell me, she just said I got a week to prove myself and then we'll see. I'm so happy she did that because that week my self esteem grew when I saw that my actions took me further towards my goal, and I felt so strong when I heard that I could join at the end of the week. It is a feeling I have used many times after that! I was fighting for a dream and I succeeded, only 9 years old. Through Project Nima I also got a sponsor who helped me pay my school fees. But she was not just a sponsor, she became a my dear friend, family.

In Project Nima, we as an organisation stand as one team with the intention of promoting the education and empowerment of the youth and preventing negative social vices in Nima, which affects the sustainable development. Project Nima is about creating change from within, believing in people and believing in oneself. We fight social vices like child labour, trafficking, scams, drugs abuse, pickpocketing, the use of children in crime/organised crime etc. Project Nima is important to everyone because it shapes the behavior of the deviants – or what we call ”street boys /girls”. This can happen for example when parents who aint financially sounded bring their wards to the urban cities to work and to feed on their own. In congested areas like Nima, people find it difficult to live well and so therefore try all means to live comfortably by involving into bad acts like corruption, trafficking of children. It's my core aim for this organisation to curb away all this bad acts,and therefore live in harmony.

Shortly after I graduated I was offered a position as staff in Project Nima and I was so proud. I wish my sister was still alive to see it. She always supported me in my work in Project Nima. And she was always so proud of my dreams. I have been part of Project Nima for more than ten years, and now I will be paid to work in the organisation that I love. I'm so happy. I will use my position as Coordinator in Project Nima to help children, especially those in the slum areas facing challenges and problems concerning their education. In some years to come, I want to see Project Nima to be ranked as the one of the biggest organisations in the world.

And my personal aim for this organisation is that we work hand in hand to achieve a common goal through togetherness and teamwork.

Foto: Paulina Westerlind


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