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Janet Assibi Sawalbil | Ghana | Stitching Dreams

The Sewing Teacher | Philanthropist | Menstrual Hygiene Advocate

In the bustling town of Akim Oda, nestled in Ghana's Eastern Region, a beacon of hope emerges in the form of Janet Assibi Sawalbil, affectionately known as Ama Val, The Sewing Teacher. At 25, her journey from the quaint village of Sunyani in the Bono Region to becoming a transformative figure has been both arduous and fulfilling. Janet's upbringing in a small village instilled in her the values of ambition and perseverance. As the third among four siblings, she learned the importance of giving back to the community early on. This ethos guided her to pursue a Diploma in Basic Education at Berekum College of Education, eventually leading her to Akim Aboabo, Eastern Region, where she dedicated her life to teaching underprivileged children.

The turning point in Janet's journey came during her National Service when she encountered children attending school in tattered uniforms. Moved by their plight, she borrowed a sewing machine and began repairing their uniforms, restoring not only their dignity but also their enthusiasm for learning. This act earned her the moniker "The Sewing Teacher" and gave rise to the "One Student, One Uniform" project.

To expand her mission, Janet established the Val Charity Foundation in 2019, aiming to combat educational poverty in Ghana. Despite limited resources, her unwavering commitment, supported by her modest salary and social media outreach, has made a significant impact. The foundation has provided essential supplies like uniforms, shoes, sanitary pads, and stationery to thousands of students in need, aligning with Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Quality Education).

Janet's efforts have garnered widespread recognition,

with prestigious awards and nominations acknowledging the foundation's impact:

Ghana Young Achievers Awards named the foundation "Best Charity Foundation of the Year 2021."

Africa Music and Business Awards honored them with three awards, including "Best Charity Project of the Year" and "Humanitarian of the Year."

Humanitarian Awards Global presented Janet with a

"Certificate of Achievement" for her humanitarian work.

Several institutions bestowed

"Citations of Honor" upon the foundation for its contributions

(Nsoatree SDA Basic School, St. Immaculate R/C KG & Primary, Addai Boreso Basic School etc).

Janet received nominations for

"Shero of the Year" and "Volunteer of the Year" by Ghana Outstanding Women’s Awards 2022 and

Women’s Choice Awards Africa 2022, respectively.

UMB Ghana Tertiary Awards recognized the foundation with a

Certificate of Recognition in 2023.

The foundation was included among the

"100 Most Impactful" by the Humanitarian Awards Globally in 2023.

Reflecting on these accolades, Janet expresses gratitude for the opportunities to serve and make a difference. The title "The Sewing Teacher" symbolizes more than sewing uniforms; it represents mending hopes, stitching dreams, and weaving a brighter future for Ghana's children. Together, Janet believes, they can create a tapestry of change, empowering the next generation to transcend their circumstances and realize their potential.

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