Teacher | Philanthropist | Health Advocate
My name is Joyce Konadu Idun. I am a professional teacher and the founder of the Aid for Girls Foundation-a pro-girl, adolescent, sexual and reproductive health education NGO in Ghana. The idea of my leadership in the pro-girl and reproductive health industry was not a happenstance, but a gradual readaptation of myself to the unpleasant circumstances of life. Just like many, I initially had the dream of becoming a Land Economist but later changed the plan due to the scarcity of resources and the somewhat limited attention towards the dreams of the girl-child in typical Ghanaian homes. It was during my teaching activities and the quest to be relevant in society that the idea of my foundation and the new me birthed.
Here is the story: Some years ago, I started a career as a teacher within the Greater Accra Metropolis. Due to my outgoing personality, I was nominated after a few years as the Girls Coordinator of the school. Initially, I didn’t see this as an opportunity to directly influence the ‘girl student’ because I was just there to work, save money to further my education of becoming a Land Economist until I was confronted with a very emotional story of a ‘girl student’. This brilliant girl got pregnant with a boy within the community. My further investigation revealed that the boy demands sex as a reward for the financial support he grants this girl. The details of how much he gives this girl for school and the parental conspiracy deserves no audience, especially on this platform. It was against this background that the name Aid for Girls emerged.
Since then, Aid for Girls Foundation has traveled across Ghana and Africa meeting great men and women, implementing projects, making donations, and building capacities of girls. I am also in my final year in the University pursuing a degree in Educational Psychology with several opportunities and challenges to utilize and overcome respectively. I can say I am happy and proud of leaving noticeable footprints for the younger generation to emulate. But this became possible when I allowed my circumstances to remake me. The point is, you will only experience or have the life you want when you make lemonades from the lemon’s life present to you. Your challenges and difficult situations are the materials, tools and skills needed to weave that beautiful fabric you desire now and in the future. You have the choice to let your tribulations destroy you or recreate the new you. I pray you choose the latter. The world awaits you so get up and Act!
Where were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
My greatest hurdles were self-doubt, fear, and financial constraints. You see, your background usually informs your worldview. A background of scarcity comes with the constant reminders to be risk averse, leave within scarcity etc. Therefore, one of the greatest battles you fight on your way to success is self. When you conquer self, you conquer self-doubt and fear. And this can be achieved through advice and consultations from those who have already trod the path before you. They will teach the dos and don’ts in the industry of your choice, and this boosts self-esteem. The challenge of financial constraints can be dealt with when you take little steps. Trust me, you will get discouraged when you begin to financially estimate your dreams. Stop that! There are little moves you can do without money or huge financial commitments. I learned this the hard way anyways.
What books are you reading?
I am currently reading: My Bible, The Character of Power in Leadership by Myles Monroe, Every Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge, and The Smart Money Woman by Arese Ugwu.
What advice would you give to upcoming youths or talents locally or internationally?
To my fellow youth, growth and comfort are not bedfellows. You have to constantly deny yourself of one. It is your choice to choose one that best fits. Again, you need to establish a set of core values as it is the premise of a purpose driven life.