“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
– Robert Collier
If we were to describe our winners of the Volunteers of the Month (April) in one word, it would be ‘consistency’. In the space of four months, they have accelerated the growth of their Spots and the impact is just beautiful to behold. We decided to spend sometime getting to know them and this is what they had to share about themselves. Do take a read!
1. What is your full name?
AW:I am Abdul Wadud Suleiman
M: and I am Mohammed Fuseini
2. Tell us a little about your background. How did you grow up and what was your experience with education?
AW: I grew up in a very big family. I’m the eighth of ten children. I started school at a very tender age because my parents were busy people. I started school at Mercy Preparatory School now Trust Academy , stopped and stayed at home for a year due to an accident I had and moved to Mercy Islamic School where I was taken back to class 1 instead of class 3. I left Mercy at class 4 and moved to Baba Yara D/A Basic school where I completed school in 2014. I continued to Unity International College where I studied General Arts and completed in 2017. I furthered to Lakeside University College where I studied Human Resource Management and graduated in 2021. Throughout my educational journey, my English Language teacher was the only person who had time for me, lent me books to read and guided me through my JHS period. This boosted my confidence in terms of public speaking, reading and writing. She’s the reason I started volunteering so I can be the brother, facilitator and friend I never had to the children I assist in the course of volunteering.
M: I’m originally from Bongo in the Upper East region of Ghana. I’m married with two children; a boy and a girl and I have three siblings. I attended Anglican primary and JHS then to Gowrie Secondary Technical School. For the tertiary level, I attended St John Bosco’s college of education and then to Valley View University. I am a Teacher by profession. When I was posted to Dulugu JHS, I realised reading was a problem for most of the pupils of the school so I started buying story books on my own to start a reading club but I couldn’t get more books due to financial difficulties. Then, God being so good, Gertrude (EcoSTEM Coordinator) came to the school with the idea of EduSpots. I just had to get on board.
3. What do you do?
AW: I’m currently a Lead For Ghana Fellow, a volunteer coordinator, a volunteer and an entrepreneur ( Everyday Garadz).
M: As mentioned earlier, I am a teacher by profession.
4. How did you hear about EduSpots and what inspired you to join/collaborate with EduSpots?
AW: A predecessor of the Lead for Ghana programme told me about EduSpots and connected me to Lawrence, the then EduLit Clubs Coordinator. Lawrence then gave me more insight and I also read about EduSpots. I saw the works of EduSpots and the impact they make and I wanted them to help me make the same impact into my students here and any student I meet.
5. Was it your dream to be in education? Or something else led to it?
AW: I have always loved to teach but it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue until I met Mother Of All Nations Foundation. They organize ReadCamps every August when students are on vacation for three weeks and I have volunteered with them for 5 years now. I loved the satisfaction I get after I teach these kids and they are able to read, understand and write.
M: My dream was to become a Medical doctor but financial constraints changed my ambitions. Financing my education was a problem at the senior high school level. I virtually had to rely on friends for a lot of help. So after completing SHS I applied to UDS and was given admission for nursing. I also applied to the teacher training college and also had admission. So I had to select between the two. I picked the college because with that after six months some monies will come as allowance which could be used to finance my continued stay in the school. This led me into the field of teaching.
6. What do you do when you are free?
AW: I love to go out with friends, watch movies, read , cook and listen to music.
M: Do I actually have a free time? (laughs). After a normal school day, I organise extra classes for some private school students through which I earn extra money to support my salary from the teaching profession. My Saturday is sometimes spent at the Spot or watching football.
7. Describe yourself in three words
AW: I’m a team player, hardworking and a foodie.
M: I am respectful, obedient and quite emotional.
8.What’s your philosophy of life?
AW: I believe in taking a step at a time. We shouldn’t rush things and what is meant to be will surely come to pass.
M: For my philosophy of life, I believe my success is the success of people around me.
9. What drives/ motivates you?
M: Since my students are my focus, I am motivated when pupils I teach are successful at the end.
AW: My mother motivates me a lot. Her selflessness even when she’s having a bad moment amazes me and encourages me to do better and treat people better.
10.Mention one fun fact about you
M:Fun fact about me. When I’m with my pupils, I behave like them so I’m seen as a pupil too. It makes it easy for them to open up to me.
AW: I ,on the other hand, love to travel and do things with people I love.
11. What are your future aspirations?
AW: To establish a bakery and a juice shop of my own while volunteering to make the world a better place.
M: On my future aspirations, I want to do two things. First, to train my children to become greater than I am and the second is to build a house in the Dulugu community to get closer to the Spot.
12. Could you give a general overview of your Spot and the activities you do?
AW: My Spot is a school based spot .with 70 beneficiaries currently. We have 10 Spot volunteers and looking forward to getting more. We meet every Wednesday and Friday. Wednesday’s for one-on-one teaching and Fridays for school based competitions. We use the designated library periods to visit the library and read whilst other volunteers attend to beneficiaries who are having issues with identification, pronunciation, reading and writing.
M: Dulugu Spot has been in the Dulugu JHS and the Dulugu community for ,I think, about five years now. We have four volunteers who are all teachers. We have an EcoSTEM club and EduLit club and we are currently starting a Girls’ club which doubles as our girls volleyball club. The Spot is in the school so it is opened every school day and sometimes on weekends.
13. What do you love about your Spot?
M: What I love about the Spot is that it is really serving the purpose with which I started my reading club at the beginning of my profession. For three years now English language has always been the best subject in the BECE when results are out.
AW: One thing I love about my Spot is the volunteers’ willingness to help the kids in all aspects. This strengthens the bond between students and volunteers.
Phew! all too soon we have come to the end of such an engaging session. Thank you Abdul Wadud and Mohammed for taking the tine to share a snippet of your lives with us through these 13 questions. Continue to create the impact you have started in your Spots and we will surely see you in another session on the EduSpots network.
Congratulations once again for being Volunteers of the month for April 2023. You really deserve your flowers for all the good work you do!
Images of Mohammed Fuseini (left) and Abdul Wadud Suleiman sharing ideas during the just ended Ignite Conferences in Tamale and Ho respectively.