Akogo Yawa

Village: Atakpame

Age: 58

Occupation: Church pastor, radio personality

Madame Akogo is a widow, losing her husband to AIDS in 2005.  Along with being a church pastor and a radio personality, she is an advisor for the department of social affaires and a journalist, and she prepares meals for people who are living with HIV/AIDS.  She is a very determined woman that believes in women’s equality. During WWEC 2011 she helped the other participants when they did not understand the topics.  It was important to her that everyone was included and that they understood all the information.

In her own words:

My self-confidence has risen since the conference.  I know I have confidence and I’m going to succeed. Nothing can stop me with my good will and knowing that I can! No problem! Obama said “Yes I can” and I can. Everyone has difficulties but they can always be overcome.

The topics we talked about changed my life. How to manage stress helped me a lot. I am a radio personality and I have talked about a lot of the topics on my radio program and that has improved my program.

The support you gave to the women permitted me to help reorganize my women’s groups/tontines (group of women who all give a set amount each week to one woman and take turns being the one woman who receives all the money). The conference inspired me to construct a center behind my house for women and healthy families.

At the conference I learned about budgeting my money.  There was a woman at my house asking me to buy her pagne [cloth] and I was able to refuse without shame; in the past I would have bought a lot of it.

Since the conference I have talked to two sons who are in Terminal [equivalent to senior year of high school] about their sexual health. I also talk with a girl who spends her Sundays with me.  We talk about contraceptives and how to avoid HIV/AIDS.  I have had chats and formations.  I work with people living with HIV and AIDS and with 80 people a month we talk about nutritional health to preserve humanity.

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