March 7, 2022
Silvia Edinam Alemawor is a mother of four and the CEO of the Liahona Foundation in West Africa. She’s also a BYU-Pathway Worldwide student and is using the skills she’s gaining to help run her organization, a program to give vocational and health training to women.
Turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones
Silvia was a reserved and quiet young girl who grew up in a broken home, and she struggled to find peace as she grew older because of it. Not wanting others to experience what she had, Silvia turned her focus outward and upward and is determined to help others in similar situations.
“I once made a promise to God that I would develop an organization that will benefit children and every female I come across.”
She had a dream that this program would provide for the physical and emotional needs of those struggling around her, she knew education would help her to be successful in improving their lives as well as her own.
A vision for education
However, several years of life events and starting a family put that education on hold for Silvia. It wasn’t until after she took some online non-credit courses to master using the internet that she decided to enroll in BYU-Pathway, hoping to help her family financially and pursue her dream. Silvia is currently working toward a marriage, family, and human relations certificate, which builds into a bachelor’s degree in marriage and family studies, to help her run the Liahona Foundation and improve her future career opportunities.
She said, “It has really been my dream to become a human resource manager, a marriage counselor, or a child and family advocate, because I have passion for them.”
Empowered with knowledge to empower others
Silvia began to realize her dream when she created the Liahona Foundation in 2016. She gathered women of all ages from remote areas of Ghana, coaching them and helping them feel loved. The skills she is learning in her degree are giving her the knowledge she needs to grow her organization.
She said, “I have gained skills in creating business proposals, reading financial graphs, time management, how to set and measure goals, leadership, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint presentations, Excel, and many others.”
With this knowledge, Silvia is working toward establishing affordable homes for poor families, schools, and a maternity home. “I love the women and kids that I train! I’m praying and hoping to finish my degree and get a better job with a higher salary to be able to support my vision to the fullest.”
New skills both outside and inside the home
Not only have the skills from her BYU-Pathway courses helped Silvia learn marketable skills, but she’s been taught spiritual principles that she says have improved her discipleship.
“Studying marriage and family studies is helping me improve my relationship with my eternal companion and with my kids; it’s making me a better mother and a wife,” she said.
Conquering fear with confidence
While pursuing an online degree program has been a blessing, it has also come with its challenges. Silvia lacked confidence in her abilities because she’d been out of school for several years. But with the help of her husband, Jerry; one of her service missionaries, Sister Tammy; and the Lord, she performed better than she or anyone expected.
“I couldn’t imagine myself maintaining an ‘A’ grade for that first semester. My husband and kids were so excited about my performance. It was not easy, but I have learned never to give up but, rather, to work harder to achieve my goal. This remarkable experience has helped increase my confidence.”
Education has no limit
Silvia’s skill and confidence has increased as she realizes that women can still find success in education even after becoming mothers. This is the message that she hopes to instill in everyone around her, especially those who participate in the Liahona Foundation.
“Education has no limit at all,” she said. “You can grow old but, as a mother, you need not give up on your education because of age or fear. BYU-Pathway has brought a great change in my life and the lives of my family. Our family has now really seen the significance of having education.”
How are you using your education to help others?