Meet our community members - Comfort
Everyone who has volunteered for GHEI in the past or has visited Humjibre knows Madam Comfort. In her drinking spot “Lovers' Inn”, located directly on the main street, everyone is welcome for a beer or a shot.
But Comfort is not just a great hostess, she is also an experienced primary school teacher.
Senior high school & first job
Born in Bekwai, a town with about 15,000 inhabitants that is a twenty-minute drive from Humjibre, Comfort got her name after her mother had trouble having children and her birth was a true ‘comfort’.
She grew up with two younger brothers. Both of them are still living in Bekwai. One works as a driver and the other farms cocoa.
After Comfort finished junior high school, she continued with senior high school. She was the only one amongst her siblings to do so. It is not mandatory to attend senior high school and fees to attend were not abolished until 2017.
Comfort went to senior high school in Wiaswo, where she stayed in the dorms, half an hour away from her family. In turn for doing chores and helping in the household, Comfort got financial support from a family that aided her all throughout senior high school. And as she was an excellent student, the school itself waived almost a third of the fees.
After finishing senior high school, Comfort applied for a job with the government. She got offered a job as a teacher at one of the government schools in Humjibre.
“I had so many friends who were sitting at home, so I was very happy that I got a job”, says Comfort.
The year was 1984 and Comfort moved to Humjibre to teach at the Anglican School. After teaching there and at the Roman Catholic school in Bekwai, which she had attended herself as a child, she got her current posting as a teacher at the District Assembly School in Humjibre.
Comfort in front of the DA school where she teaches
About ten years ago, Comfort opened her own drinking spot, named ‘Lovers’ Inn’.
“The salary I got with my teaching job was too low. I was working but I was still facing financial difficulties. I decided to get a second job. There were only five drinking spots in Humjibre at the time, so I started another one.”
Comfort at her drinking spot 'Lovers' Inn'
A normal day for Comforts starts at 5 AM. “One of my students often wakes me up. He scratches my window and says ‘Madam, madam, madam, I am here, let’s go to school!’. Troublesome boy”, Comfort laughs.
She arrives at the school at seven in the morning and teaches until 2 PM. When the school day is over, she heads directly to her drinking spot to welcome guests for a drink. Depending on how busy it gets, she usually closes up around 9 PM. When there are funerals, which are exuberantly celebrated, or when Humjibre’s people harvest their cocoa beans before Christmas and have money to spend, she could stay up running the place until 3.30 in the morning.
As a kid, she thought she would be a seamstress and would sow all her own dresses. Yet she ended up teaching and running her own drinking spot, which both offer her the opportunity to meet many and different kinds of people.
Comfort explains: “I meet different people with different minds and different characters. I can study a person, and it teaches me how to interact with that type of person. It enables me to cope with every society and every situation I am in.”
In 2001, GHEI set up its office in Humjibre. When the community library was built in 2007, Comfort teamed up with GHEI and became the treasurer on the Library Board. A role that fits her goals: “I would like to read more books to improve my English”.
Comfort has always been looking after the international GHEI coordinators and volunteers who have found their way to Humjibre. Shopping, cooking with them, or just having a chat over a beer; she always makes sure everyone feels at home.
Although she may not have any children of her own, she has children all over the world who are thankful to call Comfort their ‘Ghanaian mom’.