Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES), Ghana has awarded grants of up to GH¢14,000 to various students groups of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the University for Development Studies (UDS).
The grants are to enable the students to undertake various social impact programmes in the Central and Northern Regions.
A total of 60 students, in 11 groups were awarded a grant of over GH¢ 100,000, with the groups receiving between GH¢8, 000 and GH¢14, 000 each based on their respective social interventions which had been vetted and approved by a committee.
The event was part of the Ford Foundation-funded Youth Leadership for Social Change project which is being implemented by YES-Ghana in collaboration with UCC.
The grant awardees received training on leadership and project implementation through the Youth Academy for Social Change in April 2018.
The awardees were also taken through professional mentoring from selected faculty members and industry players.
At the award ceremony which was done earlier this month, the awardees gave presentations on their respective projects intended for implementation in the selected communities before the officials of the school, students, and officers.
Speaking at the function, the Project Manager, Mr. Eric Saforo, said the practical application of the skills, knowledge, and understanding gained through the Youth Academy for Social Change was essential to ensuring that the fellows learn to generalise and apply what they had learned in other situations. “Through this process, youth leaders will become more involved in their communities, and provide real service,” he said.Mr. Saforo said the fellows had proposed innovative responses of social impact to some of the problems facing communities in the Central Region. He said a grant awards committee comprising faculty members and experienced development workers facilitated the process in the selection and designing of the intended projects. He said the fellows would receive the necessary technical support to lead the implementation of the group projects for a six-month period. According to him, the fellows would be “managing their activities, leveraging stakeholder involvement, networking opportunities, continuous learning, and support with financial management and reporting, among others.”
The Dean of Students ‘Affairs, Prof. Koawo Edjah, said it was gratifying to note that the fellows would have the opportunity to develop their own capacity. He said we were in an era where unemployment had become the greatest challenge for the youth and was hopeful that through the initiative, the students would be able to create jobs for themselves. “I’m aware that the project is aimed at skills training for empowerment the objective is towards capacity building, creativity, and innovativeness of ideas and practicalizing what they had been taught”, he said.
Prof. Edjah thanked YES-Ghana and Ford Foundation for partnering the Office of the Dean of Students to make an impact in the lives of the students. He was hopeful that the two organisations would continue with the collaboration to create a pool of innovative graduates who would contribute significantly towards nation building.
The awardees are expected to implement their initiatives during the vacation period.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citinewsroom.com/Ghana