Sixty students of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) have received a grant of GHc100,000.00 from the Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES-Ghana), a youth development organisation, to undertake social change projects. The students are expected to use the money to implement innovative responses of social impact projects to solve problems either facing the University or its surrounding communities to improve lives. The initiative forms part of the Youth Leadership for Social Change Project, being implemented by YES-Ghana, in collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Students’ Affairs of the three beneficiary universities with funds from the Ford Foundation.
The other two beneficiary universities are the University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, and the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR). A total of GHC300,000.00 have been awarded to student teams to implement initiatives of social change and social justice interventions. Mr Eric Saforo, the Project Manager of the Youth Leadership for Social Change Project, disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of an Innovation Fair held to recognise the efforts of students trained under the Project. He said the students went through rigorous academy of training and placed into five groups of 12 members each, tasked to identify social problems and find innovative solutions, through a proposal.
Mr Saforo said the groups identified social problems and an assessment committee, comprising faculty members and experienced development workers, who checked the feasibility of the implementation, assessed them. He said the students would receive the necessary technical support for the implementation of their group projects. As part of the Project, fellows on the Project have received rigorous training in leadership for social change through the youth academy for social change. They have continuously received professional monitoring from selected faculty members and industry players and the next stage is to demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired, he said.
Mr Saforo said the practical application of the skills, knowledge and understanding gained through the training was essential to ensuring that the fellow learned to generalise and apply the knowledge acquired in other situations. Through this process, youth leaders will become more involved in their communities and provide real services, he added. YES-Ghana is seeking to create an active youth who would look for solutions to problems and offer an opportunity to combine leadership with technical skills to help them perform better in the world of work.
Story by – Afedzi Abdullah
Source – GhanaWeb