17.08.2002 Feature Article

Investing In Our Future: Building A Nurturing Haven For Our Youth.

Investing In Our Future: Building A Nurturing Haven For Our Youth.
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I didn’t know much about leadership or have a mentor when growing up in Ghana, West Africa. Retrospectively, if I had been lucky to have had a role model, perhaps my entire life would have taken a different and proper direction. I would have had someone, my own personal guide steer me gently through the economic, social and political maze of life in Ghana and point me straight into my future career, thus helping me become a vital contributor to society. My pliant young life would have taken form, gazing at exemplary dynamic figures who make a difference despite obstacles, rather than by the sources of economic, political and social chaos evident in our communities. For example, I would not have cared one bit finding a mentor in the late Esther Ocloo, a true Ghanaian pioneer, rather than using the turbulent political and social environment of my time, to define my view of a leader as one who forces their way into power or an entrepreneur as a person who accumulates wealth fast using corrupt schemes. What one absorbs as a child, with limited resources, shapes who this person will become in the future. If we invest in our youth today, we may reap great leaders who can lead the nation tomorrow. Ghana in the 21st century still does not have a template for leadership and mentors for its youth nor does it address the developmental needs of these future leaders. So when I finished making all the mistakes, trying to maneuver my way to a fulfilling future, I vowed to do something about this troubling issue in Ghana. I decided to put together a foundation, an international database of donors and volunteers willing to share their time mentoring Ghanaian youth or people who can perhaps go further to fund the education of an orphan or an under-privileged child in the rural regions of Ghana. It cost approximately $200.00 a year to fund the education of an under-privileged child, an investment that will alter the life of a beneficiary forever. The foundation will also make it a goal to work with families, communities and the Ghanaian government to help maximize the development of the talents and skill of each sponsored child. Many Ghanaian children are in our homes as maidservants, far from a classroom. Some are simply sold as slaves. Others get lost in the system only to surface as miscreants who take a lot from society and return little or nothing to it. Statistics show that many of these children are indeed intelligent and would have become productive members of society, but most times lack the resources and direction to make it successfully in life. Imagine if you and I could just step in between that gap to provide mentoring and educational resources or simply to inspire or encourage one child at a time on to a successful life. Imagine how this child could go on to impact the lives of others, just as theirs was touched by your generosity. One thing I know for sure in life is that our children are our most valuable resource for nation building. If we are discontent with our current leaders, it is partly due to the fact that we did not equip them to be the independent, problem-solving dynamic leaders that we trained them to be. Our children, if assisted in developing their skills and talents through result-oriented challenges, proper education and an environment that nurtures their growth and development, will grow up to be the dynamic, productive, problem-solving leaders of the future that Africa desperately needs. I am beginning a process that will monitor the progress of our youth most likely to be at risk, but even more for those who possess valuable talents that must be honed to benefit society. These youth are often the children of low-income families, children without an identity of self or purpose, orphans and street children, who daily fall through the cracks as domestic help, slaves, truants and dropouts. I am calling on all members of the Ghanaian community who believe as I do, that the future of our country is directly tied in to the kind of investments we make in our youth, to join me in establishing a foundation, dedicated specifically to addressing the developmental needs of our youth. Many Ghanaians have voiced their support for causes that uplift our nation Ghana. This is a cause which will not only address issues concerning our youth, but will leave a legacy for those behind us to follow in the path that we selflessly and thoughtfully set for them. All dedicated people of all races are welcome. Interested parties should contact: [email protected]

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