27.05.2005 Regional News

Youth Savings Scheme now yielding dividends.

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Takoradi, May 27 - GNA- Members of the Bompeh Secondary Technical School (BSTS) Youth Savings Club (YSC) established in 1999 to inculcate the habit of savings among students have started realising the benefits of the scheme.

Mr. Henry Okraku-Ansah, coordinator of the club said members could now access part of their accumulated savings to meet minor financial obligations without looking up to their parents or guardians to take up such bills.

He was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Takoradi on Friday on the immense benefits derived by the students to alleviate financial burden on their parents.

He said the club, which was introduced through the initiative of Mrs Aba Smith, Headmistress of BSTS, now has a membership of 400. Mr. Okraku-Ansah said the Bompeh YSC now has 15 million cedis in savings, while it has also invested in some income generating ventures. He said many students had withdrawn part of their savings to settle their school fees, part time classes fees and purchased equipment and materials for practical work.

Many students are encouraged to save as much as they can to enable them to meet emergency financial difficulties.

Mr. Okraku-Ansah said the idea behind the YSC was to instil the habit of savings in second cycle students who would soon assume leadership roles in their communities, churches and other civic groups. Mr. Okraku-Ansah said leaders are expected to be financially sound and it would be too embarrassing for such people to go begging for money. He said 20 schools in the Western, Central, Volta, Ashanti and Greater Accra regions, have formed similar YSC to inculcate in students the habit of savings.

Mr. Okraku-Ansah said the youngest member of the club is only four years old and has 500,000 in his account. Mr. Emmanuel Kwaku Damptey, Coordinator of the Takoradi Secondary School (TADISCO) YSC, in a separate interview said the club is ideal for day students.

He said their needs are plenty and they usually find it difficult to address them, adding, 'the YSC has become a saviour for many."

Mr. Damptey stressed that the role being played by the YSC in the lives of students if replicated in schools, churches and among other youth groups, would make them self-reliant and learn how to use money wisely. He said TADISCO presently has over 600 members and has accumulated over 28 million cedis.

Mr. Damptey stressed that the project is targeted at the students and teachers only.

Mr. Damptey appealed to students nationwide to emulate the YSC and use it to accumulate financial resources for their future use. Mrs Aba Smith, Headmistress of Bompeh Secondary Technical School and initiator of the YSC said the concept had caught on well in many Secondary Schools nationwide and hoped that it would expand to cover the entire youth population.

She said the youth who are future leaders, must be taught how to save and sustain their interests in the habit to enable them to plan for the future.

Mrs Smith said a future without a strong financial base for an individual could result in depression, an increase in youth related crimes and other negative activities.

She urged parents to join the crusade and assist their children to save for their own future.

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