On Saturday 6th January, EduSpots was delighted to host their first National Awards and Celebration Event in Accra at the University of Ghana with invited volunteers, partners, staff and wider supporters.
This event marked the end of the first year of the Ignite Programme, through which EduSpots have trained over 260 local volunteers to drive educational change through 50 education spaces (libraries) named Spots, reaching over 10,000 learners, with a focus on creative, practical and community-driven education programmes and promoting active citizenship.
In May 2023, learners were equipped with over 150 practical resource kits across the EduLit, EcoSTEM, Ignite Girls, and EduKidz strands, alongside training in delivering educational content. Since May, the participants have been supported with engaging in over 40 monthly challenges and accompanying zoom training and wider mentoring, with ongoing WhatsApp communities enabling practice to be shared collaboratively. The Spot Ops strand has also enabled Catalysts to build strong local systems including volunteer recruitment, resource management and local fundraising strategies. We thank all the sponsors of the Ignite programme, including the British and Foreign Schools Society and the Fonthill Foundation.
EduSpots was delighted to welcome Professor Elsie Effah Kaufmann as the Guest of Honour for this event. Professor Kaufmann is well-known for her role as the host of the televised Science and Maths Quiz, alongside her role as the Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Ghana and the founder of the Elsie Kaufmann foundation.
Recognising the volunteers present, Professor Kaufmann commented: “I am honoured to witness the collective power of your dedication power and selflessness. Please look around you and see the faces of volunteers who have committed countless hours towards the lives of others… we are a force for positive change, and our unity is our strength.”
Professor Kaufmann also highlighted the importance of driving sustainable educational change, and enabling students to engage in critical thinking and creativity, practicalising educational concepts to drive forwards Ghana’s wider national development.
The event included a cultural performance from Catalysts in the Northern Region of Ghana, a presentation on the Dream Spot Model from the Kalpohin Spot team, alongside an inspiring spoken word performance from Zainab Yussif, Spot co-founder in Nkonya, who highlighted the importance of inclusion and understanding for all, especially those mental health challenges and other disabilities.
During the event, 34 awards were given in recognition of those individuals, Spots and partners who have contributed at a high level to both their community and to the EduSpots’ network as a whole across 2023. These awards were determined on the basis of consistent engagement in EduSpots’ activities across the year and their progress towards meeting the indicators for EduSpots’ Dream Spot model.
Special recognition awards were given for 9 remarkable volunteers who have shown commitment to EduSpots’ activities communities for five years or longer with particular recognition given to Mr Francis Yeboah, EduSpots Director in Ghana, for his support across 8 years of EduSpots’ development.
Abdul-Hakim Haruna, Volunteer of the Year 2023 from Sakasaka commented: ‘By staying connected to your purpose, setting goals, seeking support, and maintaining a positive mindset, you can overcome challenges and sustain self-motivation in your volunteering efforts. So let’s celebrate this journey we are on with a chorus of hope in a world reborn. With education as guide, together we can drive our collective future to success.”
The event was closed by Adu Boahen Carlos, Project Leader in Akumadan, who shared: “I am deeply touched by the stories of individuals whose lives have been equally touched by EduSpots, and I can stand here and say my life has been truly changed by being give the chance to be a leader in my community. The EduSpots community believed in me despite my young age, and saw that I had the tools and skills within me to make a difference.”
This event followed a wider two-day conference for selected 80 Spot volunteers, which focused on further igniting their passion and skills for community-driven change. Across the two days of workshops held at Ridma Hotel, volunteers engaged in sessions on team building, financial management, safeguarding, fundraising and effective storytelling. All the sessions were designed to enable them to share ideas with fellow Catalysts, and develop the skills and understanding to run their Spots effectively.
The volunteers were also introduced to the programme structure for this year, including their leadership of local ‘ ReIgnite’ events intended to equip and inspire Catalysts to lead the second year of Ignite effectively, with all education strands across EduKidz, EduLit, Ignite Equity and EcoSTEM continuing, alongside Spot Lead.
20 selected Catalysts will also be selected to join the Catalyse Leadership Programme, which will start in February 2024 and involve a 5 day residential Academy in April 2024 with grant funding and mentorship to lead a Catalyse project building from local needs and aspirations at their Spots.
EduSpots appreciates all partners who joined us for this event, and supported the team in recognising the achievements of our Catalysts. Through listening to the testimonials from volunteers, the audience delved deeper into the inspiring stories behind their journey. Their dedication, passion, and unwavering spirit left everyone moved and motivated. As the curtains closed, one thing was clear: the spirit of volunteerism shines brighter than ever.
If you would like to contribute to EduSpots’ vision for enabling communities to unite to create the futures they want to see through education, do reach out to the EduSpots’ team on email@example.com.
Individual Award winners 2024
Hamdiyatu Tunteeya Sadik (Kalpohin) – Peer Mentor of the Year 2023
Habibata Yakubu Iddrisu (Sakasaka) – Peer Mentor of the Year 2023
Shureya Yussif – Ambassador of the Year 2023
Zainab Yussif (Nkonya) – Social Media Ambassador of the Year 2023
Ernest Fordjour (Ahenkro) – EduLit Catalyst of the Year 2023
Safianu Issifu (Bimbilla) – EcoSTEM Catalyst of the Year 2023
John Abentara(Dulugu) – EduKidz Catalyst of the Year 2023
Adam Ibrahim (Savelugu) – Spot Ops Catalyst of the Year 2023
Janet Owesuaa – Ignite Girls Volunteer of the Year 2023
Sarah Davis – International Volunteer of the Year 2023
Exceptional contribution to EduSpots Award 2023: Kwabena Ayirebi
Jacqueline Owusuwaa(Ahenkro) – Youth Catalyst of the Year 2023
Franklina Nsenkyire(Ahenkro) – Junior Catalyst of the Year 2023
Abdul-Hakim Haruna (Sakasaka) – Catalyst of the Year 2023
Spot & Partner Awards
EduLit Club of the Year 2023 – Abofour
Ignite Girls Club of the Year 2023 – Ahenkro
Spot Ops Spot of the Year 2023- Kalpohin
EduKidz Spot of the Year 2023 – Abofour
EcoSTEM Club of the Year 2023 – Bimbilla
Community Engagement Award 2023: Sakasaka
Most Innovative Spot 2023: Joska
New Spot of the Year 2023: Ahenkro
Spot team of the Year 2023: Akumadan
Spot of the Year 2023: Bimbilla
Partner organization of the Year 2023: Gower Street
Partner school of the Year 2023: Sevenoaks School
Supporters of the Year Award 2023: Wanderlust Ghana
Janet Addae Amponsah(Abofour) – Special recognition for 5 years of commitment to EduSpots
Arahamatu Sule (Bimbilla) – Special recognition for 5 years of commitment to EduSpots
Safianu Issifu (Bimbilla) – Special recognition for 5 years of commitment to EduSpots
Mohammed Fuseini (Dulugu) – Special recognition for 5 years of commitment to EduSpots
Nimatu Abdul-Rahman (Savelugu) – Special recognition for 5 years of commitment to EduSpots
Carlos Adu Boahen(Akumadan) – Special recognition for 5 years of commitment to EduSpots
Getrude Akunlibe (Dulugu & staff) – Special recognition for 5 years of commitment to EduSpots
Adam Nabila (Dulugu & staff) – Special recognition for 5 years of commitment to EduSpots