Changemaker grants awarded to 3 new African Science Academy students!

In October 2018, we launched a new programme offering grants and mentoring to the gifted young women at the African Science Academy keen to lead an education project in their community. We hope that through the creation of small education projects, the girls will become even stronger role models for other girls (and boys) in their communities, whilst also developing invaluable leadership skills that will help them in their later careers and in their communities.
Given the girls’ recent progression through their respective education systems, they will be excellently placed to understand what support is needed to enable others to progress to their levels of academic success. In order to secure the opportunity, the girls had to explain the specific community need that they were responding to, exactly how they would address it (including giving a detailed budget), and also give an explanation of what they anticipated the impact of the project to be. In addition to submitting a written application the girls were all interviewed, facing probing questions on their ideas.
Following the creation 4 incredibly successful projects last year 3 new change makers have been chosen from this year’s African Science Academy cohort. Congratulations to Cedella, Seiba and Anita! 

Changemaker 1: Cedella Asoma Quagraine

The project aims to reach out to the world through education in a non-traditional way. The main beneficiaries for the project are young people in New-Atuabo, in the Western Region of Ghana, Cedella’s home community. The community is far from the main Municipal library, which deterred her and her peers from visiting it when they were younger. In addition, the old and nearly finished books left on the shelves of that library were no pulling factor either, not making the long walk worth it. Though this project, which will be located within the community, Cedella, intends to ignite the minds of youth through reading and craftwork to make learning more fun and productive.

The main aim of this project is to give the children in this community between the ages of nine to fourteen years (from upper primary to JHS) books and learning materials their parents and the government cannot afford, so that they can read widely. In addition, the project will train the children with skills for making craftwork, such as, weaving and making beads. This way, they would be able to make and sell their own artefacts to support their education as well as the progress of the project .

Changemaker 2: Seiba Abdul Rahman

This project is being created by one of the 2019 changemaker grant winners – Seiba Abdul Rahman. Seiba, is currently a student at the African Science Academy in Tema, but is originally from Bimbilla, where she is starting a Reading Spots project with a £1000 grant.

Bimbilla is primarily a farming community hugely affected by an endless chieftaincy conflict long exiting in the area. This has greatly affected educational delivery. Teachers posted into the municipality constantly vacate post and there are little or no learning materials to support students in the course of their studies. Students who are supposed to cultivate the habit of learning on their own are virtually losing interest in studies due to the unavailability of learning materials to support the educational delivery processes in the area – meaning the demand for a community library is high. The project will target students in the various basic schools in the area.

Aims of the community library project: There is no functioning library in the entire municipality,  hence making learning after school for students difficult and leading to low performance. Students especially females perform poorly in English language, Mathematics and Science subsequently leading to dropping out of school after JHS, amongst many accompanying effects hampering girl child education specifically, in this area.

The aims of this project are outlined below:

  • To provide a convenient and stimulating environment for broader reading and learning
  • To promote the reading skills of pupils in the upper class in the various basic schools within the municipality
  • To develop the research skills of students
  • To make educational materials easily accessible to students to enhance academic successes
  • To create a club for students in the municipality that meets ones a month to discuss key challenges faced by students and together help find practical remedies to them

What exactly will the project consist of?


Series of phases have been earmarked aimed at addressing the serious educational challenges affecting the people of Bimbilla. The Municipal Chief Executive for the area upon consultations with the Ghana education service officials has earmarked a classroom block in a cluster of schools located at Massaka in the Municipality. This building after some series of renovations and the acquisition of relevant learning materials will help address the project need.

Minor repairs and maintenance in the classroom consisting of fixing of the windows and doors, patching of floor and creating of bookshelves will be executed.

The various books will be purchased, stamped and arranged in the library. A committee will be enacted to ensure that the project meets its aims. A volunteer from the community will be made in charge of the library’s operations with the cleaning of the library tasked by students in the cluster school whilst a teacher will be responsible for monitoring attendance and keeping vital records which will serve as a source for organising the library Club activities and also providing guidance and possibly free tuition to students when required.

Changemaker 3: Anita Esi Eleh

This project in Gomoa-Manso is being created by one of our 2019 changemaker grant winners – Anita Esi Eleh. 

Anita is a current student at the African Science Academy and is keen to start a Teenage Pregnancy Awareness And Mentoring Program in her home community. After a very challenging selection process, Anita has been selected as one of the grant winners and will be receiving £1000 to start her project.

Gomoa Manso is located in the Central Region of Ghana and over the past years it has seen a rampant increase in teenage pregnancy. Shocked by meeting many new teenagers who are pregnant during her vacations home, Anita has been motivated to curb it by organizing teenage pregnancy awareness and mentoring program.

Anita realised teenagers in the community lack exposure and seem to be limited to only what they know and see on TV. Many girls in the community are not aware of their potential and what they can be, thus they tend to follow the trend in the community, which makes it seem normal to give birth before or after Junior High School. Anita believes this project will go a long way to change the trend in her community by giving the teenagers reasons to be more assertive and motivate them to continue their schooling to the highest level. Studies shows that infant mortality rates drop significantly for women who have had primary education, and even more for those who complete secondary school. It is estimated that infant mortality decreases 9% for every year of education attained. This is because girls and women are able to educate themselves on health issues, which can help reduce the cycle of poverty and mortality rates in the long term. The change in literacy rate will contribute to the development of the community, decrease the rate of teenage pregnancy and provide to the community energetic and responsible youth. This is the long term vision of the project.

The aim of the project is to make the teenagers in this community more assertive, by making available to them an open and honest talk, help them have options for the future that are not early pregnancy and parenthood and make them see the importance of furthering their education. The project is aimed at both males and females. It will consist of several sex education, awareness and career sessions. It will be a one week program taking place twice a year, during the summer and Christmas breaks, in order to keep them involved during the holidays so as to reduce the chances of getting pregnant during these breaks. The project aims at providing an active and involving, yet a relaxing session.  

Information on the projects created by our first 4 change makers at African Science Academy:

 

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