EduSpots holds an inspiring Catalyse Leadership Academy at Elmina Spot!

From 14-20th April, EduSpots hosted its 6 day residential Catalyse Leadership Academy at Elmina Spot in Dwira Akyinim community which also serves as EduSpots’ Catalyst training centre.

The Academy, which also involved a Digital Launch Event, marked the official start of the Catalyse Leadership Programme, a one year leadership programme funded by the EA Foundation.

Prior to the Academy, in a competitive selection process, Catalysts had completed an analysis exercise on their individual and community’s needs and aspirations, a foundation of research and reflection that the Catalyst Projects will be built upon.

The Academy training was collaborative in nature, with a focus on equipping the selected 30 selected Catalysts with the leadership and teamwork skills needed to catalyse further impact at their Spots, working with their local teams to drive progress towards our Dream Spot Model.

Summing up the impact of the academy, Hamidu Kaadri from Yamfo Spot commented: “After days of our discussions demonstrations, lectures, and talks from the invited guests, we were filled with confidence, determination and focus to overcome all challenges. The Catalyse Academy has impacted positively in our life and we can build the collective future we want. I can’t change the direction of the wind but I can adjust sail to reach my destination in my daily activities.”

Collaborative Training Sessions 

The diverse sessions, led by EduSpots’ staff team, 75% of whom come from our Catalyst network, included the exploration of communication, leadership theories, fundraising and gender equity, with a highly creative environmental sustainability session which included creating items for the Spots from recycled materials, ahead of the group combining to create an eco code for the network and their Spots.

Reflecting on this session, a Catalyst commented that “this session made me to know different ways to use waste substance to re-transform it to be something useful and not to cause environmental pollution”.

A community engagement session involved a practical ‘WalkShop’ in the local Elmina community, with Catalysts putting their volunteer recruitment and Spot communication skills into practice with local community members.

Indeed, Solomon Lartey, from Ekumfi Spot, commented that “The session on community engagement drew my attention to the fact that community support is a pre- requisite for the success and sustainability of any project. With this master key at hand, I will take all the necessary steps to actively engage my community leaders, catalysts, learners and parents in programmes and activities of the Spot to ensure our Spots achieve it goal of being a hub of positive change.”

The week culminated in a team-building visit to nearby Kakum National Park, where the Catalysts enjoyed a guided nature walk, alongside overcoming the canopy walks in the forest. This was followed by an evening of entertainment and a graduation event, where Catalysts were recognised for their outstanding engagement across the Academy.

Digital Launch Event 

As part of the Academy, Catalysts also engaged in a Digital Launch Day bonanza! After a morning of sessions learning about EduSpots’ new app, trialling the new tablets, and exploring the important theme of online safety, Catalysts engaged in a panel event on the theme of ‘Digital skills for a more equitable future: harnessing the power of digital tools to address educational inequity in underserved communities’.

The inspiring guest speakers include: Professor Elsie Effah Kaufmann, Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences, University of Ghana, and National Science and Maths Quiz Host; Mr Aaron Akwaboah, Director for Strategy and Innovation at the Ministry of Education; Ms Nana Afua Serwaa, ‘Shecanic’, Wanderlust Ghana; Ms Jennifer Mensah of African Science Academy; Mr Maxwell Yamoah of Dext Technology; Mr Nana Kwame Appiakubi, Regional Director, Central Region, Ghana Library Authority.

Distribution of resources 

Alongside distributing 2 tablets and a wifi kit to each Spot as we begin our digitalisation process with thanks to Wanderlust Ghana and the Fonthill Foundation, we also distributed 1280 books across the community.  This included 1070 books from Books for Africa, 131 new local storybooks and 79 text books (English, Mathematics, and Science).

Academy Impact 

100% of Catalysts surveyed strongly agreed that “This Academy inspired me to lead further change in my community”, with 100% strongly agreeing or agreeing that they “feel ready to design and lead a Catalyse project in my community.”

Through a quantitive study held one month before, and shortly after the Academy, an Impact Ed study demonstrated a 4.4% increase in the ‘sense of community index’, a validated measure tested through a set of survey questions, which measures changes to the Catalysts’ active citizenship values.

The Catalyse Leadership Programme 

In the months ahead, Catalysts will design and implement a Catalyse Project, supported by grant funding and 1-1 mentorship from their regional coordinators. These projects are designed to advance sustainable change in their communities moving the Spot towards the Dream Spot Model.

They will also attend monthly Catalyse Leadership Workshops moving through a curriculum of engagement across leadership strands, with regular ideas sharing on our WhatsApp communities.

Commenting on the launch of the programme, EduSpots’ Education & Research Manager, and previous Catalyst in Dichemso, Lawrence Dankwah, said: “I envision the Catalyse Programme creating a ripple effect that not only consolidates our current impact but also inspires and empowers communities beyond our existing network to join us in working towards our collective future!”

For the first cycle in 2024, Catalysts have been selected to attend from the following communities: Agbledomi, Ahenkro, Akumadan, Ameyaw, Ampatano, Atanve, Atsata Bame, Banda, Bono Manso, Dichemso, Donkorkrom, Dulugu, Ejisu Besease, Ejura, Ekoso, Elmina, Funkoe, Kalpohin, Metsrikasa, New Ebu, Nkonya, Posmonu, Sakasaka, Sanzule, Savelugu, Sefwi Asanteman, Takuve, Wodome Akatsi, Yamfo, Zangbalun.

A huge thank you to the EA Foundation for their sponsorship of this programme across two cycles in 2024-25.

To read more about the Catalyse Leadership Programme, and all of EduSpots’ programmes, visit

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