YES-Ghana embarked on a marathon youth leadership academy training for the Fellows of the Youth Leadership for Social Change (YL4SC) project from January 7, 2019 to January 27, 2019 at the University for Development Studies (UDS), University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) and the University of Cape Coast (UCC). The training which lasted a week on each campus was aimed at providing the necessary knowledge, attitude and skills for the over 180 students who were competitively selected from these universities to become active citizens and social change agents.
The youth leadership academy is part of the YL4SC project Funded by the Ford Foundation. The project is currently in its second phase after a successful first phase implemented at the UDS and UCC. Notable changes to the second phase of the project include the addition of a third university UENR, an increment in the number of students from 60 to 180 and an increase in the amount of money for the team projects from GHS 10,000.00 up to GHS 20,000.00.
Led by the Executive Director, Mr. Emmanuel Edudzie and the Project Manager, Mr. Eric Saforo with support from seasoned trainers on each campus, the residential training covered topics such as social change, social justice, leadership and leadership profiles, community entry and effective communication. The Fellows at the end of the leadership academy training appreciated the social change model for leadership develop especially the 7Cs which are principles of social change leadership. These 7Cs are Consciousness of self, Commitment, Congruence, Collaboration, Common Purpose, Controversy with Civility and Citizenship.
One of the Fellows at UENR, Mr. Issac Adumatta Snr. said “It was the first time I attended a seminar on leadership and I am very pleased with the good organisation and conduct of the Youth Leadership for Social Change (YL4SC) seminar. I acquired knowledge on leadership and I was offered training on how good leadership could promote social change. I am now acquainted with the 7Cs. Personally, following the training in the academy, I know I can contribute to ensuring an effective social change”
The project has received maximum support from all the deans of students’ affairs and the student leadership of the Student Representative Councils (SRC) and the Local chapters of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS). Speaking at the closing of the training at UENR, the dean of students admonished the students to take the opportunity of being a part of the project seriously. The dean of students’ affairs at UDS, Dr. Paul Aryee reinforced the training by telling the Fellows that he is where he is today because of opportunities like what YES-Ghana is offering them and admonished them to take the process seriously.
After the training the students on each campus formed 5 teams to develop social justice and social change projects either on their campus or in the communities surrounding the university campuses. Their proposals will be vetted by a competent assessment committee and grants up to GHS 20,000 will be awarded to each team for the implementation of their respective projects. The Fellows will be guided by mentors who have been trained to provide project management and personal development support for the students. The 18-months project is expected to end by April 2020.