THIRD COHORT PARTICIPANTS (2015-16)
- Nana Adjoa A. Sifa
Lead, Yo!Gate FoodsBio
Nana Adjoa A. Sifa has experience in project management and creating issue-based awareness campaigns.
Nana is currently the co-founder of Yo!Gate Foods and an initiator of Guzakuza, a social enterprise that empowers young women to create jobs, wealth, and food security. She is a certified social entrepreneur from the International Institute of Social Entrepreneurs, and has hands-on experience in food security, strategic management, and agriculture in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
In business, she has worked as a customer and sales personnel at Travel and Tour Worldwide in England and as an executive secretary at Sifat Communications. She is a member of the Association for Women's Rights in Development, World Pulse, and the Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs.
Nana believes strongly that agriculture is a single sector that can help reduce five of the world's most pressing problems: unemployment, food insecurity, poverty, hunger and malnutrition. She dreams of helping to grow young women “Agripreneurs” who will power Ghana's economy, grow healthy crops, and become wealthy farmers.
She has a passion for photography and loves to write, travel, and cook.
- Eunice Ahenkorah
Development and Communication Associate, Golden BaobabBio
Eunice Ahenkorah is an emerging professional with a love for writing and storytelling that brings causes and projects to life. She currently works as a Communications and Fundraising Specialist at Golden Baobab, an NGO that supports African authors and illustrators in producing children’s literature and champions the development of the children’s book industry across Africa. She also volunteers as a French club teacher at the Sunday school of her community church.
Eunice is passionate about literacy and the rights of women and immigrants. As the 2013-2014 Education Policy Fellow at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) in Washington D.C., she served as an advocate of educational rights for Hispanic Americans. She conducted policy and data research, and coordinated advocacy projects that campaigned for U.S. Congressional members to take a more pro-Hispanic stance.
Prior to joining NCLR, she worked with high-risk victims of domestic violence at a women's shelter in Immokalee, Florida, a small city with a predominantly immigrant, Hispanic, Black and Haitian population. Eunice was born and raised in Ghana, where she received her high school diploma from Wesley Girls' High School in Cape Coast. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College in Iowa, where she was actively involved in student life.
In her free time, Eunice develops her love for Korean culture and the Korean language.
- Elizabeth Alampae Ayamga
Research and Advocacy Officer, Public AgendaBio
Elizabeth Alampae Ayamga has over four years of experience working in the field of development and development journalism with Public Agenda and the Open Centre Africa, with a focus on energy and youth issues. She has served as a rapporteur and facilitator for national and international programs such as the First Global Forum on Youth Policies in Baku, Azerbaijan; Ghana Youth Conference on Oil and Gas; Ghana Youth Consultation for a Post-2015 Framework; and multi-stakeholder conferences of the Public Interest Advocacy Center. She has represented the youth of Ghana, including as a panelist at the Presidential Youth Dialogue Series with His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama at the Flagstaff House and the Annual MINDS Dialogue on Election and Governance with Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Kigali, Rwanda.
In 2013, Elizabeth chaired the drafting of the communiqué issued at the end of the West Africa Youth Integrity Camp (organized by ICPC, UNDP and Transparency International) in Lagos, Nigeria. She also participated in the West Africa Tech Camp organized by the Ghana Think Foundation with support from the United States Embassy in Ghana.
Currently, Elizabeth is part of a Thomson Reuters Foundation and Wealth of Nations Pan-African reporting project on illegal financing in Africa, aiming to boost coverage of financial and extraction issues that are central to development.
By virtue of her professional affiliations including Publish What You Pay and Tax Justice Network-Africa, Elizabeth has contributed to advocacy programs and policy formulation and reform. She also serves on the board of some youth organizations in Ghana and was recently nominated to serve on the Technical Committee of the National Youth Parliament.
Elizabeth Ayamga holds a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy and Sociology) degree from the University of Cape Coast and various training programs in her areas of expertise.
- Bissabah Aurelia Evame
Programs Coordinator, Community Advocacy against PovertyBio
Bissabah Aurelia is the program coordinator for Community Advocacy Against Poverty (CAAP-Ghana), where she is responsible for defining the organization’s goals and implementing its projects. She has been very instrumental in proposal writing, research, and the development of training manuals.
Prior to joining CAAP-Ghana, Evame worked with Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) as a project coordinator in the Volta region and the Women and Development Project (WADEP) in Nkwanta South District. Her work with both organizations focused on human rights, women empowerment, gender equality, and health promotion. She has facilitated several trainings in the areas of human rights, girls’ education, parental care, maternal and newborn health advocacy, young girls and women’s leadership, and gender and development in health. In addition, she has facilitated trainings to support artisanal and vocational skills training in both baking and design and decoration.
Evame has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology in Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon. She obtained a certificate in NGO project management and practice from the Cambridge Center of Excellence and has also obtained other certificates in monitoring and evaluation, data management, international women’s health, and human rights. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s Degree in NGO Management and Rural development at the University for Development Studies, Tamale. Evame is committed to a world in which every individual—irrespective of their educational, cultural and financial backgrounds—can realize their full potential in the society. Evame wishes to see a society where there is social justice and human dignity for everybody (especially the marginalized) and the realization of human potential is coupled with peaceful coexistence with our environment.
Evame has a strong passion for exploring (especially rural communities), baking and designing cakes and pastries, reading, and mobilizing and meeting people.
- Seyram Awushie Agbemenya
Senior Program and Research Officer, Ghana Integrity InitiativeBio
Seyram Awushie Agbemenya is the Senior Program and Research Officer of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII). Ms. Agbemenya has extensive experience working on conservation programs and a keen interest in issues pertaining to the dynamics between policy, society, gender, and rural livelihoods in the sustainable management of resources. She also has experience in integrated natural resource management and extensive knowledge working on sustainable development issues and resource governance, as well as environmental sustainability and planning at the local level.
Throughout her career, she has had the unique opportunity to work on diverse environmental management issues, with a special focus on mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and climate change objectives into local government planning. She has played a key role in local environmental planning and represented local governments on various international platforms, including the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Seyram was also a contributor to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity’s (UNCBD), the first publication on cities and biodiversity, and has also contributed to the development of several ecosystem management assessments with plans in cities and municipalities globally.
Since joining the Ghana Integrity Initiative in 2014, Seyram has played a critical role in building local capacity to ensure accountability and transparency in local governance. Through her work, she continues to engage with key stakeholders in Ghana, advocating and building capacity for the strengthening of national anti-corruption policies. Seyram currently coordinates the operations of the Transparency International’s flagship Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) program, which aims empower citizens to report corruption and advocates for structural reforms in Ghana.
Seyram holds a BSc. Honors Degree in Natural Resource Management from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and a Certificate in Conflict Transformation and Human Rights from the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen.
- Christabel Dankwa
Project and Events Coordinator, Richbone Initiative FoundationBio
Cristabel is currently the Projects and Events Coordinator at the Richbone Initiative Foundation, an NGO dedicated to assisting children and vulnerable people including orphans and disabled people. The organization is currently working to acquire and distribute 600 wheelchairs to health institutions and disabled individuals under the One World, One Walk 2011 project organized by the Free Wheelchair Mission, USA.
Cristabel holds a M.Sc. in Development Studies from London South Bank University and a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Ghana. She has worked on programs and projects advocating for children’s education both in Ghana and the UK. Cristabel was a member of a team that campaigned in London under the ‘A World at School Campaigns 2014’, calling on world leaders to create an urgent fund to provide education for 59 million children in conflicted and developing countries. She also supported the Free the Children Organization in UK during their ‘We Day’ London event, which aimed at empowering and encouraging children to be agents of change in their societies.
Cristabel has delivered seminar presentations in London and published online essays on various topics relevant to the development sector including ‘The Conditions for the Effective Disbursement of Aid’, ‘The Effects of Regional Economic Organizations on Human Development’, and the ‘Impact of Refugees on Host Societies’. Through her interest and experience in advocacy and research, she aims to provide information for policy makers and development practitioners. In the longer term, Cristabel plans to run her own non-governmental organization and consult on issues concerning children and the disabled.
- Lilly Mensah
Program Assistant-Social Media, Curious MindsBio
For the past fifteen years, Lilly Mensah has worked as a volunteer with Curious Minds – children’s rights and youth advocacy organization seeking to protect the welfare of children and youth using the media as an advocacy tool for peer to peer education and community volunteer work. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the African Youth with Disabilities Network (AYWDN), which is a continental network bringing together youth with disabilities to work towards their inclusion in society.
Lilly served on the Youth Advisory Panel of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which is a technical advisory team to the organization in the implementation of their programs. She is also the news-desk reporter for the Global Press Institute (GPI), which uses journalism as a development tool to educate, employ, and empower women, while producing high-quality local news coverage that elevates global awareness and ignites social change.
Lilly currently works with Curious Minds as a program assistant for social media and previously worked with Youth Bridge Foundation as a communications officer. She has also been a community facilitator with Plan Ghana on the Rights of the Child Project and also did her national service with the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) as a finance and administrative assistant.
She has participated in several national and international campaigns and trainings including the Model ECOWAS Summit, Euro-African Youth Parliament, and International Women’s Colloquium. Lilly holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and hopes to attain a master’s degree in development studies.
Lilly aims to continue inspiring several young people through her commitment to support global issues on the protection of human rights for all, especially young girls.
- Jane Ntiforo
Youth Development Officer, National Youth AuthorityBio
Jane is a vibrant youth leader with a strong sense of commitment to youth development and gender issues. Among other youth related works, she has over five years of experience as a District Youth Coordinator of National Youth Authority (NYA) in the Shai Osudoku District. Prior to being transferred to the district, she worked as an assistant at the Education and Training Directorate of NYA, where she helped to develop a database for assessing the country’s Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institutes (YLSTIs). The YLSTIs provide a four-year training for school dropouts who wish to acquire technical or vocational skills and further their education.
As a District Youth Coordinator, she is responsible for facilitating youth development in the district. This includes implementing programs and activities on topics such as conflict prevention and peace-building, governance, and democracy. She is also a core member of the Safe Haven Coalition in Dodowa, which formed through collaboration between the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America and the Philip Foundation, with support from Narcotic Control Board. The Coalition is responsible for preventing drug and substance abuse and its related crimes among youth in the district.
Jane holds a Master’s Degree in Management and Administration from the University of Ghana and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Social Work from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
In her spare time, Jane loves to read.
- Jacqui Oyimer
Counselor and Leadership Program Development , Alpha Beta Education CentresBio
Jacqui Oyimer holds an M.A in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, Massachusetts, USA and a B.Sc. in Marketing from the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana. She is a fellow of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and a Commonwealth Corps Alumni for the Massachusetts Service Alliance where she served as Program Development Coordinator for the African Community Education Program. Despite many enticing opportunities, Jacqui resisted pressures to stay abroad after her graduate studies and returned home to be a dynamic driver of social change in Ghana.
She currently works as a counselor and runs a Youth Leadership Program at Alpha Beta Christian College (ABCC). At ABCC, Jacqui serves as the key contact for guiding and counseling students, parents, and teachers with challenges in their lives at home and in school. She provides individual advising and helps equip students with life skills necessary for standing out and winning in life. She assists students in creating Individual Success Plans (ISP) and supports them through personal, leadership and professional development. She also designs and facilitates the curriculum for the school’s flagship change-maker leadership program, the Adinkrahene Leadership Program. Jacqui also serves as the Director of the African Abroad Program, a brainchild of the African Youth Excellence, which is uniquely designed for Africans in the diaspora to take a study abroad year in the African continent to study, explore, intern, research, and contribute to the rising African agenda.
Jacqui has held many different leadership positions in various youth organizations, including serving as the 1st Vice President of the West African Network of Young Female Leaders. She has represented Ghana and the Pan-African Youth Union in a host of international engagements. She is the founder of Be-Attitudes International, an emerging social impact organization that seeks to help women and girls meet their full potential in order for them to actively participate in community development and nation building. She is passionate about mentoring young females and supports her husband in pastoring a wonderful community church.
- Genevieve Piesie Addae Jemba
Gender and Youth Desk Officer, Trades Union CongressBio
Genevieve Piesie Addae Jemba is the Gender and Youth Desk Officer of Ghana’s Public Services Workers’ Union of Trades Union Congress (PSWU of TUC), a trade union that organizes workers in the public and civil service. She is responsible for coordinating all gender, women, and youth-related activities of the Union and oversees the national women and youth committees of the Union.
At PSWU of TUC, she coordinated the organization of the 2nd National Youth Forum, which was attended by 100 young workers coming from all ten regions of the country. She also successfully coordinated the Maiden National Youth Conference and 6th National Women Conference of the Union in December 2016. In addition, she ensured a constitutional backing for the youth structure of the Union by working in collaboration with other leaders.
Genevieve has worked as an accountant with the National Commission for Civic Education. She has been involved in educational programs through radio, community durbars, and information centers. Within the same period, Genevieve and her team trained school pupils to set up the first Mock Parliament in the Brong Ahafo region in the Kintampo South District. She also trained pupils to use drama to advocate on the application of Public Order Act (491) in relation to political activities in their communities.
In 2009 and 2010, she worked as an enumerator with the Law Reform Commission and National House of Chiefs on a project called Ascertainment and Codification of Customary Law Project in the Central Region. From 2010-2014, she served as the President for COSRA, a religious organization of young people in her church, Transfiguration of Jesus Parish, Jema, aimed at supporting the religious and social advancement of its members and community, especially young people.
Genevieve holds a Higher National Diploma in Accountancy from Ho Polytechnic, Ho and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Genevieve loves gardening.
- Irene Sawerteh
Programs Manager, Hope for Future GenerationBio
Irene Sawerteh holds a bachelor’s degree in social science and a master’s in business administration (MBA), specializing in project management. She is also a project management professional, with nine years of postgraduate experience in public health.
For the past six years, Irene has worked as a project assistant in reproductive health with the Ghana Health Service, where she has actively participated in the implementation of the high-impact rapid delivery strategies used in implementing evidence-based interventions for reducing neonatal, child, and maternal morbidities and mortalities and achieving Ghana’s fourth and fifth Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2012, he was part of the team that conducted the nationwide Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care Survey, whose findings and recommendations fed into the Ghana’s MDG Acceleration Framework.
Irene has vast experience in building institutional capacity for CBOs and NGOs and designing training programs that enable them to effectively manage interventions to eliminate tuberculosis in Ghana. In addition, she has worked as an Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) liaison officer with the national TB control Program of the Ghana Health Service.
Her activities as a development worker with Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) have focused on building strong teams to effectively design and implement programs to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights and enroll KPs (female sex workers) and young people into care. Irene is passionate about women’s empowerment. In her role as a program manager at HFFG, she has mentored and coached young professionals and interns, helping them realize their ability to bring change in their respective roles and responsibilities by maximizing their potential.
- Rosemary Yaa Dufie Osei
Programs Officer, Women Peace and Security Network AfricaBio
Rosemary Yaa Dufie Osei is an advocate for women and girls’ rights with six years of experience working on gender, peace and security issues in Africa. She has worked at the Omnis Lex Consult – Center for Human Rights and Advanced Legal Research (CHRALR); the Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa); and served as an individual consultant for CSOs and NGOs working on youth development and women, peace, and security. During the course of her work, she has honed her expertise on key issues around gender, peace and security in Africa. She specializes in research, strategic reporting, and monitoring and evaluation.
Rosemary has supported leading programs to ensure the participation of women and girls in leadership and peacebuilding in West Africa. During her time as the programs officer at WIPSEN, she assisted projects in Sierra Leone that led to the establishment of the Gender Management System within the Ministry of Defense and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (MoD/RSLAF) in 2012. She also managed young women’s transformative leadership programs in both Ghana and Liberia.
Rosemary was a participant in roundtable discussions with eight security sector institutions in Ghana which enhanced a policy series raising awareness, identifying gender gaps, and entry-points for promoting the implementation of UNSCR Policies. She was involved in conducting gender assessments of security sector institutions in five West African countries including Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, and Senegal.
Rosemary has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology obtained at the University of Ghana; she is bilingual in French and English and holds a certificate in NGO project management and operations from the Cambridge Center of Excellence. Today, she continues her work as an International Consultant for gender, peace and security.
Currently, Rosemary hopes to fulfill her dreams and is pursuing opportunities for higher degrees in clinical psychology, international affairs, and diplomacy.
SECOND COHORT PARTICIPANTS (2014-15)
- Fati Abigail Abdulai
National Director, Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM)Bio and ALPs
Fati Abigail Abdulai is a social worker with more than five years of experience in development work. Her work has mainly been in the non-profit sector, particularly on human rights of women from the rural environs. Her work has spanned community, regional, national and international heights where she has contributed significantly in advocating for the rights of widows and orphans, notably reflected in her paper on the “Issue of Discrimination in Widowhood in Ghana that require addressing in the context of the CEDAW,” which was presented to the United Nations in 2014.
Fati has risen through the ranks as a volunteer, national service personnel, and Project Officer and since 2013 she has been the National Director of the Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM), a reputable non-governmental organization founded in 1993. She has also served on many committees, notably the Shea Network Ghana Advocacy committee and the Regional Strategic Plan Apex committee for the Coalition of NGO’s in the Upper East Region.
Abdulai holds a master’s degree in Renewable Energy: Technology and Sustainability from Reading University, UK; a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; and certificates in short courses on Livelihoods and Markets and Community-based Natural Resources Management from the COADY Institute of St Francis Xavier University in Canada.
Action Learning Project (ALP)
Project Title: Widows have a right to inheritance
Fati’s ALP seeks to increase awareness of the Intestate Succession Law to encourage couples to document their properties for easy identification and distribution in the event of death of a partner. Currently, under the Domestic Violence Program of the Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM), 100% of reported cases involve property seizure from widows and their children due to the absence of written wills and widows’ ignorance of the existence of the Intestate Succession Law.
To address the issue, Fati will organize an in-house seminar for staff of WOM on the Intestate Succession Law. She will also produce short videos on the Interstate Succession Law and show them to the community to generate discussion on the subject during the sensitization outreach. In addition, Fati is planning to write an article on the subject and publish it on her blog.
Outcomes of the ALP include increased knowledge on the Intestate Succession Law among residents of the Talensi district. In addition, staff will be well equipped to support the development of videos and execute the activities of WOM.
- Sheila Aboagye
Executive Director, Pervita FoundationBio and ALPs
Sheila Aboagye is the founder of Pervita Foundation; an NGO based in Ghana aimed at developing the minds of children using non-formal education around the country. A few of Pervita’s notable achievements include educational tours in rural communities; introducing ICT in some rural areas, building mini libraries for foster homes and rural communities, and painting and restructuring schooling units in rural areas. She has also been an international volunteer under the European Union Project for Young Adults (EVS) in Romania.
While in EVS, she worked with children in schools on cultural diversity assignments and also played an important role in clinical animation for children in hospitals. In Ghana, Sheila has implemented numerous social-based activities for children and youth under the wing of “Touring with a Purpose” in which youth come together to impact lives in tourism areas in Ghana. Her expertise has landed her great international opportunities to share the dreams of Ghana to the world.
Sheila has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Human Resource Option) from Central University College. Currently, she is a final year participant of the Institute of Human Resource Management Practitioners’ Ghana, a program designed to provide professional training to graduates who desire to practice human resource management in organizations. Sheila wishes to use her knowledge to help build a positive image of children and youth in Ghana. Her commitment to social change lies in her passion to see a developed Africa in which youth take full authority and develop their capacity to make impact. In the long term, Sheila wishes to acquire her master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Management and build a home for less privileged children.
Sheila likes to tour, play video games and hangout with children.
Action Learning Plan (ALP)
Project Title: Developing Minds of Children through Creative Art
Sheila’s project looks to develop the creativity and enhance the social consciousness of children through non-formal activities within the formal school system. Children between the ages of 9-18 are naturally adventurous and creative but the educational system in Ghana has failed to develop the natural creativity of these children.
Sheila is working with two organizations, the Vine Christian School and Power for Love Orphanage, to engage students’ creativity with hands-on art projects: painting, drawing, murals, and origami. The project will also build students’ confidence through public speaking skills and team building. The goods produced will be sold at mini-charity sales with the proceeds used to support the Power of Love Orphanage Home.
At the end of the project, it is expected that children involved in the program will increase their confidence through creative arts and enhance their awareness of social and environmental issues. Sheila believes that by fostering children’s creativity, she will be able to foster innovative thinking among children for a better Ghana.
- Lois Aduamoah-Addo
Program Officer, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF)Bio and ALPs
Lois Aduamoah-Addo is a young and passionate women’s right activist. She has been working as a program officer with WiLDAF Ghana over the past six years. She has been instrumental in ensuring the successful implementation of various projects under its Rural Women’s Empowerment Projects. These projects focused on empowering community members on their human rights; family laws in Ghana; women’s land right; agriculture and food policy programs; reproductive health rights; and waste management. She also supervised the Court Watch Project, which sought to monitor the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act by court actors in three regions in Ghana.
At the local level, she has been instrumental in liaising with community stakeholders –such as District Assemblies, traditional authorities, and community members– particularly women advocating for the promotion of women’s rights within the various thematic areas. At the national level, she represents WiLDAF on Civil Society Coalition on Land (CICOL), OXFAM; and Partner activities; among others. She has made various presentations on women’s land rights using her grounded field experiences to various audiences at these meetings.
At the international level, she has represented WiLDAF at ECOWAS, AU and UN CSW meetings on women’s land rights. She has also developed various sections of manuals on human rights, brochures, and policy briefs providing information on land rights. Lois holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from the University of Ghana and a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Development Studies from the University for Development Studies, Tamale.
Action Learning Project (ALP)
Project Title: Creating Awareness on Women Land Right
Lois’ ALP aims at increasing knowledge of the challenges confronting small holder women farmers in the area of equitable distribution of land for policy makers and the general public. Currently, these actors lack information about the land sector and are therefore unaware of land rights and the sustainable approaches to reducing violation of women farmers’ rights.
Lois is planning to use several strategies for this campaign, which includes producing a 15-minute documentary that dramatizes these challenges. She will share the documentary with two traditional councils and prepare a newspaper publication on the issue. In addition, she will organize several TV and radio programs to generate discussions and reflection on the issue
The key project outcomes will be to contribute to improved awareness and knowledge among the general public about the situation of women farmers. In addition, Lois will produce a report as a way of documenting and reviewing land stakeholders and cultural practices affecting women’s land rights in Ghana.
- Petra Adu-Parkoh
Program Manager, The Ark Foundation, GhanaBio and ALPs
Petra has worked with The Ark Foundation, Ghana (a women’s rights advocacy-based organization) for thirteen years. She began as a volunteer in September 2003 and became a staff member in January 2004. In her thirteen years of working with The Ark, she has served in the field of human rights and public advocacy in various capacities.
Her responsibilities have included designing and implementing trainings in the areas of leadership, human rights, gender, and other capacity building programs, particularly for young women. She has been involved in raising funds for the Institute’s programs and activities, developed several Policy briefs, and facilitated the networking activities of the Institute’s alumnae. Petra has thirteen years of professional experience in program/project management and alumni coordination; policy brief development; website content management; library management; and facilitation and training skills.
She has trained and facilitated at various capacity building programs on topics such as human rights, women’s rights, gender, and domestic violence. She has also participated in a number of national and international human rights trainings, such as the renowned annual International Human Rights Training Program (IHRTP) in Canada, organized by Equitas.
Petra holds a diploma in Journalism from the Ghana Institute of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Ghana. She is a member of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR), Ghana; and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA). Currently, she is pursuing a master’s degree program in Development Communication and a certificate course in French. In her free time Petra likes to read, watch movies and sightsee.
ACTION LEARNING PROJECT (ALP)
Project Title: Young Women Take Action to Bridge the Gender Divide
Petra’s ALP seeks to raise awareness on gender and human rights among young women between the ages of 16 and 24, to empower them and equip them with information relevant to young women’s rights and to help them develop their fullest potential. Young women in Ghana are often caught up in the pressure of comabelforming to gender related societal expectations, without much thought to their own oppression and the broader context of gender inequality and perceptions of women’s status in society.
In addressing this issue, Petra’s ALP will select 25 young women from the Medie and Pobiman communities within the Ga West Municipality in the Greater Accra Region, to participate in capacity building trainings, follow-up review sessions, and mentoring on understanding gender and its implications on women’s empowerment and human rights, specifically women’s social and economic rights.
It is anticipated that the Project would challenge participants to be aware of and push beyond gender inequality by challenging the status quo, while preparing them to develop their fullest potentials.
- Grace Afrifa
Programs Officer (Research), ABANTU for DevelopmentBio and ALPs
Grace Ampomaa Afrifa is a highly ambitious, proactive and assertive young woman who is committed to changing the status quo. She holds a masters degree in English and a bachelors degree in Political Science and English from the University of Ghana, Legon. In addition, she also holds a certificate in French from the Ghana Institute of Languages. She speaks French, English and Twi.
Grace was an intern at ABANTU for Development, and Sky Natural Mineral Water Company Ltd. She also taught English for a year at Accent Language Institute, East Legon. She is currently the Programs Officer in charge of research at ABANTU for Development, where she coordinates a coalition of NGOs and individuals hosted by ABANTU for gender equality. In addition, she conducts research and makes advocacy recommendations in line with the goals of the organization. She also actively represents the organization in relevant forums and spaces with decision makers, NGOs, think tanks, and community groups to successfully create sound relationships with partners of the organization and secure their commitment to the organization’s agenda.
Currently, she is pursuing an LLB at Wisconsin University College. As a highly spiritual person, she is the youth president of the Tantra Hill Assemblies of God Church, Ghana and the district youth secretary as well.
Action Learning Plan (ALP)
Project Title: Empowering Women in the Informal Sector
Grace’s project seeks to empower young Christian women in the informal sector to take up leadership positions at various levels in the society, including outside the church. Young women in Ghana perceive leadership as a male preserve, and this view is even more acute in the church. For this reason, social and governance issues have often been relegated to the background and these young women have limited knowledge when it comes to issues of gender, politics and governance.
To address the problem, the project will train twenty-five single women in the Tantra Hill Assemblies of God church through workshops, to sensitize them on leadership outside the church. The workshop will emphasize the need for women to get involved in decision-making processes and other gender equality and equity topics.
The expected outcome is to equip twenty women with leadership skills through gender equality training, and inform them about issues in the community. In the long term, the trainings will help the women take on leadership roles in the church and the community.
- Rosina Akourkor Teye
Founder, Dolly FoundationBio and ALPs
Rosina is an activist in human rights, youth issues, and politics. She is the Regional Secretary for the Coalition of NGOs in Health in the Central Region and is also an aspiring Member of Parliament for Assin Central Constituency. She is the founder of Dolly Foundation, an NGO that provides training and community education on violence against women, harmful cultural practices, and economic inequalities for women and girls.
Rosina is currently studying Sociology and Social Work at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana. She has diplomas from Cambridge International College in London, England, and certificates for an HIV/AIDS program and a Legal Literacy Volunteer course from Women in Law and Development of Africa (WILDAF Ghana), an NGO working to promote women's rights. She is currently participating in a one year leadership training under the Women in Politics Training (WIPT) program organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), ABANTU and Women in Broadcasting (WIB). Since 2014, Rosina has also been pursuing a two-year program as a Vital Voice Fellow in the Hillary Clinton Emerging Young Leaders program. She has expanded her professional experience as a regional reporter for the Youth Climate Report and has attended numerous conferences and training events in Ghana. She also served as a member of the peer reviewer’s team for the drafting of the Youth Manifesto in Ghana.
Rosina believes that she is where she is today because she stood on the supportive shoulders of others and believes that she has a reciprocal responsibility to help others. She believes that everybody has talent, even in the midst of limited opportunities. She is fond of cats and has a cat named “Born Great”.
Action Learning Plan (ALP)
Project Title: Voices of Community Champions
Rosina’s project seeks to create a common platform for enhancing the voices of rural women and men of the Assin Central Constituency on health and education by using interview and radio panel discussion methods. There is limited civic engagement on health and education at the community level, which is largely due to a lack of participation by women and men in community discussions.
In addressing this issue, Rosina will select six (6) communities in Dolly Foundation’s target areas to undergo training workshops on leadership. Selected members from the target population will then engage in panel discussions on health, education, and gender issues at selected radio stations. Lastly, Rosina will produce a documentary featuring the target population to further inform the public on health and education matters.
At the end of the project, it is anticipated that there will be increased interest and participation of men and women in community discussions around health and education so that they can make better informed decisions and choices. The documentary will be used as a source of information for starting future community discussions.
- Mary Awelana Addah
Acting Programs Manager, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII)Bio and ALPs
As the Programs Manager of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII)– the local chapter of Transparency International– Mary is at the forefront of the anti-corruption debate in Ghana. She holds a master’s degree in Development Studies and has several years of experience working with civil society advocating for institutional and systemic changes leading to improving national integrity system. She has previously worked with the Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition (GTLC), the Centre for Community and Social Development (CENCOSAD) and the Ghana Education Service. Mary’s work has focused on governance, research, anti-corruption, education, project management, coordination, and monitoring and evaluation; including the empowerment of socially excluded groups at state and non-state levels.
As Programs Manager at GII, Mary is responsible for project concept development and design, technical proposal writing, project implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. She has certificates in ‘Multi-Stakeholder Processes and Social Learning’ and ‘Role of Civil Society in Aid Effectiveness’ awarded by Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DANIDA) Fellowship Centre, respectively. She also has certificates in Leadership Development, organised by BUSARA, Global Partnership for Social Accountability on ‘fostering strategic social accountability’ and other short courses on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), Participatory Videoing (PV), Project Proposal Development, and Anti-corruption.
Mary is passionate about issues of women and youth and their impact on the economy. Mary is currently a board member of the Youth Development Research and Innovation Centre (YOUDRIC) and serves on several groups and associations in various capacities.
Acton Learning Project (ALP)
Project Title: Women against Corruption
Mary’s ALP seeks to increase anti-corruption awareness among women and to begin the process of getting more women involved in anti-corruption activism during this pilot project. Many women in Ghana are mostly unwilling to participate and play crucial roles in anti-corruption activities due to lack of knowledge or resources.
To address this need, eighteen women will be selected from three regions (Northern, Middle and Southern) in Ghana to be trained as “anti-corruption champions.” The women will participate in three anti-corruption programmes and three capacity building programmes to learn and help combat corruption. These “anti-corruption champions” are then responsible for initiating anti-corruption campaigns in their respective communities.
In the long-term, the project aims to increase awareness of corruption in the communities, increase reporting of corruption activities, and ultimately, lower the rate of corruption.
- Purity Bosson
Impact Generation, Director (Organizational Projects), Impact GenerationBio and ALPs
Purity Bosson has keen interest and passion for youth development and empowerment. She believes that young people are capable of leading, making positive impacts, and becoming catalysts for change in their communities and beyond.
Serving as the Director of Projects of Impact Generation has provided her the platform to contribute positively to improving and impacting the lives of many young people. She has experience working with people from diverse background through volunteering and collaboration with other non-governmental organizations.
Purity holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology with Political Science from the University of Ghana, and other professional qualifications in Human Resource Management, Project Monitoring and Evaluation, and Youth Leadership. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Business Administration, specializing in Human Resource Management, from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
She was selected as a Ghanaian representative in the Milead Fellowship for Africa's 25 Most Outstanding Women Leaders in 2011 by Moremi Initiative and a Silver Medallist of the Duke of Edinburg’s Award Scheme. She also had the opportunity to represent youth at different functions notably the 4th Pan African Youth Leadership Summit, Techcamp West Africa, and the 4th World Summit of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent.
Action Learning Project (ALP)
Project title: The Volunteer for Change Project
Purity’s ALP seeks to enable students at the University of Ghana to acquire the necessary professional experience by volunteering with non-profit organizations. Volunteering with these organizations will provide the volunteers with a community-engagement experience that is lacking for students. The project seeks to engage young people not just for the purpose of acquiring professional skills but also to expose them to community activities of non-governmental organizations and inspire volunteerism.
Fifteen students will be selected for the program. They will be trained in volunteering, time management, and career and employability skills. They will also be placed in organizations within Accra to volunteer for a period of two months. It is expected that all fifteen students will continue volunteering, introducing others to volunteering, and be retained as volunteers of the organization in order to sustain the project.
The major expected outcome of the project is that the target population will have an increased awareness and interest in community volunteering and enhance their professional skills.
- Veronica Dzeagu
Gender Programs Officer, Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC)Bio and ALPs
Veronica Dzeagu is a policy advocate and researcher who holds a masters degree in International Relations and a bachelors degree in Psychology and Political Science from the University of Ghana. She also holds certificates in project management and managing budget implementation. She is currently the Gender Programs Officer with the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), a civil society organization that promotes the right to education.
Led by her passion for community development, human rights and human dignity, she began working at local NGO SEND-Ghana as an intern and went on to become a senior project officer. She successfully led the implementation of a budget advocacy project that empowered community-based organizations and other civil societies to hold government accountable by engaging stakeholders on implementation of various sector budgets and contributed to debates on the public budget.
She is currently leading a project at GNECC that aims to increase the awareness levels of communities about education policies and community-led advocacy. These projects are helping to increase the interest of parents and communities in the education of their children.
Action Learning Plan (ALP)
Project Title: Increasing Girls’ Aspiration Levels and Leadership Capacity for Development
Veronica’s ALP seeks to help girls ages thirteen to fifteen years living within Teshie, a poor urban community in Ghana, to complete the full course of basic education (primary school through junior high school) and progress to higher institutions of learning. In this community, the majority of adolescent girls are unable to complete basic education due to the prevalence of early marriage, teenage pregnancy and other poverty related issues.
To address this problem, Veronica’s ALP has identified and selected twenty girls from the community who are at risk of not completing junior high school. The girls will receive ongoing guidance and mentorship, and attend a series of workshops facilitated by trained resource persons on adolescent sexual rights, the importance of education, and a session dedicated to the development of a personal education plan.
By the end of this project, all twenty girls will have detailed education plans to assist them in the completion of their basic education. It is expected that their interest and commitment towards their education will be improved.
- Bashiratu Kamal
Gender Desk Officer, General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of TUC - GhanaBio and ALPs
Bashiratu holds a Higher National Diploma in Journalism and a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management. She has a passion for working on women, youth and children’s issues to ensure a better Ghana. She believes every community has heroes who can change their world. With these principles in mind, she has helped with providing alternative livelihoods for women’s economic development in the Kpando Torkor area in Ghana. She also worked with other leaders to ensure the withdrawal of about 3,000 children from child labor and to ensure the provision of school uniforms, sandals and establishment of Bridge schools.
Bashiratu works as the Gender Desk Officer of the General Agricultural Union of the Trade Union Congress (TUC). Her main accomplishments in this position include organizing the first Regional and National Women’s Conferences for the Union in its 56 years of existence. She spearheaded constitutional amendments on the Women’s Structures of Ghana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) to ensure annual meetings of the National Women’s Committee and the attendance of the Gender Officer at the National Executive Committee Meetings, the 2nd highest decision making body of the Union. She has established Women’s Committees in twenty-five communities of the Union to ensure the proper integration of informal women into the Union’s structures and activities. She also led a team to draft the gender policy of the Union.
Kamal has worked with the Ghanaian Chronicle, a national newspaper; and Zuria FM, a radio station, anchoring the station’s gender discussions and reaching an audience of more than 10,000 in the Muslim community in Kumasi. As a student leader, she contributed to drafting the National Youth Policy of Ghana in 2008/9 and the drafting of the Youth and Gender Policies of the Trades Union Congress - Ghana. She was also nominated as one of seven experts to finalize structures of young workers in TUC.
Action Learning Plan (ALP)
Project Title: Increasing the Visibility of Women in the Decision making Structures of the General Agricultural Workers Union of Trades Union Congress - Ghana
Bashiratu’s ALP aims to increase the visibility of women in the decision making structures of the Ghana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU). Women’s issues like child care and maternity leave have repeatedly and unconsciously been ignored in bargaining, as negotiation teams and other leadership roles are often headed by men of GAWU. Women in the union also have little to no knowledge of the benefits they are entitled to.
To address this issue, Bashiratu is organizing education sessions to sensitize five (5) Local Workplaces in the Eastern and Western regions in Ghana on Organizational and Administrative Structures of GAWU and the need for women to take up leadership positions. She will follow up union activities with letters to ensure that the Local Union chapters support and comply with the Union’s legislation. Finally, she will conduct evaluations to test the success of the project.
The main project outcome is that women will be well-informed and empowered to occupy leadership positions in the Union.
- Gladys Manye
Head of Gender Desk, Centre for Development Research and Advocay (CeDRA)Bio and ALPs
Gladys Manye works with the Centre for Development Research and Advocacy (CeDRA) as the Head of its Gender desk. Gladys holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with Religions from the University of Ghana. She also completed a post-graduate executive course in Human Recourse Management from the Graduate School of Management and Administration and received a Youth Leadership Training certificate from Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
Gladys has been involved in projects in key thematic areas such as governance and leadership; peace and security; economic and social development; gender issues and women’s empowerment; and human resource development. Having served as a student leader and head of gender desk, Gladys has a keen interest in gender issues and brings to this initiative her experience working with women to make a difference at the Centre for Development Research and Advocacy.
Since 2012, Gladys has been involved in the Centre’s community project, working with others to bring peace among the Chiefs and people of the Osudoku Traditional Area. This area has been locked in chieftaincy conflicts for two decades, resulting in community clashes during every national election since 1992. Gladys sees the program as an opportunity to acquire more skills, work with women to promote peace within their families and communities, and to serve as a moderator to address political and religious extremism. Gladys is convinced that women can overcome extreme divides to make the world a better place for all.
Action Learning Project (ALP)
strong>Project Title: Promoting Gender Responsive Peace Initiatives among Traditional Leaders
Gladys’ ALP seeks to reduce community violence in the Osudoku Traditional Area in Ghana. Community violence has consistently occurred in the area due to Chieftaincy conflicts now spanning over three decades. The conflict has impacted women and men in different ways. The conflict resolution processes have not involved queen mothers and women opinion leaders, even though they play a pivotal role in their communities and therefore have the capacity to influence such processes and promote peace.
As part of the activities to address the issue, Gladys’s ALP will include the creation of a women’s peace building group. The group will be made up of all the queen mothers in the area, as well as some women leaders and opinion leaders in the three major communities. The group will be sensitized on conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peace building, all discussed from a gender perspective.
As a final outcome of this ALP, it is expected that development initiatives and projects in the communities will increase and existing ones will be improved through women’s engagement towards peace building.
- Rita Ntoso
Programs Manager, Socioserve-GhanaBio and ALPs
Rita Ntoso holds a master’s degree in NGO Management, a post-graduate Certificate in “NGO Management” and a Higher National Diploma in Marketing. She currently serves as the Programs Manager of Socioserve-Ghana (SSG). With ten years of experience as a Development Specialist, Rita has managed projects focused on improving the health and socio-economic status of community members in deprived areas. Rita has undertaken several projects involving Information, Education & Communication (IEC) for community empowerment, advocacy, and behavioral change communication targeted at sustainable development in rural communities. She has immense technical expertise in the implementation of community action plans and use of participatory methodologies for community education.
Her activities have focused on training and building women and youth collectives, focusing on educating the public on pressing issues in the community including equal rights, domestic and sexual violence, violence against HIV+ women, and harmful traditional practices. She has achieved this using a rights-based approach and people-centered advocacy to ensure inclusion, voice, participation, accountability, mutuality and collaboration. She is involved in building the capacity of local NGOs to effectively implement their projects by designing and facilitating training programs.
Under her management, Socioserve-Ghana has been adjudged the “Best Collaborating Partner in Health Delivery” by the Health Management Teams of Asuogyaman District and Lower Manya Municipal, on various occasions. SSG was adjudged an ‘Outstanding Grant Partner’ in an advocacy project she coordinated under the DFID funded RAVI Project. Rita also played a vital role by providing technical assistance for the first public hearing of the Government Assurances Committee of Ghana’s Parliament.
Since 2004, Rita has coordinated a thriving association of Women Living with HIV & AIDS. She is a Founding Member/Executive Secretary of Ghana Medicinal Alliance Transparency Civil Society Group and was the Executive Secretary of Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, Eastern Regional Branch, for six years.
Actual Learning Project (ALP)
Project Title: Development of a Communication Strategy
Rita’s project seeks to develop a gender sensitive communication strategy plan for SSG as a way to raise SSG’s public profile with its target stakeholders. In 2014, an organizational assessment at SSG showed that the unavailability of a documented communication strategy was a major shortcoming in the organization affecting SSG’s ability to attract substantive funds from donors. With the communication strategy, Rita aims to increase SSG’s visibility throughout the country and mobilize resources to better serve her community.
To address the issue, SSG staff under Rita’s leadership will collaboratively create and document a communication strategy for the organization. Under this ALP, Rita and the staff will review SSG’s current communication methods and develop an innovative communication plan, train all staff on implementing the new strategy, and concurrently develop and implement an evaluation to assess the success of the new communication initiative.
Main outcomes will include: implementation of the communication strategy with monitoring systems; increased attention of funders and funding information; improved funding sources; and improved communication skills among staff and the target population.
- Joyce Renee Ago Djanie
Executive Assistant (Project Coordinator), Planned Parenthood Association of GhanaBio and ALPs
For the past thirteen years, Joyce Renee Ago Djanie has worked as a volunteer and staff member in various capacities related to project management, administration and governance in the fields of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH), youth development, and gender. She has participated in several national campaigns and working groups, including National HIV Anti-Stigma Taskforce and the technical team that developed the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (2011-2015) and Youth Action Matrix. She served on the UNFPA Global Youth Advisory Panel and the UNFPA National Youth Advisory Panel.
Joyce currently works with Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana as the Executive Assistant/Governance and Gender Focal Person. She is also a trainer for the IPPF/PPAG Learning Centre Initiative (ASRH Programming). She previously worked with Hope for Future Generations as the Human Resource and Capacity Development Manager. She also worked with PPAG as the Assistant Project Officer at the Accra Young and Wise Centre, which was then implementing the Global Fund Round 8 Project (HIV and AIDS). She spearheaded the establishment of the National Youth and Adolescent Network on Population and Development as the first Coordinator, under the auspices of UNFPA and the National Youth Authority.
She holds a master’s degree in International Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She also writes and directs original plays for audiences of diverse backgrounds. She pioneered the establishment of the Grace Methodist Drama Ministry and has written twenty plays.
Joyce inspires several young people through her commitment to support global issues on the protection of human rights for all.
Action Learning Project (ALP)
Project Title: Improving the Reproductive Health status of Young people with disabilities in Restricted Environment
Joyce’s ALP seeks to improve the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of Young People with Disabilities (PWD) at the Akrong School for the Blind and other institutions for PWD. This project emerged as a way to respond to the limited access to SRHR information and services among young PWDs and the resulting incidence among them of STDs, unsafe abortions, and sexual exploitation and abuse. The project is in line with the vision of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, the Project’s host.
The major strategy is to establish two (2) in-school clubs as institutionalized mechanism for continuous access to SRH information and services among PWDs. The club members will be trained to provide SRHR related information to their peers through innovative club activities and refer them for SRH services.
At the end of the project, it is expected that two (2) clubs would be established and inaugurated, sixty (60) young PWDs would be knowledgeable in SRH issues, and fifty (50) young PWDs would be accessing SRHR services.
- Susana Serwah Dartey
Project Officer, Theatre for a Change (TFAC), GhanaBio and ALPs
Susana completed her high school in Harvard College, Accra-Ghana. While waiting for her results, Susana began volunteering with the Centre for Popular Studies, Action and Development (CENCOSAD) in 2001.
Finding an interest in volunteer work, she became a participant with Theatre for a Change (TFAC) in 2004, a Ghanaian NGO which uses interactive theatre for education and advocacy centered around sexual and reproductive health. After taking part in activities, she was later selected as a facilitator. She started a focus group of young people from James Town, a community in Accra, with low unemployment rates and uneven education levels. As a result of her hard work, Susana was fully employed by TFAC in 2008 as a Monitoring Officer for a project with trainee teachers in Greater Accra.
Since 2012, Susana has worked as Project Officer for the TFAC Old Fadama project where she works with female sex workers in an Accra slum on sexual and reproductive health and access to justice. She encourages women to explore issues that affect their lives and to advocate behavior change in their individual lives via workshops and in their community via radio dramas and interactive theatre. She has produced two successful radio dramas with two different focus groups of female sex workers. Susana has played a key role in the founding of Act for Change, a grassroots NGO run by young people from Jamestown. Through her volunteer work and employment, Susana also had the opportunity to participate in international exchange programs in Bielefeld, Germany and Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Susana holds a National Open College Network Certificate (OCN London Region) in Forum Theatre, awarded by St Mary's University, London.
Action Learning Project (ALP)
Project Title: My Network, My Rights
Susana’s project seeks to provide a safe space and support structures for female sex workers, while protecting their human rights and respecting their dignity. There is poor sexual and reproductive health among female sex workers (FSW) in the Old Fadama community and this is compounded by violence from clients, partners, and the community. Stigma and discrimination also prevents the women from accessing appropriate health services and legal services.
To address this issue, the project will train four (4) FSW facilitators to form support groups in the community, who would facilitate monthly support group meetings for a total of twenty-four FSW in the community. Topics to be covered will include basic human rights, reproductive health rights, negotiation skills, and confidence in reporting abuse.
The main expected outcome is the establishment of a sustainable network to promote the dignity and rights of the FSW in the Old Fadama Community. The FSW will have increased information about health, justice, and support resources.
- Selina Torrison Saaka
Assistant Registrar, University of Ghana – LegonBio and ALPs
Selina holds a master’s degree in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management and a bachelor’s degree in English and Law and Post-graduate Certificate in Development Evaluation from Carleton University. Her experiences span different layers of development cooperation, from the grassroots to the policy level. She currently works at the University of Ghana Business School as the Assistant Registrar, volunteers for several NGOs, and serves as a mentor for students in her community.
Until recently, she worked as a Program Officer with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DANIDA) where she coordinated the ‘Support to Private Sector Development Program’ and facilitated complex stakeholder relationships that included senior Government Ministries, NGOs, private sector entities and development partners’ donors.
She previously worked with Oxfam, GB, where she joined a team of likeminded people to advocate for policies that will improve the lives of farmers in Ghana and Burkina Faso by building coalitions to fight policies that were counterproductive to poor peasant farmers. This work included research, advocacy and program support. At Oxfam, she raised funds for the Single Mother’s Association, an NGO which mobilizes marginalized women. Through these efforts, she set up two mechanized rice processing and packaging plants in the Upper East Region of Ghana. This program has produced a model-rice-project which has increased the income earning opportunities of 400 marginalized women who process and package locally grown rice.
She also worked with World Vision, where her responsibilities covered three areas: Economic empowerment for women, water and sanitation, and child rights-related issues.
Action Learning Plan
Project Title: Corporate Mentorship Program
Selina’s ALP seeks to equip students from the University of Ghana with employable skills that will prepare them for the job market. Employers often comment that students do not have essential employability skills on graduation. As a result, research shows that it takes most students wait on average up to three years after graduation to find a job.
The project will institute a mentorship program where 30 final year students from the University of Ghana Business School will be paired with mentors from corporate institutions for nine months. As part of the project, students will participate in a seminar series on “How to Prepare for the Job Market”.
The project will result in thirty students receiving direct guidance and counseling support from mentors and job readiness training. To ensure the sustainability of the project, Selina will develop long term MoUs between the University of Ghana Business School and at least five corporate institutions to continue assisting students as they enter the workforce.
FIRST COHORT PARTICIPANTS (2013-14)
- Esenam Abra Ahiadorme
Program Officer for Governance,Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF Ghana)Bio and ALPs
Esenam is a dedicated professional with over five years of experience in human rights, gender rights, community development, project design, and management. Currently, Esenam works with Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF Ghana) as Program Officer for Governance in charge of coordinating the We Know Politics II project. This project is aimed at monitoring women’s participation and representation in decision-making structures and state obligations towards the implementation of the national and international treaties law. In this capacity, Esenam also coordinates the Oil and Gas project aimed at educating women on how to engage with oil and gas actors to ensure responsiveness to women’s concerns, accountability and transparency in managing oil and gas resources.
Prior to joining WiLDAF Ghana, Esenam worked with World Vision International, the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, Dodowa District; and the Women and Development Project (WADEP) in Nkwanta South District. All these organizations focus on women, children, youth, community development, economic and social justice, and human rights.
Esenam has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Sociology from the University of Ghana. She also holds a diploma in adult education from the University of Ghana, a Teacher’s Certification from Jasikan Teacher Training College and a General Certificate of Education from Taviefe Secondary School.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Reproductive and Maternal Health Care in Community Hands
Esenam’s ALP seeks to reduce maternal mortality and improve maternal healthcare in the Akwopem North District in Ghana by increasing young women’s knowledge on reproductive health. Since January 2014, the project has built the capacity of 30 selected JHS (Junior High School) on health rights and advocacy, and reached 100 community members and has educated them on reproductive health rights, gender, and available health facilities in their district. As a result, the “My Body My Health My Future’ (BHF) club was established. The club facilitates workshop sessions to members on human rights, gender, leadership, the need for women’s participation, and women’s economic rights. These activities have increased knowledge on reproductive health rights and improved maternal care among pregnant adolescents and young mothers in the district).
Main Gains/ Outcomes
- Created awareness on sexual and reproductive health and rights in JHS (Junior High Schools).
- Built the capacity of 30 selected JHS students on health rights and advocacy to demand quality health care from health providers as a platform to request improved reproductive health and maternal care for adolescent pregnant women.
- Reached out to approximately one hundred community members to spread knowledge and awareness on reproductive health rights, gender, and available health facilities in the district, including female adolescents and women, traditional leaders and parents of pregnant adolescents and health workers.
- Established ‘My Body My Health My Future’ (BHF) clubs with 25 girls. At the request of The Ghana Education Office to include boys in the club, 10 boys were admitted.
- WiLDAF Ghana has adopted the club initiative under its 3 years European Union sponsored maternal health project in the district.
- Support 3 pregnant girls and bring them back to their families/parents who have understood the need to support girls’ future and education.
- Jamila Haruna Yeboah
Assistant to the Head of Planning Department,BXC Company Ghana LimitedBio and ALPs
Jamila is a strong advocate for gender equality and ethnicity in all spheres of society. Jamila would like to become an Executive Director in a non-government or international organization that seeks to address issues on gender and human rights specific to gender based violence. Charting a pathway towards this goal, she worked with The Ark Foundation, Ghana, as a Volunteer Project Coordinator. As a passionate young woman with the desire for change, Jamila embarked on sensitization and education on human rights and gender base violence. Jamila is currently the Assistant to the Head of Planning Department with BXC Company Ghana Limited, a private company where she gained experience in strategies for social change.
Jamila is one of thirty young women who executed the “Nuisance Project-Young Women Speak Peace to Power”, which advocated for peace before the December 2012 elections. A notable accomplishment of the project was getting the support of over 1000 leaders, including the Chief Justice, to sign a petition for peace. From her experiences on the project, Jamila believes that one can always find a way to make a positive impact in society. She also received an award for her tireless contribution to the success of the Nuisance Project.
Jamila also worked as a service person with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Africa and Regional Integration Bureau in Ghana. In this role, she was part of the team that successfully organized a permanent joint commission for cooperation between Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso. She was also the Public Relations Officer of the Faculty of Social Science Electoral Commission at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
Jamila is an alumna of the Women’s Law and Human Rights Institute of the Ark Foundation. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Studies from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology where she served as Canteen Chairperson in her hall of residence. Jamila enjoys learning new things and meeting people from different backgrounds. In her spare time she likes listening to music and travelling.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Speak Up
Jamila’s ALP seeks to build the confidence of adolescents in schools and sensitizes them on the effects of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and the need to prevent it. Jamila’s ALP aims to educate 200 girls through a series of trainings and poster campaigns for teenage girls at the Junior High Schools (JHS) in the Haatso Area. The project introduces young girls to be aware of the psychological, emotional and physical consequences of IPV through questionnaires, workshops, school presentations, and motivational talks on self-worth. Students are learning how to speak up and to seek help if they find themselves in such situations. The project also offers workshops to parents and teachers on how to recognize IPV in adolescents and how to support them.
- Educated 54 JHS students (24 boys and 30 girls about warning signs on intimate partner violence).
- Provided the JHS students, 10 parents and 10 teachers with information on where to go for help. In total, the project reached 74 participants.
- Increased knowledge on IPV resources that address violence against women and children.
- Added available reference materials on IPV at targeted schools’ libraries.
- Ernestina Ofoe
Program Coordinator, District Assembly, Agona SwedruBio and ALPs
Ernestina is a passionate and self-motivated young woman with experience in marketing, communications, project coordination, public speaking, advocacy on women and youth issues and a Master of Arts student in Gender, Peace and Security at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre.
Ernestina currently schools and works with the District Assembly in Agona Swedru as the Program Coordinator of the Gender Desk and as an Internal Auditor. Prior to her work at the District Assembly, she volunteered as an Executive Assistant at Totally Youth where she helped train young girls in ICT.
Ernestina worked as Assistant Projects Coordinator and Spokesperson for Women in Democracy with Political Safari, which screened the movie ‘An African Election’, a political participation project developed by Urban Republic, an organization based in Los Angeles and Ghana. The project sought to promote peace and women’s participation in governance.
Ernestina served as Women’s Commissioner of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), the largest student organization in Ghana that seeks to empower students. In fulfilling her mandate, Ernestina embarked on a nationwide ICT project to provide training in leadership and advocacy. Most beneficiaries of the project are currently employed in paid positions while in school. Ernestina loves travelling and sightseeing.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Women in Democracy and Development
Ernestina’s ALP seeks to empower young women to take up political leadership positions in the various Student Representative Council (SRCs) from the Universities in Ghana and the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS). This project trained young women to sensitize the general public on the need to accommodate women leaders, and advocate for improved standard of living for every woman. The project equipped young girls with leadership skills through meetings with other student leaders, a leadership conference and various media campaigns.
- Planned the Women Empowerment Summit to educate participants on the need for women to be involved in decision-making processes where forty-four students participated (including men) in the Summit.
- Deconstructed negative perceptions as summit participants agreed there were prevailing gender inequalities in society and there is a need for women to be involved in all decision-making processes to effect that change.
- Distributed books such as the Women’s Manifesto, Women in the District Assembly, and books on domestic violence to students’ representatives from the Universities in Ghana and the National Union of Ghana Students.
- Educated students on lobbying skills and its effects in political leadership.
- Opened a Whatsapp group to ensure continual interactions between members.
- Opened Facebook and Twitter pages along with a blogging site to discuss social issues on women.
- Grace Wornyo-Azaonoo
Program Officer for Human Resources, Abantu for DevelopmentBio and ALPs
Grace possesses thirteen years of experience as the Human Resource Officer for ABANTU for Development, a gender rights and policy advocacy organization. As a gender activist, Grace is passionate to support the work of the women’s movement in Ghana and in the sub region. Her roles include engaging with ABANTU’s constituents at different levels, in particular, at the local and national levels of governance.
Prior to her position as Human Resource Officer, Grace coordinated ABANTU’s Young Women’s Mentorship Program for more than seven years. In this role, she was given the opportunity to take on leadership challenges and mentor a significant number of young women from second cycle institutions. As a result, approximately 80 percent of these young women have actually assumed leadership positions in different capacities upon entering the tertiary institution and beyond.
From these experiences, Grace witnessed and appreciated different groups of women navigating through their political aspirations and careers; from being mentees to local level or district assembly aspirants and members, and finally as members of parliament. Grace has participated and contributed at national, regional and international workshops and conferences such as the Association for Women’s Rights in Development’s (AWID) 11th International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development in South Africa, where the theme was “The Power of Movements”, and a Community of Practice (CoP) for young women’s mentorship, an interactive and sharing conference in Canada.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Young Women Mentorship Program
The Young Women’s Mentorship Program (YWMP) is a comprehensive leadership-training program for young women in Ghana between the ages of 16-25. This program aims to create awareness in an effort to empower young women to develop the skills, knowledge and experience they need to take up leadership positions in their communities and country as a whole. In total twenty (20) young women have been selected from two Senior High Schools; Trinity and O’Reilly Senior High Schools in the Spintex Community in Accra. The training and mentorship program included topics such as: gender inequality, leadership & development, gender and governance, peace building and security; climate change, and media.
- Selected twenty young girls between the ages of 17-25 for the young women’s mentorship program.
- Built the capacity of sixty students from both O’Reilly and Trinity Senior High Schools on gender perspectives in leadership and development.
- Conducted a training workshop on Gender and Development for twenty girls. As a result, two clubs were formed in the beneficiary schools-Trinity and O’Reilly Senior High Schools, both in Accra.
- Improved typing skills and the effective use of internet amongst fifteen mentees through the ICT training program.
- Formed girls’ clubs with twenty young women in their communities and churches to educate their peers on leadership roles.
- Developed writing skills and writing as a hobby amongst three mentees: Benedicta Yeboah-Afari, Divine Otaroghene and Belinda Kumatu. The former two have written articles related to “Barriers to Women’s Participation in Leadership” edited by Ms. Nafisatu Yussif, a Program Officer at ABANTU for Development for publication. Belinda Kumatu wrote and entered an article on women’s leadership in Ghana to the Women’s Manifesto Coalition’s 10th Anniversary Essay Competition and won an award on September 2, 2014.
- Regina Antwi
Relations Manager,Leading Ladies Network
Regina Antwi’s passion for leadership is born out of a genuine desire to bring about a paradigm shift to humanity and mankind. She believes that mentoring is a vital tool in the life of a young, ambitious and energetic person. Regina has mentored many young individuals to realize their dreams in terms of taking up leadership roles in all aspect of their lives. She has volunteered in Civil Service Organisations to impact the lives of the less privileged in society. Regina’s rod is not to give any thought to herself only but to the wellbeing of other people with the inspiration that if an individual is empowered a whole community is empowered. She holds a certificate in NGO Management from Cambridge Centre of Excellence, Ghana, a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Purchasing and Supply Management Studies from Accra Polytechnic. Regina has also participated in a one year Leadership Program organized by Friedrich – Ebert – Stiftung Ghana, FES and another at the Research Centre for Leadership in Action at NYU Wagner, in Accra - Ghana and New York.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: My Future, My Life
My Future My Life is a transformative leadership program that seeks to build the confidence and leadership skills of 25 adolescents by supporting their active participation in decision making and to develop their hidden potential. The project is intended to contribute to developing teenagers’ leadership capacities, and increase opportunities and awareness on gender equality issues through training. The transformational leadership training is a six (6) month intensive program designed for teenagers between the ages of 13 – 19 in the Junior High Schools. The project is currently being implemented in the Eastern Region of Ghana, in the Yilo Krobo Municipality at Somanya.
- Developed and facilitated five seminars/workshops with diverse stakeholders on: gender and human rights issues, entrepreneurship and economic development, leadership development, and sexual & reproductive health issues.
- Some girls who participated in the program have developed entrepreneurial activities to support their education.
- Received a proposal by the headmasters of SRA Presbyterian School for a similar training for young boys.
- Collaborated with teachers, local authorities, and leaders who participated in the program.
- The Queen Mother of Somanya, has embraced the program and will continue supporting the initiative.
- Noelle Theara Appiah
Legal Aid Coordinator, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-GHANA)Bio and ALPs
Noelle Theara Appiah holds a Bachelor degree in Chemistry from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. A passionate and goal driven young woman, she is the legal aid coordinator with seven years of experience at the legal aid department of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA). Her hard work and team spirit shaped her life and career, leading her to be the change agent she desires to see in her society. Being innovative and practical led her to the additional role of organizing events for various organizations.
Noelle began her career at FIDA as a National Service Personnel where she transitioned to Program Assistant and then to the Legal Aid Coordinator. Her resourcefulness and strengths have contributed to her personal trajectory and the organization’s development.
Working in FIDA strengthened her skills and competencies in proposal writing and grant management. Recently she had the opportunity to facilitate a meeting for state actors on how to be responsive to women’s rights violations. At this meeting she also made a presentation on the trends of women rights violations’ cases at FIDA, featured in the national daily newspaper.
Noelle aspires to be a lawyer and women’s rights advocate. She has a strong passion to help the vulnerable and change the marginalization of women’s access to justice. Noelle currently resides in Accra, Ghana. When she is not at work organizing and participating in outreach programs, trainings or monitoring visits, she is busy with family and friends.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Roses and Thorns of Marriages
Noelle’s ALP seeks to educate women and the general public about equity during divorce. A new spousal property bill has been introduced before parliament and Noelle is seeking to utilize her ALP through FIDA’s organizational capacity to educate the public, especially women and the vulnerable on the laws that affects them. Noelle is writing a series of articles on these themes, doing research and using data collected by FIDA. Noelle wants to highlight legal rights and identify successful case studies and lessons learned. To disseminate her articles and find a publication outlet, Noelle is reaching out to the Orthodox Church editorial boards to have her articles published in the church newsletters.
Main Gains/ Outcomes
- Produced the article “Tangible Legal Frameworks to Handle Property Rights: Relevance of Property Rights of Spouses Bill,” published in the National Newspaper, Daily Graphic Gender page on October 2014, which aims to increase the knowledge of more than 1000 women on their property rights within marriage through the article.
- Future plans include distributing the article in the form of newsletters and other media forms.
- Wendy Naa Yaaboko Abbey
Senior Technical Advisor, Human Rights Advocacy Centre
Wendy Abbey has six years of postgraduate professional experience in human rights and social protection. Three years of her work have been in management positions, first as a Coordinator for Reproductive Rights and HIV Programs, and Acting Executive Director of the Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) in Accra, Ghana since February 2013. As part of an Access to Justice Program at the HRAC, Wendy supervises the operations of a 104-member network of pro bono lawyers providing confidential legal aid to indigent and vulnerable populations in Ghana. Wendy is also the liaison between the HRAC and its constituencies of policymakers, community leaders, vulnerable populations and donors. She works on behalf of project communities to ensure compliance with donor project deliverables.
In 2012, Wendy was part of a team of researchers conducting the first ever-legal audit of HIV and AIDS related laws and policies in Ghana. The report influenced the National Commissions on HIV and AIDS in Ghana to develop a National Draft Bill on HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections. She also organized stakeholders’ forums with the executive body of the National Health Insurance Authority in 2011. These forums influenced the inclusion of a provision on family planning commodities coverage under the 2012 National Health Insurance Scheme Act.
Wendy has experience delivering human rights presentations at the domestic and international levels. She represented the HRAC at forums in Ethiopia, Malaysia and the United States. Currently, Wendy manages and coaches a team of HRAC local staff and international interns who work to protect the human rights of all persons in Ghana.
Wendy is passionate about the protection of the human dignity of all persons and through her work she is dedicated to efforts that create an all-inclusive social justice system in Ghana.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Development Framework for Visibility Upgrade of the Human Rights
Wendy’s ALP seeks to develop and implement a communication strategy plan to improve HRAC’s visibility and support its vision to provide information on human rights and legal aid to the public and vulnerable populations. This project seeks to develop targeted messages around the program work focus, provide periodic updates on the website and publish articles, reports, and newsletters. The project increased access to information and strengthened HRAC’s internal organizational development for constituents, policymakers and donors through social media platforms and sharing of activity reports and newsletters.
- Developed a framework aimed at increasing HRAC’s visibility and provided information on its services to the wider public, in order to enhance its relevance in human rights work in Ghana by using simple communication platforms.
- Formed a four-member communications team currently applying the communication tools outlined in the framework of the ALP through the support of the HRAC Executive Director, management and staff. The communication team has subsequently developed and designed two newsletters, the 7th and 8th editions on HRAC. The newsletters are going to be published and distributed to donors, civil society groups and policymakers.
- Wrote three articles, pending publications in three newspaper outlets, as part of HRAC’s advocacy efforts aimed at influencing pertinent issues on health, gender-based violence and human rights with policymakers.
- Mabel Pinkrah
Principal Research Assistant and Administrator, Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy, University of GhanaBio and ALPs
Mabel Pinkrah is the Administrator at the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy at the University of Ghana. Mabel joined the University in 2003 as National Service Personnel at the Development and Women’s Studies Unit of the Institute of African Studies, and later the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy.
For the past ten years, Mabel has been working as project supervisor on several research projects at the center. She performs administrative and supervisory duties, managing the disbursement of project funds, preparing budgets and monitors expenses for the running of the center, prepares reports, and assists in the design of multi-stakeholder projects. Mabel also coordinates colloquia, symposia, film shows, consultative committee meetings and a variety of workshops including curriculum development, strategic planning and proposal writing.
Mabel is currently pursuing a Masters in Organization Development at the University of Cape Coast and an MBA in Human Resource Development at the University of Ghana. She has a postgraduate Diploma in Organization Development from University of Cape Coast, a certificate in Project Planning and Management from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Ghana.
Mabel is a member of the International Society for Organization Development (ISOD), a worldwide network of practitioners, scholars, and students interested in continued growth and development, and a member of Sisters against Disrespectful Advertisement (SADA), a women’s advocacy group working to ensure that media and advertisement portray women as human beings with dignity and respect. Mabel has a passion for children and the elderly. She aspires to support others in their professional development.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Sexual Harassment Policy
Mabel’s ALP aims to spread the awareness of the sexual harassment policy at the University of Ghana, promote dialogue about sexual harassment among students and staff, and help them understand their role and responsibility in ensuring an academic institution free of sexual harassment. This project will address and develop an abridged version of the sexual harassment policy and distribute 5000 copies of the policy brochures to students and faculty. Mabel aims to increase awareness among students and members of the University community on the need to prevent and reduce sexual harassment through discussions with students, interactive programing, educational campaigns, and monthly dialogue series.
- Distributed 5000 copies of the University’s sexual harassment policy to students and faculty.
- Organized five sensitization programs on sexual Harassment Policy for students of the University of Ghana.
- Established a network with student leadership in order to facilitate communication and psychosocial counseling for victims (and perpetrators) of such harassment; this was realized through the identification of student leaders and various groups to familiarize them with the policy.
- Helped more students understand their roles and responsibilities in ensuring an academic institution free of sexual harassment, through dialogue sessions between students at lecture halls, hall of residence and one-on-one student session on campus.
- Introduced University’s sexual harassment policy to 1500 first year students during the 2014 academic year’s orientation.
- Beauty Emefa Narteh
Communications Officer,Ghana Anti-Corruption CoalitionBio and ALPs
Beauty is a passionate development communicator and currently serves as Communications Officer at Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, a multi-stakeholder grouping of public, private and civil society organizations with the sole aim of building a national effort to confront the problem of corruption and effective control measures. Beauty facilitates communication and advocacy activities to assure stakeholder commitment and consensus building in the fight against corruption in Ghana. Beauty’s prior professional experience includes working more than 7 years in diverse development issues, including areas of gender, the socially disadvantaged, sustainable forest management and good governance. Beauty holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Communication and Development and a graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Ohio University, United States. Beauty also has a certificate in Executive Communications and Governance Reform from the World Bank and the Annenberg School in the United States.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Advancing the issues of transparency and accountability in Ghana through social media
Beauty’s project addresses the need to improve the use of social media platforms in her organization to engage a key segment of stakeholders in the fight against corruption in Ghana. This project aims to utilize social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to disseminate activities of GACC, as well as empower a critical mass of society (especially the youth) with the relevant knowledge and tools to advance issues of transparency and accountability in Ghana. Beauty is working with the GACC team to develop and post anti-corruption related information on social media platforms, educate people on the need to identify corrupt practices, and provide opportunity for feedback. This project will empower the stakeholders in demanding accountability through the use of social media platforms and other media outlets. The project will also produce 6 monthly newsletters and a short educational video.
- Built the capacities of GACC’s staff using social media to promote transparency and accountability in Ghana.
- Provided a number of training and coaching support to eight staff members of GACC on social reporting skills specifically on: Facebook, Twitter, and web management and updating.
- Held additional sessions on presentation skills for the staff with TED talk videos used as practical guides.
- Strengthened the capacities of the staff on social reporting skills and supported them in utilizing the skills in their everyday activities through the training.
- Used social media to create awareness about GACC work by encouraging engagement on the different platforms: The following gains were recorded-290 new Facebook likes and 38 new Twitter followers.
- Produced a short documentary using funding from the World Bank, which highlighted the activities of the West Africa Contract Monitoring Network (WACMN). The documentary aired on major networks in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
- Mary Yaa Ayim
Assistant Lecturer, National Film and Television InstituteBio and ALPs
Mary has over six years of experience in radio and television news production as a news producer, assignment editor, research executive and reporter. Currently, she is an assistant lecturer at the Broadcast Journalism department of the National Film and television Institute (NAFTI) in Accra. In this position, she anchors, produces, and reports for the institute’s Television magazine program- INDEPTH as well as co-teaches liberal arts courses. As part of her project for the Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program, she developed a curriculum for the introduction of gender, media and culture course for first year students of the National Film and Television Institute. She will co-lecture this course with another seasoned lecturer in the school.
Previously, she served as a Public Relations Manager for Ogilvy Africa media, Ghana. In that position, she was involved in the planning, developing and implementing of PR strategies; as well as researching, writing, and distributing press releases to targeted media. She enjoys volunteerism especially with regard to children’s educational needs and is curious about the circumstances leading to high incidence of maternal mortality in Africa and especially Ghana. Her areas of interest include Broadcast Journalism, Public Relations, Gender and development, maternal health and public speaking.
She has a postgraduate diploma in teaching and learning in Higher Education from the University of Education Winneba, Ghana. She has a Certificate in Television Field Reporting from Canal France International (CFI). She holds a Master of Communication with her research focusing on women’s participation in political talk shows on TV, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana. She is a member of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Toastmasters International (a world leader in communication and leadership development that helps members improve their speaking and leadership skills), and member of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR), Ghana. Mary enjoys public speaking, researching, reading, watching and analyzing football and volunteerism. She is married to Jasper Segbefia and they have a son.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Developing a Gender, Media and Arts Education Course
Mary’s ALP seeks to design and implement a course that will offer NAFTI students introductory knowledge on gender and media arts education thereby enabling them to promote gender sensitivity in their research and in their work as film makers. Mary presented her plan to the NAFTI academic board, wrote a concept paper on the theme, engaged gender experts and professionals from NAFTI and other institutions. Mary drafted the appropriate curriculum for the course with input from key faculty from NAFTI and Ghana University. Mary is also developing a plan to monitor and evaluate progress/impact of the gender and media arts education course and aims to identify a team to monitor and carry the appropriate evaluation of this initiative.
- Worked on a curriculum on Gender, Culture and Media to be taught in Level 100 second semester.
- Submitted curriculum to the NAFTI Board and Dean of Studies at the National Film and Television Institute. Curriculum was approved and the course will be implemented and offered to students in 2015.
- Outreached and collaborated with more than 20 faculty members.
- Developing a plan to monitor and evaluate progress/impact of the gender and media arts education course, which aims to identify a team to monitor and carry the appropriate evaluation of this initiative.
- Miracle Damanka
Development Director, Orphan Aid AfricaBio and ALPs
Miracle Abena Damanka is an Information Studies graduate with over six years of experience in both the public and private sectors, including field experiences in Ghana and Mauritania. Committed to people development and enlarging the entrepreneurial space for young people in Africa, Miracle specializes in administration, strategic planning, project and grant management, training and facilitation, pro-poor enterprise and microfinance – the expertise necessary for leading the poor to sustainable development and financial independence.
After her undergraduate studies in the University of Ghana, Legon, Miracle trained in conflict resolution, social work, microfinance and pro-poor enterprise, operations, and project management. Miracle has served with the U.S. Peace Corps Ghana, ECLOF Ghana (now CCML) and is currently the Director of Development for Orphan Aid Africa. She also serves as the National Consultant for Innovations for Financial Inclusion (IFI).
A woman with extraordinary passion for social change and development for the marginalized, she will stop at nothing to ensure that the orphans and vulnerable children of Ghana receive the attention they deserve. Miracle founded Abapa Fie Company Limited, a microfinance institution, and Finlit Ghana, a nongovernmental organization that implements projects for economic empowerment of the poor and provides all its beneficiaries with financial literacy education.
Aside from her professional life, Miracle is involved in Christian Youth Ministry and is a member of ‘Christ like Disciple makers Movement’. Miracle is happily married and blessed with a daughter, Adeline. Her hobbies include acting and listening to music.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Foster One-Encouraging Positive Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (hereinafter OVC) Fostering in Ghana
Foster One seeks to increase concern for OVCs and improve the fostering culture of OVC in Ghana by conducting a research into the legislative provisions concerning fosterage, creating awareness on risks and advantages of fostering and producing a policy brief with recommendations that will inform the ongoing review of the Children’s Act 1998 (Act 640). This document informs policymakers in the quest to move the agenda of de-institutionalizing foster homes. The document has been shared with key policymakers who has the power to transform fostering in Ghana.
- Produced a policy brief for better legislation and regulation of fostering in Ghana, which was distributed to 62 influential policymakers in 31 institutions.
- Organized a mentoring group for vulnerable beneficiaries in the Ayenyah community to provide information on their rights, encourage girl participants to take up responsibility for their lives and bodies, and to become role models for the younger girls in the community. Seven women are currently participating in the mentoring group and the group meets weekly.
- Participated in radio discussions on Rite FM in Somanya on the challenges faced by OVCs and seeking opportunities for support, reaching listeners across the southern belt of Ghana.
- Future projects include adding a financial literacy training, as well as support for an income generating activity like soap, batik or bead making to help empower the young ladies in the Ayenyah community financially.
- Linda Ataa Osabutey
Rehabilitation Manager, Challenging HeightsBio and ALPs
Linda is a young leader and a social work professional in Ghana and Africa. Linda has been a strong force behind global actions towards ending modern-day slavery around the world. Having significantly contributed to the lives of several young Ghanaians, especially women through personal initiatives and educational leadership opportunities, Linda joined Challenging Heights in 2011. The organization presented opportunities to achieve her passion by contributing to Challenging Height’s vision of “a world where every child is in school and living in a loving and caring family”.
Linda is currently senior staff and a member of Challenging Heights’ Management Committee. As the Rehabilitation Manager, Linda provides oversight responsibility and leadership for 21 staff in the day-to-day operation of Challenging Heights Hovde House; a 65-capacity transitional shelter for victims of child slavery and abuse in Ghana. While in the role, 222 former child slaves rescued from the fishing industry of Ghana were provided holistic rehabilitation and onward reintegration between 2012 and 2014. As a social work professional, she has strong experiential knowledge and skills in managing social change through participatory approach, project management, conflict management, behavior management and modification for traumatized children and monitoring and evaluation of development interventions.
Prior to joining Challenging Heights, Linda worked with the National Youth Authority of Ghana where she managed a National Youth Network on adolescent reproductive health by leading a team of 6 young men and women to launch the network in 10 administrative regions of Ghana. Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Social Work from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Human Rights at the University of Education, Winneba. In Linda’s spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking and swimming.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Building the Capacity of Children Right Advocates (CRA)
Linda’s ALP aims to provide leadership development training to thirty adolescent girls from two communities in Central Ghana (Sankor in the Eddutu Municipality and Winneba & Achiase in the Gomoa East District), and prepare them to serve as peer educators and Children Rights Advocates in their schools and communities. The project seeks to achieve three objectives: 1) Provide leadership training to empower selected teenagers to take up leadership roles and positions in Junior and Senior High School and in their communities; 2) To create awareness on gender issues among teenage girls involved in the program; 3) To strengthen program participants understanding of adolescent reproductive health issues and rights and extend training to other teenagers Overall, the project aims to develop leaders and create awareness about children rights as a way to prevent child trafficking, teenage pregnancy and school dropouts which are serious issues affecting the youth in Central Ghana.
- Empowered thirty young girls ranging in age 12 to 17 years from two communities.
- Divided selected children in two Child Rights Advocates Groups (each group selected members for executive positions)
- Organized five workshops for the selected participants and other school teenagers in collaboration with school key stakeholders. Training workshops covered diverse topics such as: career aspiration, fundamental children’s rights, leadership key qualities, gender inequality, and adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health and rights.
- Extended training to other students in the selected school/communities on Adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights. A total of 75 young girls and 20 young boys attended the trainings.
- Established the “Young and wise club” in the two communities as one of the outcomes of the project. (Peer educators are learning how to train other teenagers to become Child Right Advocates in their respective communities)
- Established a solid collaboration and networks with diverse community and school stakeholders and between Challenging Heights and Abantu for Development and PPAG, Planned Parent Hood Association in Ghana and Compassion International. These organizations helped to develop and facilitate the training and will continue working with Linda to sustain this project towards the future.
- Joyce Lena Danquah
Project Officer, Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation CenterBio and ALPs
Joyce Lena Danquah is a development practitioner with experience in water and sanitation as well as the women’s rights sectors of Ghana’s development. Joyce has engaged with various civil society organizations such as Water Aid Ghana, Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre and the Institute of Economic Affairs. She has served with the Millennium Development Authority and the Ghana Statistical Service. In other capacities she has served as Administrative Officer, Gender Focal Person, and Program Coordinator. She is a woman with a strong passion for women’s development issues with particular interest in improving the living standards of young women. She is a product of the University of Cape Coast and the Business School of the University of Ghana. As a product of the Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program, she has realized among other things the value of mentoring programs for young women.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Four Years Encounter with the Gender Centre –An Inspirational Journey
After working for more than four years at a gender based organization, Lena noticed that some of the staff, particularly non-project staff were unable to articulate on women’s rights issues. Lena’s project documents her experience around these issues though an article which aims to be published on different internet platforms. The article allows her to reflect on her experiences, and motivates other organizations to think about the need of developing communication tools and fostering an organizational learning culture. Her project aims to support a learning and reflective environment at the Gender Centre, and serve as a source of motivation for other gender-rights based organizations to address similar issues.
- Produced a final article entitled Four Years Encounter with the Gender Centre-An Inspirational Journey.
- Increased awareness on the need to create a learning culture within gender-rights based organizations.
- Created a dialogue on the topics addressed by the article by distributing it amongst key stakeholders.
- Patience Antonio
Senior Human Resource Specialist, Compassion International GhanaBio and ALPs
Patience is a passionate achiever with over fifteen years of experience in development work, human resource development and project management. She has worked with both international and national nongovernmental organizations, such as, Freedom from Hunger, Habitat for Humanity and Training, Research and Networking for Development (TREND). She is currently the Senior Human Resource Specialist at Compassion International Ghana where she held other positions including Program Communications Manager, Senior Training Officer, Community Development Expert and Training and Support Manager. Within her current role, Patience led her office to improve employee engagement through measurable indicators such as Gallup surveys, a comprehensive employee handbook and on-line job application process. She has also trained managers and supervisors in behavioral interview process and built staff capacity in areas such as performance management, time management, and multi-tasking.
Prior to her current role, Patience took up assignments in rural housing, water and sanitation, micro-finance, institutional capacity building, health education and holistic child development. She advanced this work with funding from the World Bank, DANIDA, Germany Development Services, the Department for International Development, Plan Ghana, Action Aid Ghana, and Compassion International. Patience was a trainer for Peace Corps volunteers and assisted in a number of research work with the Department of Social Work at the University of Ghana, Legon, under the sponsorship of UNICEF. She co-authored “Social Work in Ghana: A Participatory Action Research Project looking at Culturally Appropriate Training and Practice” published in Social Work Education.
Patience holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a degree in Social Work both from the University of Ghana, Legon. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), USA and the Institute of Human Resource Practitioners, Ghana.
Based on Gallup’s Strength Finder assessment, Patience’s top five strengths are responsibility, achiever, futurist, learner and belief. She is self-motivated, results oriented with proven capability to lead people; a good team player, keen on acquiring knowledge on new or current innovations and has excellent communications skills. She enjoys reading, interacting with people, travelling and listening to inspirational messages and music.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Assessing “Auxano” as a New Performance Management and Learning System in Compassion International Ghana
Patience’s ALP aims to assess the effectiveness of “Auxano,” a new Performance Management and Learning System at Compassion International. Patience designed a process to collect staff feedback to address the needs and concerns of both female and male staff related to the new system. This project allowed the staff to assess performance management and learning functions to determine whether the system addresses the problems encountered in the previous performance management system. The project seeks to support a learning culture within the organization for dialogue and feedback through staff assessment teams, meetings and discussions, a survey, and producing at the end a report to improve the Auxano System. The main objective of the assessment was to identify the level of understanding of CIGH staff in the use of Auxano. A survey was carried out. Out of 70 staff that is Auxano users, 52 were sampled to participate in the survey.
- Created a team in the organization to implement the project (supporting the working and collaboration).
- Obtained a high 96% response rate with 48 staff respondents positively giving.
- Obtained findings, which demonstrate that the staff knowledge on using the “Auxano” for performance management is high (88% of staff had no challenge using the system and on average, staff access the “Auxano” twice a month).
- Identified gender gaps related to the performance measurements.
- Tested the effectiveness of the new system and formulated key recommendations, which would help to improve the efficiency of performance measurements.
- Ama Ofori-Antwi
Project Officer, Coalition on Domestic Violence Legislation in GhanaBio and ALPs
Ama is a professional social worker dedicated to promoting the welfare of the vulnerable in society. Ama is passionate about advocating for the rights of people living with disabilities, youth, orphans, refugees, older people, abused women and children. Ama has over seven years' experience as social worker in various capacities, with skills which include project management and research, interpersonal, analytical and communication skills and the ability to adapt to changing and challenging circumstances.
Ama successfully implemented the projects “Strengthening Institutional Structures and Mechanisms” for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act in Ghana and "Realizing the Rights of Marginalized Older People," a monitoring project commissioned by Helpage International. Ama launched these projects in six deprived communities in three regions in Ghana. As part of these projects, Ama developed packages of care and policies and monitored access to health care, including HIV/AIDS, pensions and the LEAP cash transfer program by using questionnaires to ensure that rights of beneficiaries were upheld.
Ama is currently the Executive Secretary of the Environmental Services Providers Association. She is also the treasurer for the 1993 Achimota School Year Group. Ama previously served as Director of the Department of Social Welfare in Ningo-Prampram District. She has worked with the Coalition on Domestic Violence Legislation in Ghana, Helpage Ghana and Women Initiative for Self-Empowerment. Ama holds Masters of Philosophy in Social Work and is a member of General Social Care Council, United Kingdom. Ama is interested in home improvement and is a volunteer-worker.
Action Learning Plan (ALP) Project Title: Sustainable Waste Management Project
Ama’s ALP aims to sensitize women’s groups to take up leadership roles to ensure their communities are clean and to raise awareness and promote good practice about waste management and disposal in the Prampram region in Ghana. Ama uses media to sensitize and to create awareness on sanitation challenges facing Ghana. The project produces print, electronic media campaigns and newspaper publications to educate the public on sanitation challenges. The project also aims to have a stakeholder forum on sustainable waste management to get policymakers and service providers to partner and collaborate with other stakeholders in the WASH sector.
- Planned the Women Empowerment Summit to educate participants on the need for women to be involved in decision-making processes where forty-four students participated (including men) in the Summit.
- Deconstructed negative perceptions as summit participants agreed there were prevailing gender inequalities in society and there is a need for women to be involved in all decision-making processes to effect that change.
- Distributed books such as the Women’s Manifesto, Women in the District Assembly, and books on domestic violence to students’ representatives from the Universities in Ghana and the National Union of Ghana Students.
- Educated students on lobbying skills and its effects in political leadership.
- Opened a Whatsapp group to ensure continual interactions between members.
- Opened Facebook and Twitter pages along with a blogging site to discuss social issues on women.
- Produced print/electronic media campaigns to sensitize the public on sanitation challenges in the country.
- Wrote newspaper articles for publications to educate the general public on sanitation issues.
- Organized three sensitization sessions on waste management and its impact with the community and local leaders.
- Conducted the first meeting with 30 women who discussed the declining sanitation conditions in the Prampram region over the years. Findings from the meeting included: inadequate public funds for investment in sanitation management (refuse trucks and containers), inadequate and poor drainage systems, and negative attitudes from the community about implementing a clean environment.
- Created collaborations with community leaders, local authorities, the head of the Environmental Health Directorate and the Assemblyman of Prampram.