- Wendy Naa Yaaboko Abbey
Senior Technical Advisor , Human Rights Advocacy CentreBio
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.
- Esenam Abra Ahiadorme
Programme Officer for Governance, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF Ghana)Bio
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.
- Patience Antonio
Senior Human Resource Specialist, Compassion International GhanaBio
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.
- Regina Antwi
Relations Manager, Leading Ladies NetworkBio
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
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.
- Mary Yaa Ayim
Assistant Lecturer, National Film and Television InstituteBio
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
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.
- Joyce Lena Danguah
Project Officer, Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation CentreBio
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.
- Grace Wornyo
Programme Officer for Human Resources, Abantu for DevelopmentBio
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.
- Beauty Emefa Narteh
Communications Officer, Ghana Anti-Corruption CoalitionBio
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.
- Linda Ataa Nyarko (Osabutey)
Rehabilitation Manager, Challenging HeightsBio
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)
- 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.
- 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.)
- Ernestina Ofoe
Intern-Volunteer, Totally YouthBio
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.
- Ama Ofori-Antwi
Project Officer, Coalition on Domestic Violence Legislation in GhanaBio
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.
- 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.
- Mabel Pinkrah
Principal Research Assistant and Administrator, Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy, University of GhanaBio
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.
- Jamila Haruna Yeboah
Assistant Head of Planning Department, BXC Company Ghana LimitedBio
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.
FIRST COHORT PARTICIPANTS (2013-14)
SECOND COHORT PARTICIPANTS (2015-16)
- Fati Abigail Abdulai
National Director, Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM)Bio
Fati Abigail Abdulai is the National Director of the Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM) a prestigious non-governmental organization founded in Ghana, a post she has held since January 2013. Miss Fati is a young woman who comes from Navrongo in the upper East Region of Ghana and is the last children out of four children. She holds a Master of Science degree in Renewable Energy: Technology and Sustainability from the University of Reading and a first degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Science and Technology. She has other certificates and experience in Markets and livelihoods; accountability and budgeting; and voice and power just to mention a few.
Fati is a dynamic individual whose objective is to positively impact the lives of others irrespective of challenging environments; contributing towards organizational objectives through innovation, intellectual and leadership capabilities as well as developing oneself.
- Sheila Aboagye
Executive Director, PervitaBio
Sheila Aboagye is the founder of Pervita Foundation; an NGO based in Ghana aimed at developing the minds of children using non-formal education. She is the curator and has a team of executives she works with to implement projects in and around the country. Some of the achievements of Pervita includes educational tours in rural communities, bringing ICT to rural areas, building mini libraries for foster homes and rural communities, and painting and restructuring of schooling units in rural areas. She has been an international volunteer under the European Union Project for young adults (EVS). She worked with children in schools on cultural diversity assignments and also played an important role in clinical animation for children in hospitals. Sheila has also implemented numerous social base activities for children and youth. Under the wing of Touring with a Purpose, the youth come together to impact lives in tourism areas in Ghana. She has also participated on several youth in action projects to build the capacity and minds of growing children.
Sheila has a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration (Human Resource Option). Currently a final year product of the Institute of Human Resource Management Practitioners’ Ghana, Sheila wishes to use her acquired 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 with youth taking full authority and capacity to make impact at every level of their growing lives. 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.
- Mary Awelana Addah
Acting Programs Manager, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII)Bio
Mary Awelana Addah is at the forefront of the anticorruption debate in Ghana as the Acting Programs Manager of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local chapter of Transparency International. With an MA in Development Studies, she has years of experience working with civil society advocating for institutional and systemic changes that ultimately lead to reduction of corruption and improving national integrity system. Working with the Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition (GqTLC), the Centre for Community and Social Development (CENCOSAD) and the Ghana Education Service, her work has largely focused on governance, anti-corruption, education and the empowerment of socially excluded groups, largely women and children.
- Petra Adu - Parkoh
Program Manager, The Ark FoundationBio
Petra Adu - Parkoh is a Journalist by profession and a young women's rights activist who has worked with The Ark Foundation, Ghana for 11 years and served in various capacities in the field of human rights and public advocacy. She has trained and facilitated at various capacity building programs on a range of topics. Petra is a member of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR), Ghana and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).
Currently, Petra is pursuing a Master's Degree Program in Development Communication and a certificate course in French.
- Joyce Renee Ago Djanie
Executive Assistant, Planned Parenthood Association of GhanaBio
Joyce Renee Ago Djanie has worked as a volunteer and staff member for the past twelve years in various capacities related to project management, administration and governance in 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 Task Force and the technical team that developed the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (2011-2015) and Youth Action Matrix. She currently works with Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana. She hold holds a Master of Arts Degree in International Affairs. She also writes and directs original plays for audience of diverse backgrounds.
Joyce inspires several young people through her commitment to support global issues on the protection of human rights for all, despite their circumstance.
- Lois Aduamoah Addo
Program Officer, Women in Law and Development in AfricaBio
Lois Aduamoah-Addo is young and passionate women’s right activist. She has been working with WiLDAF Ghana for the past six years as a Program Officer. While working with WiLDAF Ghana, she has been instrumental in ensuring the successful implementation of various projects under WiLDAF’s Rural Women’s Empowerment Projects. These projects focused on empowering community members on their human rights, family laws in Ghana, women’s land rights, mainstreaming gender in agricultural and food policy programs, reproductive health rights, and waste management. She also supervised the court watch project in three regions in the country in 2011, which monitors the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act by court actors in the country.
At the local levels, Lois has been instrumental in liaising with community stakeholders such as traditional and local authorities, and community members, especially women in advocating for the changes within the various projects thematic areas. At National levels she represents WiLDAF on Civil Society Coalition on Land (CICOL) and Oxfam and Partners activities. Lois has made various presentations on women’s land rights to various audiences using her grounded field experiences.
At the international level, Lois 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, as well as 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.
- Grace Afrifa
Programs Officer (Research), Abantu for DevelopmentBio
Grace Afrifa is a highly ambitious, smart, curious, pro-active and assertive young woman, with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon and holds a Proficiency Certificate in French from the Ghana Institute of Languages. She speaks English, French and Twi and has gained experience by serving as an intern in two different organizations. She also worked as an English tutor at Accent Language. Currently, she is the Programs Officer in-charge-of Research at ABANTU for Development and is pursuing her MPhil in English at the University of Ghana. Her work with ABANTU has given her the platform to work with organizations such as Women’s Manifesto Coalition, Gender Action on Climate Change for Equality and Sustainability (GACCES), FOSDA-GHANA and others. As part of her work, Grace conducts research to inform the organization on its areas of work. Some of the research conducted include sex disaggregated data and national policies with relation to students. She also develops and manages ABANTU’s advocacy, public awareness and networking programs. Grace is the president of the youth ministry of Assemblies of God-Ghana Tantra Hill and district secretary of the youth ministry of the Achimota district of Assemblies of God-Ghana. She mobilizes youth for developmental projects and encourages them in their endeavors.
Her selfless, loving, and hardworking nature continues to provide her opportunities to improve her knowledge and skills, as she is always ready to learn new things.
- Purity Bosson
Director (Organizational Projects), Impact GenerationBio
Purity Bosson is a young woman with an interest and passion for youth development and empowerment. She believes that young people are capable of leading and making a positive impact and becoming a catalyst for change in their communities and beyond. Serving as the Director of Impact Generation and Country Coordinator of the Pan-African Youth Leadership Network of the United Nations (ROJALNU) has allowed her to contribute positively to improving and impacting the lives of many young people. She has experience in working with people from diverse backgrounds through volunteering and collaborating on projects 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 distance Master’s program in Business Administration specializing in Human Resource Management from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Moremi Initiative selected her as a Ghanaian representative in the Milead Fellowship for Africa’s 25 Most Outstanding Women Leaders in 2011.
- Veronica Dzeagu
Gender Programs Officer, Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC)Bio
Veronica Dzeagu is a policy advocate and researcher and holds Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Ghana. Her passions are supporting human rights and community development. She currently works as a Gender Program Officer with the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), a civil society coalition that promotes the right to education. She also has experience in budget advocacy and capacity building. She envisions an equitable and just society where every individual can express their full potential and realize their aspirations in dignity. She aims to become a champion for the respect and protection of rights – especially for women and girls.
Veronica hopes that through the Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership program she will build the skills to be able to champion the cause of the vulnerable and less privileged in the Ghanaian society.
- Susana Serwah Dartey
Project Officer, Theatre for a Change (TFAC)Bio
Susana Serwah Dartey completed her high school in Harvard College Accra- Ghana. While waiting for her results, Susana became engaged in volunteering with the Centre for Popular Studies, Action and Development (CENCOSAD) in 2001. Finding volunteer work to be interesting, she became a participant with Theatre for a Change (TFAC) in 2004, a Ghanaian NGO which uses interactive theatre for education and advocacy around sexual and reproductive health. Taking part in all of their interactive theatre performances, she was selected to become a facilitator. Using this experience, she mobilized and formed a focus group for young people on sexual and reproductive health from James Town, a community in Accra with low unemployment rates and uneven education levels. As a result of her hard work, Susana was then fully employed by TFAC in 2008 as a monitoring officer for a project with trainee teachers in Greater Accra who were taking part in interactive theatre activities to improve sexual and reproductive health knowledge and behavior.
Susana has also worked as a Training Officer for TFAC, training two batches of peer educators for other TFAC projects in 2010. Since 2012, Susana has worked as project officer for the TFAC Old Fadama project in 2012 where she worked 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 and development of Act for Change, a grassroots NGO created and run by young people from Jamestown, which aims to improve the wellbeing and provide opportunities for young people. 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.
Susana is married and has two sons. She relaxes by listening to music and reading more about gender and sexuality, and women's empowerment.
- Bashiratu Kamal
Gender Desk Officer, General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of TUCBio
Bashiratu Kamal was born in Kumasi in the Ashanti region of Ghana in the early 80’s. She is married to Mr. Muslim Rauf and has two children. She attended the KNUST Senior High School where she studied General Arts with options in Literature, History and Government. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Journalism from Jayee University College. Bashiratu also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management from Zenith University College. She has had series of trainings that has shaped her career from the Abantu for Development, Freidrich Egbert Stiftung Foundation’s Youth Leadership training, ITUC Africa’s Gender Audit Training, UNESCO, and ILO ACTRAV to ensure decent work for young workers among others.
She has held various elected leadership positions from Entertainment Prefect and SRC Organizer at the KNUST Senior High School, Local NUGS and GUPS President of the Jayee University College, Project and Programs Secretary of the Ghana Union of Professional Students (GUPS) and the Women’s Commissioner of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), where she works on youth issues. She is currently the Assistant Secretary of the National Youth Committee of the Trades Union Congress Ghana (TUC).
Bashiratu represented Ghana at the 1st African Youth Forum held in Ouagadougou and has worked as a media personnel with the Ghanaian Chronicle and Zuria FM in Kumasi. She currently works with the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of TUC - Ghana as a Gender Desk Officer, project team member in the Creation of Child Labour free Zones in Ghana and Training and Education Officer. She has been part of several committees including chairing the Resolutions and Policy committees of the Youth in TUC and a committee member of the 7 experts tasked to develop a youth structure for the TUC. Bashiratu has passion for working on women, youth and children’s issues to ensure a better Ghana. She likes cooking, selling and reading. She believes every community has a hero who can change their world.
- Gladys Manye
Head of Gender Desk, Centre for Development Research and Advocacy (CeDRA)Bio
Gladys represents the Centre for Development Research and Advocacy (CeDRA). The Centre works around five thematic areas, governance and leadership, peace and security, economic and social development, gender issues and women empowerment, and human resource development. As a sociologist, Gladys has firm grounding in leadership and human resource management. 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 at the Centre for Development Research and Advocacy working with women to make a difference.
Between 2012 and 2014, the Centre has been engaged in a community project of bringing peace among the Chiefs and people of Osudoku Traditional Area. This area has been locked in a chieftaincy conflict for close to two decades and has translated into community clashes during all national elections since 1992. This background of success, coupled with her earlier roles as a student leader allows Gladys to see this program as an opportunity to acquire more skills working with women to promote peace within their families and communities, serving as an influence to moderate political and religious extremism. Gladys is convinced that women can overcome extreme divides to make the world a better place for all.
- Rosina Akourkor Teye
Founder, Dolly FoundationBio
Rosina Akourkor Teye is a young Ghanaian rising human rights activist, youth advocate and political leader. She is easy going, loves to meet people and love to smile. Rosina has vast experience in advocacy and empowering Ghanaian women in health and legal rights across the nation. She is the Regional Secretary for Coalition of NGOs in Health in the Central Region and has also contested as a Member of Parliament Aspirant for Assin Central. Rosina is a student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi Ashanti Region of Ghana offering sociology and social work. She is the founder of a not for profit and nongovernmental organization grassroots-based at Assin Fosu in the Central Region of Ghana called Dolly Foundation, founded four (4) years ago. At the Dolly Foundation, Rosina contributes to improving the wellbeing of rural Women and Children. The organization provides training and community education and provides sustainable solutions in the areas of violence against women, harmful cultural practices and economic inequalities for women and girls. She believes that empowered women are better able to champion their own problems. Rosina received diplomas overseas in Cambridge International College in London, England and certificates for a HIV/AIDS program and for a Legal Literacy Volunteer course in Women in Law and Development of Africa (WILDAF Ghana).
Currently she is a vital voice fellow, in the Hillary Clinton emerging young leaders program. She contributes as a Coordinator of the Girls and Women Programs for African Views, and Global Alliance Development Foundation (GADeF). Rosina furthermore has expanded her professional experience as regional reporter for the Youth Climate Report. Rosina has attended numerous conferences and training events in Ghana including a 3-month youth workers program on HIV/AIDS stigma reduction through education and a breast screening exercise for 1550 women to reduce maternal mortality. Rosina has also been a speaker at a summit by Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES Ghana), and organized World Women Day on a radio program regarding Equal Access to Education, Training and Science and Technology: Pathway to decent work for Women. Her selfless dedication to the empowerment of youth and women doesn’t end there; she is additionally a member of peer reviewers 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 believe that she has a reciprocal responsibility to help others. She believes that everybody has talent but the opportunities are limited. She currently resides in Ghana. She is fond of cats and has a cat named “Born Great”.
- Rita Ntoso
Programs Manager, SocioserveBio
Rita Ntoso is the Programs Manager for Socioserve-Ghana, an NGO based in Ghana. Miss. Ntoso holds a Master’s Degree in NGO Management from the University for Development Studies (UDS), Higher National Diploma (HND) in Marketing from the Ho Polytechnic, Post -graduate Certificate in “NGO Management” obtained from the Ghana Institute of Management & Public Administration.
Rita has been involved in advocacy projects, which are mainly focused on training and building women and youth collectives and leadership to undertake activities and interventions that ensure equal rights, reduce domestic and sexual violence, harmful traditional practices, stigma and discrimination. Her projects use a rights-based approach and people-centred advocacy to ensure inclusion, participation, accountability, mutuality, and collaboration. Rita also offers technical support to two parliamentary select committees of the republic of Ghana.
- Selina Torrison Saaka
Assistant Registrar, University of Ghana – LegonBio
Selina Saaka holds a Masters in Sustainable International Development; a B.A. Honors in English and Law, and a Post-graduate Certificate in Development Evaluation. Her experiences span different layers in development cooperation, from the grassroots to policy level. Until recently, she worked as a Program Officer in DANIDA, where she coordinated components of the Support to Private Sector Development Program, and facilitated complex stakeholder relationships, including senior Government Ministries, NGOs, private sector entities and development partners (donors) across several sectors. Currently she works in the University of Ghana Business School as an Administrator, and also volunteers with NGOs.