Every year, several organisations gather to mark Ghana’s Founder’s Day celebrations with selfless acts of community service, through the National Volunteer Day Program, popularly called NVDay. NVDay started by the GhanaThink Foundation has become a movement which inspires young Ghanaians to take positive action, especially concerning societal issues which are solvable. This year, iCODE a co-working community in Takoradi, marked the day with a capacity building program held in Dixcove, a primarily fishing community in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region.
The initiative was a partnership between MTN and iSpace Foundation, mainly to hold a training program dubbed “Capacity Building on Youth in Dixcove”, and this was organized by ICODE. The goal was to educate and empower the youth in the community to help them to make an impact as they could turn their passions into meaningful life-changing ventures.
Dixcove had been chosen based on iCode’s community research as they looked for communities to help them fulfil the co-working space’s desire of building capacity, mainly through technology.
With little-to-no avenues to further their education, dreams of most youth in Dixcove end in shambles. Hence, this was a great opportunity to maximise the spirit of Founder’s Day to empower such ambitious young people.
Smart Bonney, iCode Founder shared his passion for the project, It is by this problem ICODE on the 21st of September 2017 which marked the start of Ghana’s founder’s day planned to organize one full day intensive coaching and training program with MTN Ghana and ISPACE Foundation to empower the youth in Dixcove by training them on how they can apply computer training to solve problems, how they can make an impact with the knowledge and education they have acquired from school and how they can also turn their passion and ideas to form a business and also make a change in their community.
He adds, “ICODE believes in synergy to make work very effective and it is by this they involved speakers from other organizations such as HopeinMotion Foundation, EmpoweredGH, Aqua Life Solutions, 233x.com, Emphase and many others to help train the youth and empower them.”
Some refreshments were also catered for by MTN and iSpace Foundation. The highlight of the day was the coaching and mentoring sessions when participants were placed in groups and had speakers assigned to them. The groups were meant to spark ideas; ideas meant to make a better Dixcove. After the session, the leaders in the groups came up with lots of innovative ideas. What incentivised them the more were the prizes at stake, which included swag and paraphernalia from MTN, iSpace and iCode.
Three top, feasible ideas were selected. They are
- an e-Community Library for the youth to engage themselves more in reading and gaining knowledge instead of going to the sea shore to fish after school,
- a computer training center for the community to train the skills in computing and,
- a rubbish recycling company to help clean their dirty sea shore and turn the rubbish to useful product such as biogas and manure.
For the over 600 participants, this was a day they could put their dreams to the test as they shared them and received feedback, on them. Our earlier talks with iCode earlier this year shows that the startup is looking to make some impact across the Western Region, starting from Takoradi. Kudos to the team!