Letter from Ghana
After months of planning, Empowered to Educate made its first program visit to Ghana.
We arrived with so many questions: would our fellowship program add value? would our partners be interested? would the Ghanaian government be supportive? and most of all, would emerging women innovators in educators think that Empowered to Educate advances their leadership?
Well…after more than a dozen meetings, discussions with potential partners, government officials, universities and women educators who are rising in their careers, we concluded that YES! we mostly got it right.
According to Millicent Adjei, Ph.D., Director of Diversity and International Programs at Ashesi University, Ghana, “Programs like Empowered to Educate are game changers. Without a similar one when I was a young professional, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
Millicent will become a program advisor, trainer and mentor for Empowered to Educate.
Similarly, Sally Ofori Yeboah, Head of Programmes for CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education/Ghana), told us “There is a hunger for such programs among young women here in Ghana…young women are craving the training and support that comes along with it….and employers are looking for the extra value that such a program can add to their careers.” Empowered to Educate will seek Sally’s program advice going forward.
Several of our key collaborators, including Teach For Ghana and Ashesi University invited alumna or members to a focus group discussion with us. It’s clear that Ghana’s young women educators are full of optimism and enthusiasm and they are eager to expand their innovations. They expressed the importance of gaining access to new partnerships, mentoring, leadership training and peer networking…the very elements which Empowered to Educate will provide!
We got things ‘mostly right’ and here’s why: We underestimated their hunger for peer support among the fellows and we missed on some of the training elements; their clear preference was for teaching aspects of courage, instilling confidence and understanding market access.
We came away from our visit refreshed, reinvigorated and humbled. Refreshed by the strong interest in the program, reinvigorated by the enthusiasm of our Ghanaian colleagues and humbled by the many hurdles yet to overcome.
Thank you for your support!