Bono Changemakers initiative trains over 2,000 girls to be innovative and entrepreneurial-minded
Girls from five senior and junior high schools in the Bono and Ahafo Regions have been trained to be innovative to provide solutions to problems around them.
The training under the Bono Changemakers initiative is aimed at changing the mindset of young females in the region to be innovative and entrepreneurial to help address gender equality.
The Bono Changemakers is spearheaded by InspiNest, a Sunyani-based not-for-profit organization, with Civil Connections and SDG world.
The project started with 6 girls each from Our Lady of Providence Girls senior high school, Notre Dame Girls SHS, and Serwaa Kesse Girls SHS, and 10 girls each from Bishop Owusu Girl’s school and Notre Dame Basic School.
These girls after training served as changemakers in their respective schools by training their peers with entrepreneurial hubs established in the schools to ensure sustainability.
At the climax of the one-year project on the theme, “bridging the gap between the entrepreneurial world and the mindset of the young girls,” the head of operations and co-founder of InspiNest, Emil Persson, said they empower the girls to create jobs by solving problems around them.
He said initially, the girls felt they were not capable of solving problems, but “now these girls want to change the whole world. So we now have to limit them to change their society before going global”.
“We try to give them ownership. We only support. We inspire them so that they inspire others”, he stated.
Mr. Persson stated that 40 girls from each school at the ceremony have trained hundreds of other girls in their schools. The problem, however, is that these girls will graduate and leave the school.
“We have put in a system in the schools now so that the final year girls will train the juniors to take over,” he said, adding that it would ensure the project is sustainable.
He said these girls are challenged to look around their environment, find issues and solve them. “If you solve issues, you create jobs,” he said.
Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu Banahene, in her remarks, said the uncertain future facing the youth, especially girls, could be mitigated if they are taken through entrepreneurial-focused programs while in school.
She believes it would teach them crucial life skills that would help them navigate the uncertain future.
“Entrepreneurial training also encourages creativity, innovation, and collaboration, attributes that would help our girls develop leadership skills, embrace their competitive side, and learn to take more risks,” she added.
Madam Owusu Banahene, therefore, hopes the girls would take advantage of the opportunity provided by InspiNest and make the most out of it to become the changemakers and contribute meaningfully towards the development of Ghana.
The girls showcased some of the items they made and when polished could solve some societal problems. They include processed dawadawa and prekese powder, crochet pieces, table cloths made from sachet rubbers, chairs made from water bottles, dustbins, book and shoe storages, pencil cases, sandals, and paintings.
Bernice Antwi-Boasiako from Serwaa Kesse Girls SHS advised her peers to grab the chance and equip themselves with skills since it is not easy to get a job after school.
“Start something small and grow it as an entrepreneur and be innovative,” she urged her peers.
Her mate, Michel Opoku Mintah, called on them to look for local solutions to problems, as a means to survive.