Over 4,000 brilliant, needy girls from some rural communities in the country have since 2012 benefited from a scholarship scheme to pursue education in senior high schools in the country.
The scholarship scheme is aimed at providing quality education and comprehensive support for academically gifted young women from rural communities in parts of the Central, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions, who are in need, to go through secondary and tertiary education.
The Director of Finance and Operations at CAMFED Ghana, Mr John Asibi Ali, said the organisation had a 10-year partnership with the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship programme.
He explained that the partnership was underpinned by the shared values and commitment to the provision of quality education and comprehensive support to academically gifted young women in rural communities within CAMFED’s operational regions.
Mr Ali was speaking at the opening of a one-week CAMFED Ghana Leadership and Enrichment camp 2016 in Kumasi.
The event, which had the theme: “Time to learn, dream and lead,” brought together over 1,780 female senior high school students who are beneficiaries of the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship package.
Activities planned for the week include, discussions on community give-back, goal-setting, role modeling sessions and hands-on personal and community leadership activities.
Mr Ali said the scholarship programme was designed to unlock the potential of a critical mass of academically brilliant yet disadvantaged girls and young women from rural Ghana.
He mentioned that the intention of the programme was to build a network of visionary educators in second cycle schools and universities who shared the objective of inclusive, equitable and highly quality education.
The Queenmother of Bomso in the Kumasi Metropolis, Nana Afia Abrafi II, commended CAMFED Ghana for its role in supporting the young women to help tackle poverty in rural communities, as well as enhance their education for a better tomorrow.
She called on gender advocates in the county to also look at the rate at which young girls were forced into early marriage and help find solutions to the problem.
She observed that less educated and poor girls living in rural areas were more prone to early marriages, and called on CAMFED Ghana and other institutions to come together to help nip the act in the bud.
This, according to her, would ensure that more girls in the country would be in the best position to pursue further education or learn a trade to become economically empowered to live an independent life.
Nana Abrafi said until issues affecting girl-child education were taken seriously, the nation’s bid to reduce poverty would be a mirage, and appealed to gender advocates in the country to do more to improve the well-being of girls.
The Ashanti Regional Director of Education, Mrs Mary Owusu Achiaw, said equipping the future generation of the country with the right leadership skills was very crucial for the growth of the individual, family, community and the nation as a whole.
This, she said, was particularly true as the lack of quality leadership in Africa had often been cited as a major factor militating against the development of the continent.
She said the establishment of the Girls’ Education Unit within the structures of the Ghana Education Service was among the effort by the government to boost girls’ education in the country.