A 12 year old girl in Ewueyaa in the Central region of Ghana walks 5.5 km every day to school and travels the same distance back home. She has the dream to become an actress and has always held the belief that some day she will be able to get the platform to engage in high profile discussions and dialogue that will enhance her public speaking, accommodation and critical thinking skills necessary for her personal development towards this objective.
This year (2011), she had this unique opportunity for personal development together with 59 other basic school students from less privileged communities in the Saltpond and Ningo-Prampram districts of the Central region and Greater Accra Regions of Ghana respectively. The opportunity was to learn about the UN and participate in a Model United Nations Conference organized by Life-Link Friendship Schools Ghana and supported by the United Nations office in Ghana for the commemoration of UN Day. Life-Link Ghana is an NGO that focuses on introducing the Ghanaian youth to the ideals of the United Nation through mock negotiations and debate on a make-belief UN conference setting. Delegates represent countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe including South Sudan. They are trained in the knowledge of the UN and its work, ICT for research as well as in the art of effective writing, reading and public speaking skills.
For the first time, this worthwhile programme that develops the potentials of students have been brought to the doorstep of less-privileged children and youth in an attempt to bridge the opportunity and educational gap in the Ghanaian society. In a colourful ceremony held in Accra, on UN Day, these students debated alongside their counterparts from high status schools on the issue of “Protecting Water Resources for Sustainable Development”.
It was very interesting to hear what these delegates had to share from their own personal experiences about water usage and the challenges they face in their access to water. The aim of such conferences is to expose students to the global world in the quest to equip them to face future life challenges and understand their world.
Programs Director, Life-Link Ghana