The development of capacity and skills by communities in Ghana to become agents of their own development is essential in the journey to self-reliance, progression and sustainability. According to the Hunger Project, self reliant communities demonstrate progress in their ability to continuously set and achieve their own development goals, improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, improve literacy and education and reduce the prevalence of hunger and malnutrition.
Self-reliant communities should also empower women and girls, improve access to health resources, reduce the incidence of poverty and improve land productivity and climate resilience of smallholder farmers.
The development of local ideas and solutions to problems and opportunities within communities empowers locals to own their development and sustain it. The participation of the youth in the development process of communities is crucial for ensuring commitment to the sustainability and development of communities. The need for empowerment of young people is therefore necessary through the provision of capacity and skills that support development activities.
The DreamOval Foundation has for close to a decade developed initiatives focused on empowering young people with skills and knowledge to make an impact in their communities. The Ghana Science & Tech Explorer Prize (GSTEP) Challenge, a programme led by the DreamOval Foundation, focuses on encouraging young Ghanaians between the ages of 11 to 14 years to look within their communities and identify problems they can address using Science and Technology. The programme encourages the support of locals to help young people develop solutions that benefit their communities.
The 2022 GSTEP Challenge saw unique ideas from participants covering areas such as agriculture, health, sanitation, security, among others. The program also saw interest and participation from key stakeholders in the communities where the students originate, decision makers in the education sector and private sector. The program showcased the potential for young people to think critically and develop local solutions to problems around them.
The need for support to sustain programs such as the GSTEP Challenge cannot be over-emphasized. It is essential that more school going children are exposed to skills and knowledge that will enable them to develop mindsets that focus on ideation and development of solutions.
The DreamOval Foundation is committed to providing opportunities for young people to acquire skills and knowledge that will enable them to make an impact in their communities and globally as well.