Update on Samuel Takyi-Elkannah’s project – Raising Heroes out of Zeroes

Update on Samuel Takyi-Elkannah’s project – Raising Heroes out of Zeroes

Every year, Greenheart awards Global Impact Grants to participants and alumni who want to make a difference in their world.  In May 2022, one of our winners was Samuel, from Ghana, previously on the Summer Work Travel program.  Recently, Samuel’s project, “Raising Heroes out of Zeroes” created an enabling environment for kids to realize their full potential and unleashed this potential through literacy and skill development, using football (in America, soccer) as the catalyst. Here’s what he said about it:

Raising Heroes from Zeroes project targeted children of school going age that have dropped out of school due to learning difficulties and show keen interest in football. However on the first day of screening these out of school children did not show up so we resorted to work with children who are in school yet have learning difficulties.

Project came off from July 13-15 in a rural community called Avalavi, Volta Region about 150 kilometres from where I live in Accra.

We initially sourced 41 children and had to downsize to 25 based on age specifics and passion for football.

Through this project the approach was a multi stakeholder one.

The screening exercise gave special attention project a fair idea of specific learning difficulty of each child which went a long way to inform decisions moving forward. Teachers were given individual reports on the children to aid as a guide in supporting their learning. The children were taught to be submissive and cooperative in achieving the aims and objectives of the project.
During skill development we sought the expertise of coaches, donated jerseys, boots, hose, gloves which were handed over to the leadership for use. A football gala was organised where coaches had first hand observation of these children in play, coached the teams and came out with individual reports on their strengths and weaknesses. We set up a team for the children where weekly training sessions were put in place to enhance their skill development. The attendance and enthusiasm were fantastic.

Through it all, meals, snacks, water, drinks were provided. Culminating with entertainment and photography where the three day event came to a close.
A period to monitor the progress of this project followed suite where feedback received outlined the improvement in the mode of teaching and learning. Out of the group two children sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examination where they excelled. There has been steady progress in their weekly football training sessions. As the saying goes ‘ practice makes one perfect’
The project met a humanitarian need which was delivered and maintained on schedule within a specified budget. It was able to achieve expected outcome with its benefits expected to linger for successive cohorts. As the project lead, I actively participated holistically showing leadership by example. Due to few challenges we faced in the original envisaged community, we quickly switched to another location that was ready and accommodating. Each stakeholder got on board and played their role with enthusiasm whiles others through encouragement. They all embraced the objectives of the project and were willing to play an active part.

Other aspects of the needs of my community have been identified, such as the ratio of a student to a desk is not encouraging. There is acute shortage of desks for students to sit and write.
My next step will be to hopefully secure a Grant to tackle this need. However, my bigger picture will be to set up a Non-Governmental Organisation whose core competence will be to embark on humanitarian interventions in society through securing relevant support.

All in all, this project has been a thrilling one all the way from planning to implementation stages. This was a dream written down with timelines which made it a goal. My goal was broken down into steps which became my plan, my plan backed by my actions made my dream come true, through the power of networking.

Thank you Samuel for your hard work and dedication! 

Want to have an exchange visitor like Samuel working at your business? Click her about how you can hire Summer Work Travel participants for your seasonal needs. 

Click here if you’d like to donate to help Greenheart fund the Global Impact Grant program.

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