United Way Ghana mobilizes volunteers to improve literacy

Lively debates, animated storytelling, reading sessions and scientific experiments took centre stage as over 250 volunteers from corporate organizations engaged pupils in basic schools to mark the 13th Day of Caring in Ghana on Thursday, June 27.

Organised globally by United Way each year, Day of Caring is a single day community service initiative that provides opportunities for volunteers, donors and advocates to engage in community service to make a real difference in people’s lives in underserved communities.

“In Ghana, this year’s theme was promoting childhood literacy through engaging literacy exchanges with students to improve the quality of education at the basic level. Our theme aligns with Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 17 which promotes inclusive quality education for all and lifelong learning and partnerships,” Naa Korkoi Larmie, Marketing and Communications Officer for United Way Ghana, said.

For the second year in a row, employees from Stanbic Bank Ghana along with volunteers from United Way Ghana, National Society of Black Engineers, DEXT Technology Limited, Muslim Family Counseling Services – Kumasi, Ghana Library Authority and Worldreader spent close to five hours teaching and mentoring a total of 786 pupils of Ayebeng Memorial School & Unity Junior High, Accra and 387 pupils of Adenyase M/A Primary, Kumasi. Parents and community members were enlightened on savings and investments at a financial literacy forum by Stanbic Bank Ghana.

Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Mr. Alhassan Andani underscored the relevance of connecting employees to meaningful opportunities to help advance economic and social progress in local communities. “As a brand, we care so much about improving the lives of young people and communities in Ghana and across Africa. We partnered with United Way Ghana for Day of Caring this year again because we believe in supporting young talent through learning resources to prepare them for a sustainable future.”

Junior high school pupils who participated in the first ever debates held by United Way Ghana were awarded with laptops, umbrellas and a cash prize, courtesy of Stanbic Bank Ghana. The debates revolved around the options of saving in a bank against saving in a money box as well as an ethical dilemma of gaining wealth through dishonest versus honest means.

United Way Ghana mobilizes volunteers to improve literacy

United Way Ghana mobilizes volunteers to improve literacy

Adjudged as one of the best debators, second year junior high pupil of Unity JHS, Sarah Agankuh, was excited about the debate challenge. “I feel more confident and believe more in my abilities after today’s debate. I have learnt a lot of lessons from the judges as well as won a new laptop to improve my studies.” Fellow debator in second year at Adenyase M/A JHS, Najat Salisu, said she "has learnt that one must work hard and get money through honest and fair means. I was very happy to be a part of the debate."

Ghana Education Service Circuit Supervisor, Daniel Nsiah, was appreciative of the efforts of volunteers especially from the business community to get involved in improving the quality of education in schools. “This gives me hope that we can collectively build a better future for our children so they can in turn lead the nation and make more impact in future.”

Day of Caring forms part of United Way Ghana’s overarching Improving Basic Education (IBE) programme. Since 2006, United Way Ghana has organised thirteen Day of Caring events, with support from 3,310 volunteers to impact the lives of 14,300 people nationwide.

Volunteer and employee of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Francesca Prah, said this was a humbling and rewarding experience for her and her colleagues. “The excitement from the pupils during the learning activities made today fulfilling for us. They have the urge to read more and with the right support, they can rise to the top of their careers. Getting them to believe in themselves and work towards their dream careers is vital.”