Feature Article of Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Columnist: Atta-Boakye, Ken
The Project Save Your Village or Town initiative of Ken Atta-Boakye
By Oral Ofori
Ken Atta-Boakye is like an uncle of mine and even though we've known each other for barely half a decade, he has been able to leave a positive mark on me for the simple fact that he's always done his most to elevate Ghana by placing it on a much higher pedestal. Recently I've been speaking with Mr. Atta-Boakye about his efforts towards starting a movement of ideas that will encourage Ghanaians both at home and abroad to start working at lifting the image of the country.
One major draw back to the attainment of a Ghana filled with contented citizens is the lack of confidence in leadership and the brain drain situation. So diminished is the quality of leadership that a sound majority of Ghanaian youths find themselves without vision or motivation and are all looking for ways to leave the motherland. Despite the difficulties and the struggles involved in visa procurement, Ghanaians defy the odds and do everything possible to obtain visa to travel abroad to chase the green pastures, forgetting that grass is greener at their fetes.
This, according to Ken is understandable because of the success stories associated with the travels. Thus Ghanaians all over the globe have justified their travels with the various ways they contribute towards the reconstruction program of the country. There is a positive gain from these individual migrants and their most direct impact is felt from their remittances back home to their immediate families which is good indeed!
Besides remittances, we see the migrants supporting their loved ones and friends with handouts, shipment of groceries and obviously the regular phone calls to check on how they are doing. They build houses to accommodate their families and establish businesses to boost the economy. The government is appreciative of their assistance in foreign exchange revenue and is always asking for more. We cannot ask for more! While these accomplishments are impressive, Ken, in my conversation with him went on to still make a passionate appeal to Ghanaians in the Diaspora to go that extra mile because he personally feel the have the capability to do that so long as they're willing to.
Some have already taken that bold initiative and like Oliver Twist, Mr. Atta-Boakye is asking for others to follow in this laudable initiative as he is himself also leading by example and giving more meaning to his words. How is Ken backing his words with action I asked and he answers simply by saying “Project Save Your Village/Town”. This project according to him is an initiative targeted at directly connecting the migrant Ghanaians with their people at home.
How the project is intended to work is for it to pool resources and expertise from Ghanaians in the diaspora to be taken back home to Ghana to champion causes like the provision education to children in respective villages that are going to benefit from this project. A simple effort like collecting books that will further enhance and broaden the intellectual horizon of students back in Ghana would go a long way in supplementing what they're already receiving from the educational systems back home.
Today's 2011 Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) results is not something to be proud of, especially in the rural areas where educational resources and expertise are scanty. Even some who performed well in this year's BECE are still stranded for lack sponsorship to continue their education to the Senior High School level. The situation is scarily alarming, which is why initiatives like “Project Save Your Village/Town” needs to be supported and encouraged to rescue such catastrophes. Mr. Atta-Boakye believes our children are our greatest assets and we have to do our best to nurture and train them in the right way because they are the real owners of the country who have only entrusted its keep to us adults, we thus must not fail them.
The simple idea to send books to assist children of school going ages with their studies could also be translated into other aspects of society. In an anecdote, Ken takes me down memory lane as he recounts "when I was young and growing up in my village in Ghana, we used to count the number of our village natives who were in abroad. We were proud of them and hoped that one day they would be able to do something magnificent for our village. Each time they visited home we held them in high esteem and accorded them with the greatest respect". So great was the gleam on Ken's face as he continues to tell me that, "It was an even greater joy for such prominent 'returnees' or ‘been-tos’ to have some of the people they left behind actually recalling and referring to them by their actual names and inquiring of their well being. You would turn around and exclaim… so he remembers my name?!”.
This flashback was my old uncle's way of telling me that the people we left back home are looking up to us to help them, so we must therefore not disappoint them. This story opens a whole new chapter for me, it especially made me rethink my purpose for sending money back home and if anything at all, it encouraged that effort!
When I asked Ken to tell me more about the efforts of his and his friends to raise the awareness of the children as our greatest asset, he told me that they have formed and registered the ‘Campaign to Promote Civic Education in Ghana’ with the Commonwealth of Virginia in the USA, State Corporation Commission in the USA. Ken encouraged all who believe in this dream and have the passion to assist or to help “Project Save Your Village/Town” to kindly call the number below for details. The book for this project is in print and will be released in January 2012 for all to have access to read it. The book is by Ken Atta-Boakye and is called “Campaign to Promote Civic Education in Ghana.” so be on the alert and expect me to bring you more information on this laudable project.
Ken Atta-Boakye (+1703.986.8438, email@example.com)
ORAL OFORI, +12027021220, firstname.lastname@example.org,Freelance Writer, Broadcaster, Retail Specialist, Music Promoter, Artiste. http://about.me/oralofori/