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Dorcas Apoore - The MasterCard Foundation Scholar making a difference

The social and developmental initiatives of many young women all over the world give credence to the popular quote by renowned Ghanaian educationist, Dr.KwegyirAggrey, who stated, “if you educate a boy, you educate an individual, but if you educate a girl, you educate a nation.”

 

The modest but life-changing work started by Dorcas Apoore through her NGO Advocacyfor Social Inclusion and Girls’ Education (ASIGE) cannot go without mention and commendation considering the impact of her initiatives in the three districts of the Upper East Region where ASIGE operates in.

 

Transformative power of the Scholars Program

 

Dorcas is a third year student at the University for Development Studies, Wa Campus, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree programme in Development Planning. She is also a MasterCard Foundation Scholar having been awarded a comprehensive scholarship under The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, a 10-year partnership between The MasterCard Foundation and Camfed Ghana providing comprehensive support to academically-gifted girls and young women in the rural communities within Camfed’s operational areas.

 

The overarching goal for providing opportunities for girls such as Dorcas to access secondary and tertiary education is to raise social, political and business leaders for the African continent. The Scholars Program further provides a unique platform to create an alumnae network that catalyzes the transformative power of individual Scholars. It is interesting to know that even before Dorcas completes her degree and joins the alumnae network of the Scholars Program, she is already demonstrating her transformative power through the exemplary work of ASIGE, the NGO she founded.

 

Service leadership through ASIGE

 

“Aside offering us financial and other support to have an education, what I cherish most about The Scholars Program are the values the program has built in me – values of selflessness and give-back”, Dorcas says proudly. Dorcas demonstrates practically she has imbibed the core values of the Scholars Program - service leadership and give-back - through the founding of ASIGE with a vision of breaking the cycle of poverty through sustainable livelihood empowerment initiatives for women and young people in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

 

For the past two years, ASIGE has operated in the Bolgatanga Municipality, Bongo and Kassena Nankana West districts where the organisation has trained women to acquire skills in turning waste materials into plastic bags. Through her initiatives, Dorcas has been able to support six teenage mothers to go back to school. She has also continuously moved from one school to another educating young girls on the importance of education and the effects of teenage pregnancy, a major challenge affecting the education and development of girls in the region.

 

Through the instrumentality of Dorcas, ASIGE has offered entrepreneurial, business advisory and mentoring support to young women in the districts of operation. These customized support initiatives, tailored to suit the local context, have so far reached more than one thousand young women. Dorcas intends to expand the scope of her initiatives by setting up a weaving, shea butter extraction and processing centre to equip and empower women to become economically independent.

 

Grant from The Pollination Project

 

Dorcas’ drive and passion to be an agent of change in her community and to empower the women in her community to become agents of change inspired her to scout for funding opportunities since the lack of adequate funding was a major challenge affecting the realisation of her vision. She applied to The Pollination Project for a grant. After a rigorous application and evaluation process, ASIGE has been awarded an initial grant of US$500 to support its work to empower women and alleviate poverty.A mail from The Pollination Project communicating the grant to Dorcas stated in part, “Congratulations! I am thrilled to let you know that The Pollination Project has approved a US$500 grant for your project - this initial grant is a good chance for you to demonstrate the impact of your work to us”.

 

There is no doubt Dorcas’ work through ASIGE bears ample testimony to the leadership and transformative power of The Scholars Program. It also demonstrates the far-reaching multiplier effects that investments in girls and young women can generate.“I will continue to use resources at my disposal to ensure that we make a difference”, Dorcas concludes.

 

 

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