On March 7, 2023, Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF) hosted a side event on the sidelines of the sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) taking place from 6 to 17 March 2023 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, USA.
The side event held just 2 days after the opening ceremony of CSW67 was on the theme “Inspiring Academic Progression of Girls in Rural Ghana: Highlighting the Tripartite Model.” It sought to bring together a diverse audience for cross border experience sharing and sharing of international best practices as well as highlights the Foundation’s major role in using digital technology for education progression of girls in rural Ghana.
Addressing the audience seated in the auditorium of the Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission in Manhattan, the Executive Director of Youth Bridge Foundation, Mr. Seth Oteng, emphasized on the relevance of incorporating the right technology into the Foundation’s rural education development especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent closure of schools. He further highlighted some insights and learnings from the Mobile STEM Clinics and Radio School; both strong initiatives that ensured that education was not interrupted for students and especially girls during the lockdowns. The initiatives fall under the Educate to Innovate With STEM Project funded by Tullow Oil Ghana.
“The journey to seeing our female beneficiaries acquire knowledge in STEM subjects and sustain the interest by continuing to pursue STEM-related degree programmes and careers has been remarkable. As a Foundation, we cannot overemphasize the importance of the tripartite partnerships between governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations. It is in this collaboration that these initiatives have thrived,”, Mr. Oteng stated.
Other Speakers in attendance included Professor N’Dri Assie Lumumba, Director, Institute for African Development, Cornell University, Mrs. Akpene Abotsi-Ametepi, YBF USA Director of Operations, and Theresa Cann, Ph.D. Candidate, Columbia University with an audience composed of representatives of UN ECOSOC-accredited Non-Governmental Organizations, Conference participants, education and gender experts as well as YBF’s partner organizations.
Professor Lumumba emphasized the importance of investing in nurturing the potential of the girl child.
“If we don’t invest in the girl child, do not look for them in the boardrooms or classroom,” she asserted.
Mrs. Akpene Abotsi-Ametepi, YBF USA’s Director of Operations said that although YBF’s projects had impacted many lives in various rural communities in Ghana, there are still many more communities that could benefit from the STEM and Radio School projects. She shared that the USA country office was open to discussing collaborations with organizations and individuals.
“This is fantastic and innovative. The collaboration and focus on deprived women is worth replicating” -remarked Ann Sakasaki, an executive committee member of Big Ocean Women
Mrs. Theresa Cann re-echoed Prof. Lumumba’s statement and touched on the importance of connectivity and collaboration in tackling societal issues.
The event was moderated by AYGC Alumna, Princess Sekyere-Bih and was broadcasted on Zoom.
The organization expresses its profound gratitude to its partners; Tullow Ghana, Ghana Education Service, VESTI Inc USA, and YBF USA for their support.