A vital part of the MasterCard Foundation scholarship program is the Give Back component — an initiative that gives scholars the opportunity to give back to their communities through volunteering community service as well as other forms of experiential learning.
Over the summer break, a group of MasterCard Foundation scholars teamed up with members of Kaya Childcare Centre, an initiative that provides childcare for children of kayayei (female head porters), to make toys for the children.
Kaya Childcare Centre, an initiative jointly founded by some members of Ashesi’s faculty, aims to provide childcare for children of female head porters who work in open market places in Accra. Popularly known as kayayei, most of the female head porters in Accra’s market places migrate from their homes in Northern Ghana, fleeing from forced marriages, and also in search of better economic conditions. Most however, end up in slums in Accra, and have to live and work in dire conditions. Several end up becoming teenage or unplanned mothers in these conditions and are subsequently unable to adequately provide for their children. The Kaya ChildCare initiative hopes to fill this gap with the Kaya Childcare Centre.
“Kaya Childcare Centre is an initiative that hopes to provide care for the children of kayayei while their mothers work,” explained Nana Ama Boa-Amponsem ’15, program coordinator of Kaya Childcare Centre. “Most of the children, who range from ten months to 8 years, will otherwise have no chance of receiving any formal education or proper care. In teaming up with scholars for the MCF Give Back initiative, we will be able to provide toys, crafts and colour books for the children to engage them while their mothers work. In using recycled bottles and materials, we are also making cost effective toys which will help to stimulate their social skills and also boost mental growth.”
For the scholars, this opportunity gives them the chance to giveback in a simple, yet impactful way. “To think that a gesture this small could make a difference in the lives of people is remarkable,” said Ethel Adongo ’19. “When you are in the position when you have the opportunity to help others, it really should come naturally, as we also were helped when we needed it most. Being an MCF scholar has given me a better outlook on helping others.”
Originally published at www.ashesi.edu.gh.