Nneka Youth Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that prioritises the welfare of deprived and undeserved communities, has held its 10 years’ anniversary celebration in Accra.
The event was dubbed “The achievements of organisations are the results of combined efforts of every individual”. It was also held alongside a magazine launch.
Sharing a message at the ceremony, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Cecilia Fiaka, said over the last decade the mission of the Foundation had been giving the necessary guidance and support to children in the rural communities in an attempt to curb social vices, and bring them to the point of believing that they too can be world changers.
According to her, the name “Nneka” is the Igbo word for “Mother is Supreme.” It conveys a sense of belonging to one’s motherland and staying there when life is good – but also seeking refuge, surmounting challenges and reinvesting in one’s community during the toughest times.
“A decade ago, I was comfortable in my job at Stanbic Bank. But when I visited my hometown one time for vacation, I realised that the youth in the town were practicing certain vices that can be avoided with the right education and awareness creation,” she said.
She believes that the transformation in the thinking of the country’s future leaders will inevitably lead to a positive transformation of the nation.
She also explained that the magazine contains all activities the Foundation had carried out in the years.
She said the Foundation had been working in Ghana since 2012, and that it started as a result of passion to see young people make productive use of their lives to propel development.
“Since the establishment of the Foundation, there have been summer camps, workshops, teacher training, speed mentorships, financial literacy programmes, sponsorship/scholarship programmes, book drives, vocational entrepreneurial pathway, and the Nneka Palm Oil Woman Empowerment Re-Orientation scheme” she disclosed.
Fiaka stressed that there is nothing more important to the Foundation than uplifting communities by transforming the lives of young people, pointing out that “since our founding in 2012 till date, we have served 34,000 children”.
She assured that the Foundation will continually give opportunities to young women and children, and support brilliant teen mothers to reintegrate into school, whilst availing skills and vocational training for others.
She recounted that they started with 500 children, but, moving forward, they have now reached 34,000, revealing that “Nneka has partly kept them in school so that their academic prospects don’t get truncated”.
“We can boast of the percentage of children we kept throughout our work, and women who could have folded their arms but have also be given livelihood through our vocational and entrepreneurial pathway; about a thousand women have been supported so far and it is satisfying to us,” she indicated.
She further sought partnership from organisations and individuals to help in realising more achievements, adding that “Nneka will be transparent with the partners to reach to many children.
“Fundraising remains a key challenge for the organisation. Especially in our part of the world, people don’t understand charity, corporate organisations… do it one, two years, they become fatigued,” Fiaka stated.
“So, we always have to be looking for funding, but she says with donor appeal that she is so personally invested in the work. Since I experienced firsthand the problems I’m addressing, I’m capable of getting the message across to would-be partners that addressing poverty issues in rural communities will have a positive impact on Ghana and beyond,” she added.
She also urged the Foundation’s partners and staff to continue to work together for greater success after its tenth year.
Fiaka called for teamwork, discipline and appreciation for the efforts made and results achieved by staff, and challenged the staff and the Foundation’s partners to work together in unity, focused on delivering Nneka’s agenda.