|19 Jul 2023
|2023 Finalists Global Student Prize
Paul’s journey to university was far from easy. Coming from a family with few financial resources, he was not immediately able to continue to higher education after completing high school in 2013. Instead, he worked for five years in a local school as a volunteer instructor, trying to make a difference in his community. In 2019, Paul finally got the opportunity to enrol in university through a scholarship offered by the Hope Feathers Foundation. He grabbed the chance to study law in order to use it as a tool to help fight systemic injustice, social inequity and educational poverty.
These challenges, and seeing others struggle in similar ways, are what motivated Paul to establish the Foundation for Educational Equity and Development (FEED), a non-profit organization with a mission to end educational poverty in Ghana and beyond. Through FEED’s various programs, Paul has been making a real difference and has helped create change in Ghana. By securing grants from the Hope Feathers and King Baudouin Foundations as well as the Goethe-Institut Ghana, FEED has been able to promote literacy and education in underserved communities. In 2022, FEED reached over 2700 children through a literacy program called Libraries Without Walls – distributing and donating over 3,000 books as well as providing young people with mobile library facilities and creative arts experiences.
FEED’s work with teachers, volunteers and social workers from schools and partner organizations has also been critical to its success in promoting a culture of literacy. It has conducted capacity building and skills training workshops that have empowered more than 37 teachers to provide better education for their students. FEED has also hosted several workshops and seminars for students, which have so far equipped over 200 young people with the necessary skills to excel academically and in their personal lives. Through the ASPIRE youth development program, FEED has provided scholarships for ten academically bright students to continue their senior high school education, as well as providing mentorship and leadership training to young people in Abonse on the topics of cyber bullying and menstrual equity.
If Paul wins the Global Student Prize, he will use the funds to (a) support more students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Ghana by providing financial assistance to cover tuition fees, textbooks and other expenses associated with pursuing a university education; (b) promote literacy in rural areas by building more green-powered libraries, incorporating renewable energy sources into their construction, and using digital learning resources to expand access to education for children in these communities; and (c) develop and implement new programs aimed at addressing the root causes of food insecurity and poverty.