An ambitious project that seeks to provide a safe nurturing environment where children of all ages are equipped with the necessary life skills, education, social, spiritual and emotional needs addressed through interactive activities, set to be replicated in Ghana.

The model project, Nepperhan Community Centre, if successfully replicated, would operate under a new name called -‘Ghana After-School Academy’.

Its objectives are to address streetism and drug abuse of children through programs such as sports, cultural arts, academics and workshops that focus on building self-esteem, conflict resolution and team building.

According to the initiators of the project, the ‘Ghana After-School Academy’ would be piloted in eight districts in four regions of the country, namely Ekumfi and Asebu Buamefi districts in the Central Region, Effiakwesimintim and Jomoro districts in the Western Region, Ga East and South Municipal Assemblies in the Great Accra Region, as well as Atwima-Mponua and Kwabre East in the Ashanti Region.

The aforementioned districts, The Chronicle learnt, are among the least resourced in terms of social amenities and quality teachers to prepare the children for the future.

Some established schools, church premises and community centers in the above mentioned districts have been targeted for the smooth take off of the project.

To ensure the successful duplication of the project in Ghana, some selected people, numbering fifteen, are expected to travel to Yonkers, New York in the United States of America (USA), for a fourteen-day intensive study on youth programs run by Nepperhan Community Center.

The delegation include -Edward Ato Abban, Ruth Nyame, Nana Ama Owusuwaa, Kofi Gyamfi, and Richard Owusu-Ansah.

The rest are Eunice Agyei, Eric Agyemang Manu, Ernestina Tettey, Emmanuel Agyarko Agyei, and David Frimpong. Others include John Binney, Regina Agyei, Israel Agyei, Nyantakyi Elvis Akwasi and Victoria Donkor.

The fifteen-member delegation would be taken through youth programs such as Pregnancy and Awareness Program, Basketball, After School Program, Community Forum, Disaster Management, Football, Job for life, Karate, Say Yes to Basketball team, Senior Citizen, Street Project and Nepperhan Youth Corp.

The delegation would leave the shores of the country under the auspices of World Congress Peace & Progress on March 13, 2012, and are expected to return on April 1, 2012.

Leader of the delegation, Eunice Agyei told The Chronicle in an exclusive interview that the opportunity offered the delegation would enable them build on their capacities and in turn give back to the Ghanaian society by helping children realize their God given talents.

According to her, due to the lack of social amenities in the communities mentioned above, teenage pregnancy and other social vices are on the ascendancy, a situation she believes would be reduced to the barest minimum when the Ghana After-School Academy project successfully takes off.

The project, she noted would provide a platform for the children to showcase their talent, exchange ideas with their counterparts in the U.S.A and improves on their written and oral English as well as provides employment for the unemployed graduate.

“This is a program that is going to develop the entire Ghanaian society. Streetism is going to be a thing of the past since the children would now have a place to go for nurturing to enable them realize their God-given talents,” noted leader of the delegation.

The project, she added also has a component where free computers would be distributed to teachers across the country to enhance the teaching of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Having espoused the benefits of the program, she appealed to corporate bodies, individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations to assist the center with learning materials to complement what would be provided by the parent organization – Nepperhan Community Center.

The project, she noted, would later be handed over to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

Nepperhan Community Center Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 community-based organization, serving Yonkers and the surrounding area for the past 69 years with a theme “Empowering Children & Families”.

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