As part of International Development Week, student Bumo Mgabe tuned in via Skype from Ghana to update Grenfell students on her environemntal efforts since leaving Grenfell. Here is a summary of her talk.
I am volunteering with Canada World Youth and Youth Challenge International alongside Kumasi Technical University on a collaborative project called Eqwip Hubs. The project is a global network of 17 innovation spaces called "hubs" spanning six different countries. Each hub offers employment and entrepreneurship training to enable young people, especially women, to gain market-relevant skills and learn from mentors.
I am situated in Kumasi, Ghana for a year as an environmental sustainability officer. I facilitate environmental programs that are in alignment with Eqwip Hubs' goals of transforming the economic trajectory of youth. Currently, I am working on establishing an environmental group on campus to ensure sustainability of the environmental projects once Eqwip Hubs is gone. I am also working on creating waste segregation bins for the campus to ensure proper disposal of waste. We are hoping to start providing environmental workshops to nearby high schools. I basically help facilitate any environmental initiatives with the provided budget.
I strongly believe in volunteerism to help better societies while building strong networks. Certain communities may require resources in the form of intellectual capacities, but may not be able to afford it because of financial limitations. This program is very dear to me because I was born in Zimbabwe and I feel like I am giving back to my native continent.
From my three months in Ghana so far, I've noticed that the environment is not as revered as it is in Canada. It saddened me to see most Ghanaian not thinking twice before throwing away garbage on the ground. Environmental tourism is also not as developed, leading to government's readiness to allow for it depletion in exchange for financial gain. I strongly believe that if the two countries work together a great deal will be accomplished. Ghana is a very welcoming country and is home to a huge ex-pat community. Together with the collaborative efforts of many organizations and NGOs, a lot can be accomplished in Ghana.
MA, Environemntal Policy candidate