As newly recruited members of the Kufuor Scholars Program (KSP), we recently undertook a social impact tour to some rural communities in Ghana as part of our inaugural boot camp. We spent 2 weeks on the campus of the Akenten Appiah – Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED) in Asante Mampong for the boot camp, during which we visited the rural areas.
During the boot camp, we participated in a series of lectures and seminars focusing on leadership, career development, and personal development, among others. We also interacted with political and traditional leaders. The social impact tours to Meminaso and Makango were specifically to expose us to life in rural Ghana.
About 30 of us got recruited in December 2022. We were divided into various groups and given the task to visit various households in the rural communities, introduce ourselves, engage the people about their daily struggles and successes, and report back subsequently.
We learned that the majority of the youth of the Makango community had migrated to the big cities in search of greener pastures. We also met a young girl called Aisha. Aisha sold water and drinks. We engaged her in conversation and although shy at first, she revealed she was selling for her mom. It saddened us but what she revealed next shocked us. She said she wants to be a doctor.
We were astonished and glad that she had such a big vision at such a young age. It just proved that everyone has a hidden passion that has to be identified and developed. We just know there are many Aishas in Mankago and we’d love to go back and offer our support to make their dreams a reality.
We also had fond memories of our visit to Meminaso, another rural community on the Ejura – Nkoranza road. During this visit, we interacted with the natives of the community on issues pertaining to the availability of basic utilities, access to education, and their living standards. We were taken to a river called “Nsuo Abena” which the community members said was their primary source of drinking and potable water.
The sight of the water body as a source of drinking water was quite disturbing as it wasn’t a pipe-borne source. When we got to River Abena at Meminaso, the first question we asked ourselves was; ‘so is this place part of Ghana?’ It was so disheartening seeing children carrying heavy pans of water on their heads to their various households. What surprised us most was that this river is the source of water for the entire community. They drink, and use it for washing, bathing, and all other household chores.
This trip stimulated our appetite to help our country because it taught us that there is a lot we need to do for our motherland. This experience has made us realize the devastating conditions these rural communities face and the indication that we need to be the change that we want to see in the world today. We will strive to be a catalyst for socio-economic transformation in our communities and Ghana as a whole.
About Kufuor Scholars Program
The Kufuor Scholars Program (KSP) is an initiative of the John A. Kufuor Foundation, an organization founded by former President John Agyekum Kufuor after he stepped down from office. The former president launched the Kufuor Scholars Program in 2014 to offer mentoring and coaching opportunities for tertiary students.
The initiative has the overarching objective of mentoring a critical mass of future change agents who are imbued with a strong sense of patriotism. It seeks to imbibe the former president’s effective leadership skills in these tertiary-level students so they can help develop the nation. The program organises boot camps, mentoring sessions, workshops, and related activities that aim at transforming the lives of these young people.
More than 150 young people have benefitted so far. The KSP recruits 25 to 30 students every year through a competitive application process to participate in a three-year long training and mentorship program. We are blessed to be part of the 7th batch of the Kufuor Scholars Program.
This reflection article was written by Salma Adams of the University for Development Studies, Success Peters, and Nereus Gyasi of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). We are members of the 2025 Class of the Kufuor Scholars Program.