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The MasterCard Foundation Scholars at Camfed Ghana graduate

By Amatulaihi Mashood

 

On November 5, 2016, history was made. The first batch of young women to have been supported under The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Camfed Ghana through tertiary education, specifically the training colleges, graduated.

 

The graduation event was held at GILLBT, Tamale on the theme “Moving on – contributing to the world around me”. A total of 12 Scholars from the Fosu Training College, Holy Child College of Education, Korle Bu Nursing and Midwifery Training College and Tamale Nursing and Midwifery Training College graduated at the colourful ceremony.

 

In addition to family and friends of the graduates, and members of the Cama network, the ceremony was also honored by the presence of Madam Samata Mahama, Deputy Director of Education for Tamale Metropolis, Mrs. Alice Bavoh, a veteran nurse at the Tamale Central Hospital, and Mr. John Asibi Ali, Director of Finance and Operations at Camfed Ghana.

 

In his welcome address, Mr. Ali expatiated on the need for the graduates to create a world which is much better than what they came to meet. He concluded by saying "let us all celebrate this day and make it a memorable one ".

 

The graduating Scholars got to share some of their memorable experiences from school as follows: "I remember the first time I had to immunize a patient, I felt very scared as I had never passed a needle through the veins of a person. My hands shook terribly…"

 

“The day I gained the scholarship from Camfed to pursue my training college education is a day I will never forget. It was a dream come true for me. The day I passed my licensing exams, that day I felt that my dream of becoming a registered nurse had been accomplished and I felt like a great achiever."

 

The above quotes summarize what The MasterCard Foundation Scholarship meant to these ladies and the dreams it made possible for them.

 

Selected Scholars delivered short remarks on looking back at campus life and expectations as they moved on into the world of work. Miss Augusta Annan, a Scholar and graduate of Ola College of Education, Cape Coast, concluded hers adding “I believe that college groomed me into becoming a holistic individual.”

 

To give the young women a reality-check on what lay ahead of them, Madam Alice Bavoh and Madam Samata Mahama, both professionals in the nursing and teaching fields emphasized on the need for the graduates to have a passion for their jobs and allow that to drive them. Mrs.Bavoh entreated the graduate nurses to have love and care for their patients, and to empathize with patients in health care delivery.

 

To the teachers, Madam Samata advised that they respect their profession and not underrate themselves. She said “without teachers, there will be no lawyers, nurses, doctors, engineers, etc”. The special guests concluded the messages with an advice on the need for the graduating Scholars to upgrade themselves in their various specialties.

 

“Give-back is an essential component of The Scholars Program. As a beneficiary of this scholarship, I know what this concept means to us as Scholars and to our communities”. To share some of the give-back initiatives carried out by this graduating cohort, Fatima Hallu Alhassan of Tumu College of Education delivered a presentation on behalf of her peers. Their community service activities ranged from radio talks on peace and other topical issues, health campaigns through clean-up exercises and donations to disadvantaged people. It was indeed amazing to see how lives had been touched through these seemingly little actions.

 

There was a pictorial presentation with powerful quotes from the graduates on how they intended to impact the world. Lastly, Elizabeth Bonney and Olivia Hanson presented a heartwarming citation to Camfed on behalf of their colleagues.

 

Final congratulatory messages were delivered to all graduates by Mrs. Millicent Kaleem, Enterprise and Leadership Manager at Camfed Ghana and Mr. Cyril Yabepone, Education Programme Manager at Camfed Ghana. “Remember that service to humanity is service to God" were Mrs. Kaleem’s final words.

 

As a Scholar, I look forward to my own graduation in the next few years. The following are some quotes from some of the graduating Scholars: “I envision a ward where every patient is a priority and given a patient-centred care” – Abigail Tawiah, Cape Coast Nursing Training College.

 

“I envision a class where the talents of pupils are unearthed and nurtured, where special needs pupils such as the physically and mentally impaired are given appropriate attention. Ultimately, a classroom where pupils are not taught what to think but how to think, and where lessons taught are not abstract but can be related to the child’s immediate environment” – Augusta Annan, Ola Training College.

 

“I envision a ward where patient-centred care is rendered, patient right is respected and holistic care is the priority” – Theresa Onumah Buabeng, Korle Bu Nursing Training College

 

The writer is Medical Student at UDS, Tamale and The MasterCard Foundation Scholar at Camfed Ghana