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The University of Ghana chapter of the Foundation for Leadership Excellence (FLEX-UG) has completed a 13-day voluntary service project at Osino in the Eastern Region.

The University of Ghana chapter of the Foundation for Leadership Excellence (FLEX-UG) has completed a 13-day voluntary service project at Osino in the Eastern Region.

The scheme, aimed at inspiring an interest in formal education among the youth, offered an opportunity for both continuing students and fresh graduates from the University of Ghana to support teaching and learning at Osino, capital of the new Fanteakwa South District.

Under the 13-day programme, students trained by the foundation undertook classroom work, assisting teachers while acting as inspirational role models for students in four out of the ten schools in Osino township.

Institutions covered by the scheme included the Islamic School, the town’s Roman Catholic junior high school, Presbyterian JHS and the Salvation Army School at Abompe.

A delegation from the foundation donated 500 exercise books and pens to the selected schools.

Life challenges

The leader of FLEX-UG’s delegation, Godfred Damptey-Larbi, said: “Our programme was designed to help youth in less privileged, rural and semi-rural communities battle various life challenges that confront them, especially in the area of education.

“It also aims to expose the youth to myriad opportunities through which young people can realise their potential while giving them access to opportunities in Ghana and beyond."

Godfred Damptey-Larbi with beneficiaries of the FLEX-UG community project at the town's Islamic School 

FLEX is a non-governmental organisation founded in the UK by John Kissi, formerly branch secretary of NPP UK.

Explaining why Osino was selected, Damptey-Larbi said that pre-exercise research on the town showed that local gold mining had pushed considerable numbers of young people out of school in quest of money. With Osino bedevilled by the allure of “galamsey”, land degradation and pollution of water bodies are now pressing problems facing the township. Many of the local youth are unemployed and appear to lack a sense of direction.

Enthusiasm for education among the town’s youth has also been low, though they are beneficiaries of the government’s school feeding programme.

Guidance and support

Osino is the fourth semi-rural town to benefit from the FLEX-UG community service programme since 2015, when the foundation began running projects. The previous beneficiaries are Bornikorpe, Ajumanikorpe and Agbedrafor, all in Ada West.

The local assemblyman expressed his appreciation to the team for their contribution to development of local education.

"Many of these students do not get such guidance and support from home, as the low level of education means most parents are unable to monitor and support the progress of their wards in school,” he said.

“The mere fact that someone else is concerned about them makes them feel loved ‒ especially seeing young adults, who could pass for their elder siblings, having reached this far on the education ladder. It inspires the students to want to be like you.”

Osino is well known for its local delicacy “Osino graphic”, a maize dish that comes wrapped in plantain leaves.