Ghana’s National Youth Authority (NYA) is to recruit 100,000 young volunteers across the country to help establish good volunteerism culture and enable the youth to contribute their quota to national development.
Dubbed the National Youth Volunteers Programme, the initiative, which will take off in the course of the year, will enable the youth volunteer their services in the areas of infrastructure development, health, wellbeing, education and environmental protection.h
The Deputy Chief Executive of the NYA, Mrs Akosua Manu, who announced this in a speech read on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Pius Hadzide, explained that the initiative would not only equip the volunteers with relevant skills to forge formidable career paths, but would further establish a good volunteerism culture across the country and imbibe in them indispensable values of leadership, patriotism and responsibility.
She was speaking at the Greater Accra Regional chapter of the Young Men’s Christian Association’s (YMCA’s) induction of a new patron, Mr Micheal Leslie Bartlett-Vanderpuye, who is also the Group Chairman of the MNC Group of Companies.
A management and finance expert, Mr Bartlett-Vanderpuye takes over from Mr Seth Quaye.
He was appointed after a successful approval by the Greater Accra Regional Council of the YMCA.
Mrs Manu said the volunteerism initiative would be followed by another initiative called ‘Skills towards Employment and Productivity Programme, which also provided apprenticeship and skills training to young people to enhance their employability.
Mrs Manu explained that the NYA would work closely with the YMCA, which had a proven record of being a pillar in youth development across the globe to ensure the holistic development of the youth.
“Indeed, the exploits of the YMCA in our country predates the independence by over half a century and we will continue to work with it to foster youth-led solutions for building the Africa we want,” the deputy CEO of NYA said.
Mrs Manu called on the YMCA to come forth with ideas on areas of collaboration to actualise the collective vision of transforming youth development in the country.
After the induction, Mr Bartlett-Vanderpuye in his remarks explained that as an entrepreneur of international repute, he would use his expertise to help raise more entrepreneurs within the association to help tackle the issue of unemployment.
“I am an impact-driven person and result-oriented so my focus will be on empowering and helping the youth through entrepreneurship to understand the value of their existence,” he said.
He further noted that as a leader, he would always remain committed to the realisation of the aspirations of the group.
Mr Bartlett-Vanderpuye appealed to members of the association to rally behind him for an effective regime adding: “I am going to rely on what agenda they have as a group and use my expertise and network to help them achieve those set of goals”.
The immediate past president of the Africa Alliance of YMCAs, Mr James Ekow Rhule, said unemployment was one of the major challenges confronting the youth in the country, hence the need for the new patron to work closely with the association to tackle the issue.
“When the youth is unemployed, you and I who are working are not safe,” he said.
Mr Rhule charged the patron to use his expertise to reposition the YMCA to consolidate its gains as the leading youth development association in the country.
For his part, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the YMCA, Mr Reginald Ffoulkes Crabbe, said the youth must understand that they were the future and bedrock of society and must, therefore, engage in activities that would be beneficial to their future and the larger community.