From Our Correspondent
The Ghanaian-Canadian Association of British Columbia (GCABC) achieved an important milestone when it inaugurated its First Annual Scholarship Awards at a colourful ceremony December 19 at the Compass Point Hotel in Surrey.
A total of five scholarships totaling $1,700 were given out to three Ghanaian-Canadian students and two students in Ghana. The winners of the scholarships were Ms Serwaah Frimpong, first-year student of International Development Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Ms Winnifred Otchere, second-year Fine Arts student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Master Isaac Baidoo, first-year University of British Columbia student, prepping for the International Relations programme.
According to GCABC president, Dr. Charles Quist-Adade, the scholarships to two students in rural Ghana will be awarded through FACE—Foundation for African Children Education, a Non Governmental Organization founded by Mr. George Piprah, Honorary Consul-General of Ghana in the Province of British Columbia. The sold out event was attended by several local politicians—Members of Parliament and B. C. Legislative Assembly, including Harry Bains, MLA, Surrey-Newton, Stephanie Cadieux, MLA, Surrey- Panorama, Bill Siksay, MP, Burnaby-Douglas, Dave S. Hayer, MLA, Surrey-Tynehead and Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism, Richard Lee, MLA, Burnaby North and Parliamentary Secretary for the Asian-Pacific Initiative, and Sue Hammel, MLA, Surrey-Timbers.
Several members of the Ghanaian community who contributed to the fund were awarded certificates of appreciation.
In his speech, Dr. Quist-Adade thanked all those who have contributed to the youth scholarship fund and assured them that “when the history of our association comes to be written, you will occupy a prominent place.”
In the meantime, he declared, the GCABC would put the names of the donors to the fund in what he termed “Hall of Community Benefactors” to be posted at the association’s website in the New Year. These individuals and businesses contributed to the fund: Mr. John Alandi, Mrs. Alandi, Mrs. Beverly Piprah, Mr. George Piprah, Mr. Steve Adusei of Steventin Engineering, Inc, Mr. Emmanuel Adomako (Sheriff), Dr. Kwawu Agbemenu, African Superstore, and Royal Entertainment Group.
He challenged the rest of the Ghanaian community members to emulate their fellow pace-setter donors and make their own donations, to help the association to its target of $10,000 by the end of 2010, adding “this is only our first step on our journey to helping our youths to attain their academic and careers aspirations.”
“Let us be guided by two principles as enshrined in these two adages: ‘God helps those who help themselves’ and ‘Charity begins at home’. Let’s show that we can help ourselves by donating generously to the Youth Scholarship Fund while helping our youths here and in the motherland to attain higher education,” Dr. Quist-Adade said.
Dr. Quist-Adade, who is a Sociology professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, also thanked Western Union and his students for their generous contributions to the scholarship fund.