A beneficiary of the Mastercard scholarship programme and a final year student Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Estella Obeng, has given a lifeline to a number of deprived young females at Agroyesum in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti region by setting up of a fashion training centre.
It is her hope that the centre will make them self-reliant and reduce instances of teenage pregnancy in the community.
Named the "African Dream School of Fashion," the centre is to give hands-on training to the girls most of whom have dropped out of school due to teenage pregnancy.
The Geography and Rural Development student single-handedly funded the centre with her personal savings from the monthly stipends she received from the Mastercard Foundation.
With support from stakeholders and the provision of five sewing machines from the Member of Parliament for Manso Adubia constituency, Mr Yaw Addo Frimpong, the centre had admitted the first batch of 14 beneficiary trainees.
Ms Obeng advised them to focus on the training and be committed to reaching the top of their chosen vocation.
She urged parents to support the trainees while seizing the opportunity to educate them on the Mastercard Foundation.
An indigene of the community, the final year student expressed appreciation to community leaders as well as friends for the support in setting up the centre.
The District Pastor of the Church of Pentecost, Manso Adubia, Rev Frank Osei Tutu, commended Ms Obeng for her initiative to give back to her community.
He appealed to the business community in the mining town and other stakeholders to support the initiative to enable the KNUST student to expand the project.
Rev Osei Tutu advised the first batch of trainees to be humble, trustworthy, respectful, and always show the "willing-to-learn" attitude to motivate their trainers to give-off their best in imparting knowledge.
The manager of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme, Ms Afia Ampomah Awuah, urged the first batch of trainees to set an enviable standard to attract more girls into the centre.
She advised the trainees to take the opportunity given to them seriously to chart a new path and be in a good position to transfer the knowledge and skills they would acquire.
"The foundation aims among other things to recruit young Africans, prepare, and transition them to lead the transformational agenda of the African continent," she added.
“In order to achieve the goal of raising transformative leaders on the continent, the secretariat at KNUST organises activities such as; entrepreneurship trainings, summer camps, leadership seminars and networking dinners, among others, to prepare the scholars to take up community engagement projects including initiatives in problem-solving as executed by Ms Obeng,” Ms Awuah said.
She told parents to encourage their children who may have completed Senior High School with goods grades and were at home due to financial difficulties to take advantage of the scholarship opportunities that the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme offers to young people.
The chief of Agroyesum, Nana Tabi Agyabeng III, together with the queen mother, Nana Adwoa Pinamang I, assisted Rev Osei Tutu and Ms Awuah and Ms Obeng to cut the tape to commission the training Centre.
The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper.
Its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty.