The Community Engagement, Projects and Innovations Unit (CEPIU) of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD), held the maiden award ceremony of the UESD community development challenge last Friday at the campus at Somanya.
The award ceremony involved brilliant young pupils from the upper primary from selected schools from both Yilo Krobo and Lower Manya Krobo municipalities in the Eastern Region writing essays on environmental challenges and solutions to them.
The awardees were from Our Lady of Fatima Primary, Agormanya Methodist Primary both from the Lower Manya Krobo municipality, Ogome Anglican Primary, Vision Academy International and Carol Gray International from Yilo Krobo municipality.
In all 25 pupils (five from each school) participated but five were selected for the grand finale.
The Overall Best pupil award went to Kezia Kinney Ama Dogbeda of Our Lady of Fatima School. The second and third positions were taken by Jochebed Lady Diamond Kaye from Carol Gray International School and Saviour Tabiri of Ogome Anglican Primary respectively.
The three awardees also received special awards in the various subject areas. Kezia Kinney Ama Dogbeda was adjudged the best in craft; Jochebed Lady Diamond Kaye, best in easy writing; and Saviour Tabiri was the best in poster. For their prizes, they each received a certificate, a memento, a school bag, exercise books and laptop among other items.
All the other 22 participants also received certificates of participation.
The programme, which was sponsored by Contractor Construction Ghana Limited (Construction Firm), Ultimate Majesty Works, Eastern Chemists Limited, Rite FM, G-Unit Group of Companies, Daniel Ofori-Mintah and Hammond Oppong Kwarteng among others, was the first of its kind since the university was established.
Ghana Book Development Council presented 100, 60 and 40 story books to Our Lady of Fatima, Agormanya Methodist and Ogome Anglican schools respectively for the first, second and third positions.
The Registrar of the university, Mary Abena Agyepong, said there was a rising trend among institutions to lay emphasis on the purpose of higher education and to focus on the future and address economic, environmental and social problems at the community level.
The Vice-Chancellor of UESD, Prof. Eric Nyarko-Sampson, lauded both the sponsors and the participating schools for their involvement in making the maiden programme successful.
Prof. Nyarko-Sampson said it was the aim of the university to ensure environmental sustainability, which was part of their core mandate. He added that the institution was always guided by the urgent need to train children to become honest people who could take up opportunities to address socio-economic and environmental challenges.
‘’It is our belief that at the end of the challenge, the capacities of the participating children would have been built for enhanced problem-solving skills of the participating pupils. The university believes that good education plays a crucial role in building a brighter future for our children’’, the Vice Chancellor concluded.
The Institutional Relations Manager of Contractor Company Limited, the major sponsors, Edinam Afua Adjei-Sika, said as a company, “we believe in sustainable development campaigns of what the university started that would prepare the children to be responsible leaders, especially with regard to waste management.”
She, therefore, pledged the company’s support of 50 books to each of the participating schools on environmental issues and would also annually support in order to sustain the programme.