MTN launches 9th edition of 21 Days of Y'ello Care

BY: Mohammed Ali
AG. CEO of MTN Ghana, Mrs Cynthia Lumor speaking at the launch

MTN Ghana has launched the 9th annual "21 days of Y’ello care" at the Madina social welfare centre in Accra.

The event, under the theme, “Investing in Education for all,” was the third consecutive theme for the annual staff volunteer initiative that demonstrates MTN's commitment to support communities with good education.

Speaking at the launch, the Ag. CEO of MTN Ghana, Mrs Cynthia Lumor, said the initiative was an opportunity for MTN staff to undertake community service as they have done for the past eight years.

She stressed  the fact that a good education equips people to improve their lives, health and economic circumstances. Thus the need to invest in education is a fundamental one, whose fulfillment drives the development and progress of any country, she explained.

Some of the Kayayeis at the launch

According to the Ag. CEO, among the 22 operating MTN companies, each is challenged to secure high participation and significant impact. The operating company with the highest number of staff participants and level of impact receives a US $100,000 from the Group President and CEO for the overall Y’ello Care Challenge.

She added that this year’s challenge involves social media in determining the overall winner.

“The team that uses social media most effectively in the implementation of its project also wins the equivalent of 100,000 rand (about US$8,150). MTN Ghana is focused on winning this social media award so some community in Ghana may benefit from it."

An MTN volunteer and some Kayayeis

She therefore urged all MTN Ghana employees to embrace the use of social media to share activities with colleagues, customers and other key stakeholders by the use of the yellocare hashtag.

As part of the activities for the 2015 "21 Days of Y’ello Care", Mrs Lumor said MTN volunteers will conduct teaching sessions for Kayayei (female headporters), construct three “sheds of care“ for schools under trees in MTN's three business districts namely; the Northern, South West and South East business districts as well as the provision of basic internet training for students of Limanyiri Junior Secondary School in Wa.

Introducing My First Copybook to the Kayayeis

There will also be the refurbishment of three selected ICT Centres while volunteers provide ICT training and computers for teachers in selected teacher training institutions.

Collaborating for the first time with MTN, Richard Yaw Asante, CEO OF Read For Wealth foundation, said the core focus for the organisation is to ensure that the underprivileged, especially the Kayayei, are alerted to the importance of education. According to him, the underdevelopment of Africa is attributed significantly to lack of education.

An MTN volunteer teaches some Kayayeis basic writing

“It is in this vein that Read For Wealth is out there to ensure that we provide the basic education training for the benefit of the country.”

He added that “It is the aim of Read For Wealth to organise a permanent school and permanent accommodation for the underprivileged because when one does not have a place to live, it will be very difficult to convince them to go to school".

A Kayayei learning to write

To achieve this, the organisation is implementing a program to ensure that they accommodate the Kayayei and to ensure their children don’t have to become Kayayeis, thereby eradicating the "Kayeyei syndrome."

Some of the Kayayei were taken through basic writing skills by the MTN volunteers.