Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program (MCFSP) provides academically talented yet economically disadvantaged young people in Africa with access to quality higher education. The Program offers an opportunity for its scholars to receive holistic training that empowers them to become change leaders. As such, Ms. Estella Obeng, a final year Mastercard Foundation Scholar studying BA Geography and Rural Development at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has commissioned a Fashion Training Centre named; “African Dream School of Fashion” at Manso Agroyesum a community in the Manso Adubia township of the Amansie South District, Ashanti Region.
According to Ms. Estella Obeng, the Manso Agroyesum community is faced with several challenges including teenage pregnancy. From her account she realised that a lot of young females in the community drop out of school as a result of unplanned pregnancies and they end up either as single mothers or given out to early marriages. To help such females, Ms. Obeng contacted some prominent stakeholders in the Agroyesum Community to look for a site for the establishment of the African Dream School of Fashion to train and equip these young females with fashion design skills for free.
In her speech, Ms. Obeng revealed that, after solely funding the establishment of the training facility with her savings from the monthly stipends she receives from MCFSP at KNUST, she contacted the Member of Parliament of the Manso Adubia Constituency, Honourable Yaw Addo Frimpong, who supported the initiative by donating five (5) sewing machines to facilitate the training of the young females.
Unveiling the first batch of fourteen (14) trainees, Ms. Estella Obeng, used the opportunity to advise them to be committed to learn the fashion design skill and also appealed to their parents to support them in their training process. Again, she used the opportunity to thank her parents, the MCFSP at KNUST Secretariat, stakeholders and leaders of the Agroyesum Community, and her friends for their respective contributions to make her dream of establishing the fashion school a success.
Reverend Frank Osei Tutu, the District Pastor of the Church of Pentecost (CoP), Manso Adubia, in his speech commended Ms. Estella Obeng for her initiative to give back to her community through the establishment of the Fashion School. He used the occasion to appeal to businesses and other stakeholders in the Manso Adubia township to support the initiative so she can expand the school and further extend the project to other neighbouring communities in the Amansie South District.
Rev. Osei Tutu also used the opportunity to advise the first batch of trainees to be humble, trustworthy, respectful and always show the willing-to-learn attitude to motivate their trainers to give their best in training them. He congratulated the first batch of fourteen (14) trainees on their recruitment as pioneers of the African Dream School of Fashion.
Ms. Afia Ampomah Awuah, the Program Manager for MCFSP at KNUST, commended Ms. Obeng for instituting such a wonderful project in her community and also congratulated the maiden fourteen (14) trainees. She advised the trainees to take the opportunity given to them seriously to improve upon their livelihoods and be in a good position to transfer the knowledge and skills that would be acquiring to other members of the community.
Ms. Awuah used the opportunity to educate the members of the Agroyesum Community that were present at the commissioning on what MCFSP at KNUST is about. In her presentation, she said that the Scholars Program at KNUST aims to recruit young Africans, prepare and transition them to lead the transformational agenda of the African Continent.
“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,” she said.
She spoke to parents at the event to encourage their children, who may have completed Senior High School with goods grades and are at home due to financial difficulties, to take advantage of the scholarship opportunities that the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program offer to young people in such situation and apply.
Nana Tabi Agyabeng III, Chief of Agroyesum, Nana Adwoa Pinamang I, Queen mother of Agroyesum, Reverend Frank Osei Tutu and Ms. Afia Ampomah Awuah assisted Ms. Estella Obeng to cut the tape to officially commission the Training Centre - the African Dream School of Fashion.
Also present at the commissioning were, Mr. Samuel Nash, Deputy Program Manager, MCFSP at KNUST, Elder George Nsowah, CoP, Manso Adubia District, Elder Joseph Gyimah, Presiding Elder, CoP, Agroyesum, Elder John Tetteh, Local Secretary, CoP, Agroyesum, Mr. Isaac Marfo, Mr. Daniel Quansah Bassaw, Mr. Oppong Kyekyeku Appiah Snr., Mr. Peter Kwabena Essien, and Mr. Patrick Opoku Onyinah, Program Officers of MCFSP at KNUST.