07 Sep Grace Amponsah;Empowering Girls Through Girl-Child Education and Skill Training
Now more than ever, the world-wide push for Equality has taken center-stage on the institutional level, both nationally and internationally. Gender Equality in particular, has become a global priority, so much so that it has been captured as the fifth United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 5)
Despite the strides being made towards the attainment of SDG 5, the reality is that poverty remains a stumbling block that threatens access to education for many African girls that perpetuates and, in many cases, widens the inequality gap. This is why Grace Amponsah, and the Bowney Initiative have stepped in to ensure adolescent girls, especially those from underserved homes, are not left behind.
Grace Amponsah graduated from Ashesi University in 2016 with a Business Administration degree. She started the Bowney Initiative while she was still a student at Ashesi, with the vision of a world where all underprivileged girls have access to the resources necessary for them to reach their full potential.
Grace came from a humble background. She refused to be held back by her circumstances and has forged a meaningful future for herself through hard work and perseverance. In 2012, she won the Mastercard scholarship to study at Ashesi University, and has earned many other other accomplishments for her work individually and through her organization including the Dalai Lama Fellow Award (2015), the Byron Fellowship (2016), the Milead Fellowship (2019), the Compassionate Leadership Fellowship (2019), the Ashesi Venture Incubator Fellowship (2019) and currently, a Schwarzman Scholarship (2021). She is a testament to the enormous potential every girl has, and living proof of just how much any girl can accomplish with support and a platform to learn and grow, regardless of their background.
The Bowney Initiative’s mission is to provide adolescent girls with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to attain success in various fields and become agents of change in their societies. The initiative achieves its mission through coaching, providing educational support, and creating opportunities to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
The initiative is mainly funded through donations and the sale of souvenirs. The Bowney Initiative is also supported by a group of resource persons and college volunteers who share their knowledge and provide advisory services and other support to the girls. While the Initiative is open to all underprivileged girls who are students selected from schools. Parents of the recruits sign application forms to confirm their consent.
As a Fellow of the Ashesi Venture Incubator (AVI), Grace’s remarkable journey as an entrepreneur and impact maker has made many proud. Speaking on her experience as an AVI Fellow, she said;
“The AVI training sessions have allowed me to work more on my organization, especially towards sustainability and making it more attractive to a wider pool of impact investors. The office space and stipends offered by the AVI have also helped to take care of certain related costs.”
Grace strives for a world where access to quality education (SDG 4) and Gender Equality (SDG 5) is a reality for all. By empowering girls through educational support, leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and providing them with opportunities for personal growth and development, the Bowney Initiative also hopes to contribute to the alleviation of poverty in every form possible (SDG 1).
Grace and her team have committed themselves to realizing their mission through Entrepreneurship Training, talent shows, competitions and excursions, among others.
In 2019, the Bowney Initiative set up the Berekuso Library Project, which helped the Berekuso township acquire a fully equipped library; complete with books, computers and other learning resources. The Initiative also runs “Share Care Stories” – one of its programs that provides beneficiaries with clothing and shoes donated to the program.
In the next three years, Grace is looking to raise funds to hire Bowney Initiative’s first staff, and to develop an enduring structure for the organization. We at the AVI, look forward to celebrating her future exploits.
If you would like to find out more about or donate to the Bowney Initiative, click Bowney Initiative | Home.