The Oguaa Traditional Council on Monday received Asiedua, the Central Region’s representative of Ghana’s Most Beautiful (GMB) who was in the house to thank them and solicit support for her Young and Ready project.
Born Grace Afanyi Owusu Arhin, Asiedua was the second runner-up of the just ended competition in Accra and was in Cape Coast to unveil her Young and Ready, an education project, born out of the GMB contest.
In the company of her mother, Madam Patience Dzifa Glover, other relatives and some members of her team, she was welcomed into Emintsimadze Palace, by the visibly elated Paramount Chief, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, his sub-chiefs and queen mothers.
Asiedua acknowledged the toughness of the contest and thanked the chiefs and the entire region for throwing their weight behind her to achieve that feat.
“I must confess that it was not an easy competition. I met a lot of beautiful ladies who were equally good and intelligent but by the grace of God and your support and that of the entire region and even loved ones from across the country, I was able to sail through.
“I am extremely thankful,” she said, beaming with smiles.
She explained that her project was in line with the Sustainable Development Goal four (SDG 4) which seeks to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
Asiedua said the lifetime project was a collective effort to improve the learning environment of basic school children in rural communities in the Central Region.
She was concerned that as the “Citadel of Education”, the Central Region was only focused on preaching its Senior High and tertiary schools, leaving the Basic Schools that formed the foundation of education.
She observed that dilapidated school buildings, inadequate and weak furniture, lack of school uniforms, bags and shoes for pupils, among other challenges were major characteristics of basic schools in the region.
The situation, she said, did not awaken creativity and learning, adding that the project, would therefore, address those challenges in phases with the support of NGOs, benevolent individuals, corporate organisations and religious institutions.
“Young and Ready wants to be there because children are always ready to learn but the environment for students must be conducive,” she said.
Asiedua announced that the project would begin from Cape Coast with the Philip Quaque Boys School, the first elementary school in Ghana.
She assured that: “‘Young and Ready’ will not be a yearly project but continuous opportunity for children. We will continue to do that until we are able to eradicate these challenges”.
For his part, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta congratulated Asiedua on her success in the competition and commended her for her courtesy.
He urged her not to be discouraged for not winning the ultimate but continue to persevere in her endeavours until she attained the best.
“It is an experience. If at first you do not succeed, try and try again. There will always be ups and downs but do not let the downs depress you. They should rather propel you and give you the courage to achieve higher heights,” he advised.
Osabarimba Kwesi Atta commended Asiedua for her project and promised to support her in every way he could.
Nana Amba Ayiaba I, the Krontihemaa of Oguaaman, also former Education Director of the Central Region, said the project was a “good initiation” and called on all stakeholders to get on board to support it.
She expressed disquiet over the situation where many children in Cape Coast were either not going to school or were not able to make it to any of the prestigious second cycle institutions in the ancient city after basic school.
“Everybody needs to come on board and help this project succeed. After all, if the children go to school and they come out educated with quality skills and help to bring development, it will help this town and the Central Region as a whole,” she said.
Asiedua came third in the competition which saw Teiya from the Northern Region as the ultimate winner and Aiko from the Oti Region, being second.