Home News & Stories Melton Fellow begins “Students and Mentorship Advancement Program (SAMAP)” to curb school dropout in Bawku West District, Ghana

Melton Fellow begins “Students and Mentorship Advancement Program (SAMAP)” to curb school dropout in Bawku West District, Ghana

"Since joining the Melton Foundation in 2023, my life has been profoundly transformed by its mission to promote global citizenship and intercultural exchange. The Melton Foundation's commitment to social responsibility has deeply influenced my approach to giving back to society."

A level 100 student of the Ashesi University, Mr Godwin Abugbilla, has begun a mentorship project in the Bawku West District of the Upper East Region to help curb the spate of school dropouts in the area.

The move dubbed, “Students and Mentorship Advancement Program (SAMAP)” with a grant from Ashesi University is aimed at providing a source of encouragement and mentorship activities to students to help retain them in school to complete.

Many students of school-going age in the Bawku West District have dropped out of school in search of quick riches through illegal mining (galamsey) while others especially the girls had become pregnant and had gone into early marriage.

The phenomenon was not only affecting the growth and development of children but was also increasing the illiteracy rate in the area.

Addressing some of the students at the Kpantarigo community in the area on Saturday, Mr. Abugbilla, who is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Management Information System (MIS), noted that apart from parents prioritising farming at the expense of children’s education in the area, the illegal mining ongoing in the area was also a factor that pushes many students to drop out of school and go in for such venture.

He stressed that it was among his topmost agendas to help increase students’ retention in schools and improve academic performance in the area and that he was making it possible to help the students to appreciate the significance of education to their growth and development.

Mr. Abugbilla said it was very regrettable that students in the area did not see the importance of staying in school to learn, instead, they engage in the illegal mining activities to get rich quick, thereby putting pressure on the few who were in school to also drop out.

“I came home and realised that most of the students are dropping out of school and people attributed the issue to lack of motivation, mentorship and because some young people have made money from galamsey, some parents are also putting pressure on their children to also drop out and make quick money,” Abugbilla revealed.

Mr. Abugbilla noted that the project, was therefore,  aimed at  mentoring  students through quiz competition, entrepreneurship thinking activities among others to motivate them to appreciate the role of education in their development and place importance on it.

He said the project which was initiated with a quiz competition among four Junior High Schools would also constantly provide guidance to students in the area regarding choice of courses and future careers.

Through the project, he said, it was also expected that students especially girls would be empowered to desist from activities that would lead to unplanned pregnancies and early child marriages.

“Some of the activities will also prepare students towards their final examination, particularly the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and help to achieve academic resilience and excellence,” he added.

While commending the Ashesi University for sponsoring the project, Mr Abugbilla, appealed to parents to invest in their children’s education as the surest way to creating enabling environment for development and poverty reduction.

He told the students that “whatever you can think or dream is achievable and it is within you to make it possible.”

Mr Pius Agbango, Headteacher for Kpantarigo JHS lauded the efforts of Mr Abugbilla to help change the situation in the area and encouraged the students to study hard and eschew social vices.

“Immersed in a diverse and dynamic environment, I gained a broader perspective on global issues and the interconnectedness of our challenges. This exposure shaped my understanding of responsible global citizenship, instilling in me a duty to act beyond my local community.”- Mr Godwin Abugbilla 

He continues,

“The Melton Fellowship’s workshops, seminars, and collaborative projects equipped me with critical skills such as leadership, project management, and intercultural communication. A workshop on sustainable development goals (SDGs) was particularly impactful, providing me with the knowledge and tools to contribute effectively to initiatives addressing global challenges like poverty, inequality, and climate change. Additionally, the supportive network of fellows has been a source of invaluable encouragement and motivation, opening up opportunities for collaboration on various social projects. Inspired by the dedication of other Melton Fellows, I have taken a more active role in my community, initiating, and participating in projects like educational workshops for underprivileged children and mentoring high school students, and under my mentorship 5 students to secure scholarships for their further tertiary education. The Foundation’s emphasis on sustainable contributions has guided me in designing these projects for long-term solutions. Moreover, the experiences and challenges encountered through the Melton Foundation have facilitated personal growth, pushing me to reflect on my values and the type of impact I want to make. These lessons and experiences will continue to shape my contributions to society, reaffirming my commitment to being an active, empathetic, and responsible global citizen.”

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