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Kezia Asiedua Sanie | Ghana | Tangible & Lasting Difference

Philanthropist | Award-winning Social Entrepreneur | Founder/President | Global Youth Ambassador

My name is Kezia Asiedua Sanie, and I am a Wesley Girls' High School Alumnus with a deep passion for helping underprivileged children. From a young age, I recognized my calling and made the decision to fully embrace it. Together with some friends, we initiated a project aimed at providing assistance to needy children in Ghanaian communities, and since then, we have never looked back. Our journey began by pooling together our provisions at the end of each school term at Wesley Girls' High School. This small act of kindness blossomed into a fully-fledged NGO known as 'For The Future Ghana (FTF Ghana).' Starting a charity had always been my childhood dream, and I frequently talked about it as far back as when I was in Primary school. Helping others has always come naturally to me, and I believe it's my calling. I am grateful to my younger self for recognizing this opportunity when it presented itself at Wesley Girls' High School. I shared my idea of a charity with my friends, and they immediately embraced it. We began planning our first event during our vacation. We collected our surplus provisions at the end of each school term, contributed money, and made donations to orphanages. Additionally, we collected dues and accepted contributions from our friends, family, and parents to fund our projects. As For The Future Ghana grew over the years, we received financial assistance through crowdfunding, partnerships, sponsorships, and pledges. Our primary focus is on underprivileged children because many communities in Ghana are faced with challenges, and children often bear the brunt of these difficult conditions due to their vulnerability and dependency. It astonishes me how, as a 16-year-old novice, my friends and I have achieved so much in such a short time. My team has played an essential role in nurturing my dream of helping the underprivileged. Their sacrifices, availability, and skills have contributed to shaping FTF into what it is today. Over the course of seven years, FTF Ghana has transformed into a structured organization with defined roles for each member. By helping these children, we are investing in the future. By providing them with opportunities and assistance, we rescue them from the clutches of social vices and nurture them into responsible adults who can make a positive difference in their respective communities. Throughout the years, we have launched several initiatives that reflect For The Future Ghana's mission.

These include the S.T.E.P. Initiative (Student Training and Education Project), ShareAid Initiative, Sponsor A Child Initiative, and most recently, SmartStart. The S.T.E.P. Initiative aims to identify underprivileged children and sponsor their holistic education while closely monitoring their progress. We are proud to have thirteen beneficiaries, including three-year-old Elizabeth Botchway, who has made significant improvements since starting school. As part of their holistic education, our beneficiaries are taught chess by volunteers and sponsored in their areas of interest. For example, Prince Kojo, who has a keen interest in robotics, attends classes at the Asustem Robotics Academy and is on his way to building a car! The Sponsor A Child Initiative is an extension of the S.T.E.P. program. Its ultimate goal is to identify bright students in underprivileged schools, provide them with education, mentorship, and nurture their skills and talents through a well-managed program.

This initiative involves sponsors who develop a guardian-child relationship with the beneficiaries, enabling them to interact with both the children and their parents. In response to students struggling with grasping classroom teachings and assignments, we introduced SmartStart. This weekend club for underprivileged students provides extra tutoring in core subjects and the French Language. Volunteer teachers have also been engaged to support the students in their learning journey. The ShareAid Initiative serves as a platform for partnering with NGOs and corporate bodies to participate in projects aligned with our organization's mission and vision.

One notable partnership is with SchoolInABag, a UK-based charity organization that distributes school bags filled with stationery and other necessities to students in underprivileged schools. Working with Ghanaian enterprise TrashyBags, who package the bags for distribution, we have distributed over 800 fully equipped school bags to children in remote and underserved communities in Ghana. Our flagship project, the FTF Village, is a safe haven for our beneficiaries to grow, learn, and thrive. It will be an eco-friendly and self-sustaining space aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, particularly SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 4 (Quality Education), and SDG 5 (Gender Equality).

Through the S.T.E.P. and Sponsor A Child initiatives, we aim to sponsor these children throughout their education while helping them discover their unique strengths and linking them with resource persons in various fields. Our mission at For The Future Ghana is to shape the children we admit to The FTF Village into ethical leaders for the future. Together, we can create a brighter future for these underprivileged children and empower them to make a positive impact in their communities.

What were the biggest initial hurdles you faced and how did you overcome them? As the founder of For The Future Ghana (FTF Ghana), one of the most significant challenges we face is securing adequate funding. While we strive to accomplish so much and expand our initiatives for the children, limited financial resources often hinder our mission. It is disheartening to witness that many of our beneficiaries come from backgrounds of extreme poverty, with single parents who are unable to provide proper care and support.

Our ultimate goal is to construct a nurturing home for these children, offering round-the-clock care and enhanced security. This dedicated space will serve as a haven for their holistic development, allowing us to unlock their potential and capitalize on their unique skills.

What advice would you offer to young individuals, both locally and internationally, who are embarking on their careers or pursuing their passions?

As someone who embarked on the journey of starting an NGO at a young age, I can confidently say that making a difference is possible, regardless of your age or background. The key lies in being passionate about the cause you wish to support and finding the right people to join you in this endeavor.

Surround yourself with individuals who believe in your dream and are committed to making it a reality. A dedicated team that is willing to sacrifice and contribute their skills and potential is invaluable for the growth of the organization.

Starting small may seem discouraging at times, but it is through consistency that growth is nurtured. Embrace your mistakes as valuable learning opportunities in your quest to create a positive impact. Running an NGO requires unwavering dedication and hard work, but it can also be one of the most fulfilling endeavors you undertake. Witnessing the positive impact you can make in people's lives is incredibly rewarding. I firmly believe that Ghana needs more NGOs to address the myriad challenges faced by our communities.

Whether it's supporting education, healthcare, or social welfare, there are numerous opportunities to make a difference. I encourage anyone with a passion for helping others to consider starting their own charity or volunteering with an existing organization.

Together, we can create a tangible and lasting difference in the lives of people and contribute to building a brighter future for Ghana.

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