Suhum to get technical, vocational institute
By Isaac Akwetey-Okunor
Without any last minute drawbacks, residents, particularly Junior High School leavers, who due to financial difficulties but not academic and were not able to continue their education after the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) in the area, would have their prayers answered in soon.
This follows collaboration between the Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District Assembly (SKCDA) and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc, a United States of America non-profiting group, to construct a multi-purpose technical and vocational institution at Okrase, a suburb of the area.
This came to light at a meeting held with the management of the Assembly and a two-man delegation made up of the International Executive Director of the group, Darl A. Anderson, and Bro. Charles Ranson, to throw light on the project at the Conference Hall of the Assembly last Monday.
To this end, the Assembly has acquired 5.2 hectares of land, made up of 25 plots, for the construction of the facility, which includes a two-storey building for administration and classrooms, and two multi-purpose workshops.
The project, which is expected to commence by the end of July, would be in two phases, with phase one starting with the two multi-purpose workshops at an estimated cost of $150,000-200,000.
Meanwhile, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc has made available $35,000 for the commencement of phase one.
The delegation, which arrived on Sunday and would leave today, called on the Eastern Regional Minister, Victor Smith, a few hours after their arrival on Sunday.
Briefing the gathering, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Samuel Fleischer Kwabi, expressed his appreciation to the team for considering the district for this great project.
According to him, even though the area could boast of a huge labour force that could be channeled into effective productivity, leading to an improvement of living standards, lack of employable skills had denied them the opportunity, making life difficult.
To him, when the project was constructed and work commences, it would go a long way to alleviate the people from their state of poverty, and called on all and sundry to support and ensure that the project completed.
According to him, the area turns out about 5,000 students who sit for the BECE every year, yet many drop out on the way due to financial challenges.
The facility, when completed, would offer free skills training to these individuals within a period of between six and 12 months.
Bro. Charles Ranson, a Ghanaian but resident in the USA, and the brain behind the project, expressed satisfaction over preparations for the project, and promised his outfit’s readiness to start work in July.
According to him, he was touched by the plight of Africans, particularly Ghana, and decided to come down to construct a school for the place, in an attempt to improve on their living conditions.
This initiative the group decided to support, after a discussion, since it had been donating educational and other supporting materials to other countries.
The project, he said, was the first to be embarked upon by the group in any African country, and was proud that Ghana was considered.
Giving a brief history of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Darl A. Anderson, International Executive Director of the group, said it was founded at the Howard University in Washington, D.C.in January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students.
The aim of the founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown, was to organise a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service.
“The burning desire of the founders to create an organisation that viewed itself as “a part of” the general community, rather than “apart from” the general community, was by far immeasurable,” he mentioned.
According to him, they believed that each potential member should be judged by his own merit, rather than his family background or affluence, without regard to race, nationality, skin tone, or texture of hair.
This desire for their fraternity to exist as part of an even greater brotherhood, according to him was devoted to the “inclusive we” rather than the “exclusive we”.
From its inception, the founders also conceived Phi Beta Sigma as a mechanism to deliver services to the general community.
Rather than gaining skills to be utilised exclusively for themselves and their immediate families, they held a deep conviction that they should return their newly-acquired skills to the communities from which they had come.
This deep conviction is mirrored in the Fraternity’s motto, “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity.”
Today, Phi Beta Sigma has blossomed into an international organisation of leaders. No longer a single entity, members of the Fraternity have been instrumental in the establishment of the Phi Beta Sigma National Foundation, the Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union, and The Sigma Beta Club Foundation.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, founded in 1920 with the assistance of Phi Beta Sigma, is the sister organisation of the Fraternity.
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