The Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWE), a Pan-African Non-Governmental Organisation that promotes access, retention and quality of education for girls, on Monday, this week, honored its five founding members, for their contribution to girls and women education in Africa.
Among the five are the late Vida Amaadi Yeboah, a former Deputy Minister of Education and Founder of FAWE Ghana Chapter.
The award was presented to the deceased’s son at a short ceremony held at FAWE Ghana’s office in Accra by the 2020 running mate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate and a board member of FAWE Africa, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman, as well as the current Chairperson of FAWE Ghana, Prof Esi Sutherland-Addy.
Presenting the award, Prof Jane Naana prayed other women to learn from the late Vida Yeboah’s selflessness and efforts in promoting girls and women education.
She noted that education especially that of the girl-child, was very critical in governance and development and hence, showered praises on the late Vida Yeboah, for taking the bold step in establishing the organisation 30 years ago.
Receiving the award on behalf of his mother, Mr Samuel Yeboah, Founder, Meriba Capital, expressed his delight at the honor bestowed on his late mother.
When asked if the award has not come in too late, Mr Yeboah said he was not bothered about the number of years it has taken for his mother and the other four women because the work they did was not in expectation of any award but one that was out of passion.
“I do not think that they did the work because of recognition. They did it because they themselves have been impacted by access to education. Most of them were very well advanced in Education.
All of them at that time were Ministers of Education in their respective countries so the work that they did was based on the passion and the belief that they had in driving the welfare of the girl child and their understanding of its impact on Africa’s socio-economic landscape,” he indicated.
Speaking on what he is also doing to further her mother’s legacy, Mr Yeboah noted that he runs an impact investment company that focuses on investing in small business and helping them grow.He said one of the major impact areas is the focus on women-led business because his outfit believes that empowering women comes with so many rewards.
“If we empower women to grow businesses in their respective communities, the livelihoods that are impacted are significantly more than when you invest in men. Not to say that investing in men is wrong, but the impact of investing in women-led and women-owned businesses addresses social economic gaps that are not addressed when you invest only in men,” Mr Yeboah observed.
Adding her voice to the importance of the awards, Prof Sutherland-Addy noted that it was eminent that the women were awarded because it will serve as a motivation for others to do more.
“If we don’t honour people for what they have done, there is no impetus for those of us who are following to even know that anything was done and also to try and keep up with what have been down. So this is the importance of this day.”
Speaking on the impact FAWE has made over the years, Prof Sutherland-Addy indicated that the organization has been undertaken a lot of projects including the passage of by-laws that promote girl-child education, promotion of adolescent sexual reproduction and health activities, establishment of a school, a community radio and many more.