Megan Foo's Blog

Featured Community Member: Kwabena Danso, The Yonso Project

[b]What inspires you to direct and work with The Yonso Project?[/b]
[b]Kwabena Danso:[/b] As a poor child myself, I have always want to improve the lives of poor children in rural areas. My dream is to empower poor children and families so that they can also achieve their fullest potentials and live their lives as informed and active citizens.
[b]How has The Yonso Project fulfilled its mission of increasing educational and economic opportunities in the developing world? [/b]
[b]Kwabena Danso:[/b] The Yonso Project has provided the opportunities for several children to have access to quality education whilst at the same time, we have supported women entrepreneurs to set up and expand their businesses. We have also provided skills training and employment to several rural youth through our bamboo bicycle program. Over the past seven years,[color=#222222] [/color][color=#222222]over 200 rural children and youth have benefited from the scholarship program some of whom are now in the country’s universities, over 400 women have benefitted from the microfinance program, over 5000 rural children have benefitted from the library and computer labs programs. 10 rural youth have also received skills training and employment through the bamboo bicycles program.[/color]
[b]On a personal level, what does education mean to you? [/b]
[b]Kwabena Danso:[/b] For me as a person, I have personal testimony of how education can transform lives and this is the more reason why I am very much concerned about providing quality education to the poor and vulnerable children. I have come to accept that education is the only sustainable way out of poverty and it is the only legacy no one can take from you. Thus, once a person gets access to quality education, he gains all the tools get out of poverty. He becomes very informed and that he can make very sound decisions about himself/herself and his/her future.
[b]Can you tell us more about The Yonso Project's Education for Development program? [/b]
[b]Kwabena Danso:[/b] The Yonso Project Education for Development is the umbrella of its educational development program and it seeks to develop the rural poor child in a holistic way. That is, apart from providing support through scholarships for the child to have education, we also provide a conducive learning atmosphere by creating libraries and building their leadership and problem solving activities for the kids to be able to improve themselves as informed citizens who know their civic responsibilities of protecting their rights and that of others.
[b]How does The Yonso Project measure impact? [/b]
[b]Kwabena Danso:[/b] We measure impact by taking a baseline data before program implementation to see the program we will make as the program progresses. Most of the impact we make on the people are also there for everyone to see. For instance the number of children who can read has increased in the communities where we have a library, a lot of our scholarship beneficiaries who were on the verge of dropping out of school are now finding themselves in the various universities and colleges in the country.
[b]What are your hopes for The Yonso Project’s future?[/b]
[b]Kwabena Danso:[/b] It is my hope that the Yonso Project continues to empower the lives of the rural poor by expanding its activities to several rural areas. We want to grow our microfinance program into a rural bank and also improve the lives of about 20,000 children in the next five years using all our programs. We are also working on becoming more financially sustainable by engaging in in income generation activities.

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