The Ye! network spans more than 140 countries and is comprised of more than 16,000 entrepreneurs. That’s a lot of young people! These young innovators are engaged in some pretty cool business ventures- from building edutech platforms that aim to provide education for all, to creating new building materials to ensure the structures of tomorrow are resilient and sustainable; the Ye! Community is home to them all! Below we highlight one of the many exceptional youth entrepreneurs from the Ye! Community. Interested in being featured? Send us an email sharing your story to email@example.com
Samuel Nayang is a 26-year-old Ghanaian Social entrepreneur. Coming from the Upper West Region of Ghana, he is the Project Coordinator of Future4Africa where he is part of the all youth founding team with co-founder Mansur A.D. Bawa. Samuel is a graduate from the University for Development Studies (UDS) with Bsc. Development Management. His interest and passion for volunteering started in school- "There is so much to do for the community. I really love volunteering.’’ Future4Africa is headquartered in Bolgatanga in Northern Ghana where it initiates and runs programmes to support local communities across a variety of critically important issues.
Can you tell us about the work of Future4Africa?
Future4Africa is a youth led organisation working in the areas of education, health, water, sanitation as well as women empowerment. We rely on strong support at the local level as well as support from international volunteers. The first overseas volunteers joined local programmes we organised in 2017. They came from Europe and subsequently others from Chile, USA and South Africa. International volunteers bring skills (for example as teachers or medics) and sometimes materials to help develop local projects. The experience really encourages two-way learning and is beneficial for international volunteers and local communities. It affords an opportunity for personal growth, inter-cultural learning and networking. Currently the largest number of international volunteers in the programme come from Spain.
What are the programme topics Future4Africa is currently focusing on?
Currently our focus as an organization ranges from educating youth to empowering communities. Whatever work serves our community, we try to bring in the right volunteers with the skills to grow the knowledge of the community.
Future4Africa runs programmes in local partner schools (Yikene Primary School & Cameron School ) including the placement of volunteers as teachers who teach and run reading clubs in these schools and some underprivileged communities. In addition, the group works to collect donations of books from larger cities such as Accra to contribute to the Books4Change programme which aims to increase access to books and learning materials for children in local schools. An organisation in Spain recently provided 20 laptops which has really helped to expand our capacity and potential to teach Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in schools.
We have built a two-way campaign which shares local perspectives on health with volunteers coming from abroad who in turn contribute to providing free healthcare delivery at the Regional Hospital as well as health education within the rural communities. A recent Health campaign run by Future4Africa provided check ups and health screenings for over 200 people in rural communities in Bolgatanga.
In Bolgatanga we have a local initiative to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics. Currently, there is a lot of plastic waste littering the streets in Bolgatanga and across Ghana. We focus on educating local children on the use of plastics and proper disposal methods as well as the importance of recycling to keep the environment clean. We hope through this programme we can encourage young people not to litter. We believe this starts with educating kids and through changing the daily actions of local people.
Water and Sanitation
Future4Africa provides potable drinking water to rural communities. We have a water project that has been running for 3 years with funds raised through local efforts (such as the sale of Future4Africa calendars and headbands) and funds raised by internationally based supporters. Have been able to drill 4 boreholes in Kunkua, Soe, Karimenga and Baare communities.The success of the bore holes has led to an increase in calls from communities in need asking for support. We want to do more in this area in the future, but capital remains a challenge.
Future4Africa continues to develop partnerships and build contacts to grow a network of support, trust and mutual learning.
What is the next milestone for Future4Africa?
Our next milestone we hope to achieve is to expand our humanitarian work beyond Bolgatanga. We envision expanding the reach of our work to support other regions in Ghana, most notably the other Northern regions. To achieve this, we have mapped out strategies that will aid in mobilising funds locally. We are also looking at ways to increase our global network to help us build strong strategic partnerships with other well established individuals and organisations that share in our vision and mission.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
In the next 5 years I hope to be organising a lot more impactful activities to help rural communities in Ghana. I keep learning everyday and I believe the incredible experiences on the job will embolden and shape my knowledge and skills so that I can better understand my community and its issues. I see myself 5 years from now offering quality solutions to the ordinary Ghanaian that can greatly improve his or her day-to-day existence.
What advice would you share with a young entrepreneur that is just starting out?
I would say that as young entrepreneurs the expectations versus the realities are very different. You will face a myriad of challenges and disappointments, but always bear in mind that good things don’t come easy! We, as young entrepreneurs, have to persist till we achieve our goals. My advice is to stay determined and motivated, even when things get tough, as they inevitably will.
Don’t take our word for it. Check out the video below:
To learn more about Future4Africa please visit www.future4afrika.org
To visit Samuel’s profile, click here.
Ye! Community - interesting read? Would you like to share your entrepreneurial journey? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
All photos provided courtesy of Samuel Nayang.