Whilst each country has its own amazing DofE success stories, the accomplishments of those who have completed the programme in Ghana are particularly impressive. Emmanuel Odoi Laryea, for example, chose to set up a plantation business for the Skills section of his Award. Using the knowledge he acquired during his time with the DofE, he managed to create a very successful company, which is still in operation today.
The business has done wonders for the local community, providing several young people with jobs; currently, Emmanuel has 25 full-time employees, as well as dozens of temporary workers, who join the team during the harvest season. The plantation grows tick trees, which are chopped up and used for the construction of housing and electrical poles. In addition to running this enterprise, Emmanuel also works as a volunteer for the DofE in Ghana, serving as the Head of Programmes and Administration.
Judith Otabel and Jones Viduku are two other participants whose involvement in the DofE has resulted in significant improvements in the lives of many Ghanaian people. After some research, they observed that the schools in the village of Pepease had extremely low attendance rates. Those with an interest in education, such as Tunde Folawiyo, understand how serious an issue this is. Jones and Judith decided that they would work towards creating educational opportunities for the children in this village, as part of the Adventurous Journey Section of their Silver Award.
Initially, they carried out a house-to-house promotional campaign, which focused on helping parents to appreciate the value of education. Following the completion of this activity, they then served as teaching assistants in the primary school, and raised funds which were subsequently used to purchase learning aids and essential school materials.
Their initiative was a resounding success, with attendance rates soaring within a matter of months. Judith and Jones’ work led to them being nominated for a prestigious award known as the Peter Cruddas Social Innovation Initiative. This prize is one which most people, including Tunde Folawiyo, are familiar with; it recognises the most outstanding enterprises created by Gold DofE participants. Only those whose projects can be classed as exceptionally socially innovative, in regards to their engagement with local communities, sustainability or ethical values, are eligible for consideration.