Nhyiaeso Sub-Metro Students Create Social Innovations

 
Here at CSI, we believe in creating local solutions to local challenges. We thrive on innovation, creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking, and have based our community programs around these concepts.Recently, we conducted a Young Social Innovators Project in the Nhyiaeso sub-metro in Kumasi with basic school kids. Based on concepts of design thinking  and asset-based community development, our Young Social Innovators’ program encourage students to come up with creative solutions to local problems using strategies of brainstorming, prototyping, and teamwork.

Our bootcamps in Nhyiaeso took place in six different schools, and we were excited and inspired to see the minds of our students at work.  At one of our schools, students identified a local challenge as clogged gutters, causing unpleasant smells and dangerous bacteria to grow. After brainstorming possible solutions to this issue, the group decided a creative plan would be to build a robot that could successfully clean out the gutters.

Another group identified poor academic performance among students as a pertinent challenge. Their creative solution was to form a reader’s club, where struggling students could come before or after school and spend time reading with their peers. The group also suggested distributing books to lower performing students so that they may have increased opportunities to practice literacy skills.

Although many of our students may not directly implement their creative solutions, a big part of our goal is to teach students at a young age how to think creatively—to get them to use their imaginations and unleash their creative potential, so that as they age, they will be unafraid to challenge social norms. Young people have the power to positively contribute to society but are often overlooked as potential change-agents. Our programs are designed to foster a sense of agency in Ghanaian youth so they may bring the country into a new age of sustainable, locally led development solutions.
Jennifer Chizek

International Volunteer Manager

Centre for Social Innovations

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