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Summer Camp 2017
The Oxbridge Africa Mentorship Programme is an initiative aimed at identifying and harnessing young talents in Africa and mentoring them to become effective leaders. Oxcamp believes in the future of Africa, we believe, that the future of Africa is dependent on the best minds put to service. Through the years of reviewing mentorship relationships, a general consensus from mentors emerged on the need to teach young people the requisite skills needed for personal development. These skills include, how to write or develop a good CV, how to apply for scholarships, how to write good essays or proposals, and the need to expose students to the varied number of courses they could pursue with respect to higher education, hence an avenue for translating such knowledge was required through camping students for a number of days.
The Africa Summer Camp was held from the 9th of August, 2017, through to the 11th of August, 2017 and had students representing from various parts of the continent, including Nigeria, the Gambia and Ghana. During the camp, participants were introduced and exposed to concepts and ideas in the biological and social sciences in order to make an informed decision as well strengthen the quality of their decisions. This year, the Summer camp was held at Ghana’s premier university, the University of Ghana, Legon. The location of the camp was strategic in an effort to expose students to an atmosphere that will propel them to dream and study harder in fulfilment of their dreams or passions. Participants were recruited from the various Senior High Schools across the Greater Accra Region and the Ashanti Region, based on specific criteria; students were selected to attend the Africa Summer Camp which was absolutely free of charge
In order to effectively expose students, various seminars were held at different departments of the University of Ghana, these included the department of Psychology and the department of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology. Participants had the opportunity to learn from resource persons from diverse backgrounds and with diverse experiences. Some of the resource persons were Mr Kwadwo Adjabeng (General Sales Manager, Alliance Motors Ghana), Dr Sewoenam Chachu (Department of French, University of Ghana), Mrs Valeria Okai Mensah (International Monetary Fund, Ghana). Dr Theresa Manful, Dr Saikou Bah, Mr Prince Dagadu, Dr Augustinie Ocloo and Mr Daniel Chachu, just to mention a few.
A call to Action
An article by Janet Maame Serwaa Arkoful, published on citifmonline.org, cited the desire of many contestants of the Brilliant National Science and Maths Quiz to pursue careers in law or medicine. This “desire” is certainly not negative but might have been formed through the perceived prestige that is associated with pursuing medicine or law. This desire may also be as a result of the inadequate exposure of students to the vast number of courses or paths they could tow, hence the need to effectively and efficiently expose students. Arkoful (2017) alluded to the fact that it was necessary for students to be exposed to the different courses worth pursuing in the University alongside an alignment with their innermost desires or passions.
Derrick Agyepong, a student of Accra Academy in an interview, attested to the fact that the Africa Summer camp had exposed him to a new environment, to new challenges and practical solutions to solving problems, as well as the opportunity to meet and interact with people from different backgrounds.
There is an urgent need to mentor young people on the continent of Africa. You can make a difference by pointing a young person in the right direction. Epictetus, a Greek philosopher once said “we all carry the seeds of greatness within us, but we need an image as a point of focus, in order that we may sprout. Oxcamp believes in the future of Africa, Believe with us!