Kids Makers Project Graduation Ceremony
Prepared Remarks by
U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 | 11:00am – 12:00pm
Good morning! Thank you for the kind introduction.
I’m delighted to be here with you all as we celebrate the graduation of the Kids Makers Project’s second cohort. My Counselor for Public Affairs Virginia Elliott had the privilege of joining virtually at the first cohort’s graduation. After she told me about the amazing students and projects she saw, I had to see for myself the next time I was in the Garden City.
I want to thank Kumasi Hive Manager Mr. Maurice Cashinco and Kids Makers Project Lead Ms. Bernardine Ayim-Gharbin and her team for welcoming me to the Kumasi Hive. Before dancing into the ceremony, I had a tour of this dynamic hub and interacted with a few of your colleagues. The presentations I saw were outstanding and gave me a taste of what you all have been up to for the past month.
Thanks so much to Daisy Yeboah Mensah, Cheryl Nana Aba Mensah, and Faustina Nana-Boateng Nyamekeh, who did a tremendous job presenting the amazing work both cohorts accomplished. From a homemade electric heater and a toy car powered by a fan to a 3D printed heart, I must say that I’m impressed!
I commend Kumasi Hive for creating programs like the Kids Makers Project that promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (or STEM) education to inspire the next generation of innovators.
We are thrilled that the U.S. Embassy is able to sponsor such an important and beneficial project. Our support is turning out to be even more important in light of the uncertainties caused by the global pandemic and its affect on education. They say every cloud has a silver lining, and it is a real silver lining that you were able to come together for these activities during this otherwise difficult period. Indeed, I followed the Kids Maker Project on Twitter and saw all kinds of learning – and fun – taking place throughout the training program.
This project brings to mind the Akan proverb, “Woforo dua pa a na yepia wo,” or “It is when you climb a good tree that we push you.” The Kids Makers Project encourages students to develop their digital skills and broaden their scope of knowledge. It also builds the critical foundations of self-confidence in young people so necessary for them to thrive throughout their lifetimes.
Creating opportunity through educational development and improved learning outcomes are U.S. government priorities in Ghana. A robust economy in depends on much more than a country’s natural wealth – it also depends on human resources, and it starts with education. Through the U.S Embassy’s partnership with Kumasi Hive, we hope to see participants grow and apply new passion and skills to contribute to Ghana’s development.
To the students, first, I’d like to congratulate you for your resilience during the pandemic. By being here today, you’ve already shown that you can go beyond the classroom to set your sights on new goals. You’ve adapted to many changes and dedicated yourselves to completing this program – ayekoo! Next, I have to tell you, the skills you learned in a short four weeks, I never could have imagined learning when I was a primary or junior high school student. Indeed, I’m sure I still don’t have many of the skills you have just built!
Our hope for you is that this experience – besides building new skills – will spark a new interest, inspire a career goal, and give you a greater appreciation for the STEM fields. Hold on to the confidence you have gained in completing your projects and apply that same confidence to achieving your highest goals and dreams.
In closing, the U.S. Embassy will continue to encourage young people to commit to their education, to participate in programs like Kids Makers, and to give back – like your inspiring leaders here at the Kumasi Hive are doing. The U.S. Embassy offers a number of virtual programs and other opportunities to grow your STEM knowledge, and I encourage you to follow us on social media – @USEmbassyGhana on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to learn about them.
We want you all to keep aiming high and stretching to reach and surpass what you think today are your limits.