Scholarship fund-raising program aims to help change the world

December 14, 2010 by  

Dr. Charles Quist-Adade is a lot more than an average sociology professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He is also the founder of CANAFRE, the Canada-Africa Foundation for Rural Education and president of the Ghana Canada Association of British Columbia.

But it is how he is incorporating his students into his foundation which has taken drawn attention at Kwantlen.

Quist-Adade is a Ghanaian-Canadian who is heavily devoted to his community. In many of his courses, he provides students with an opportunity to make a change in society by raising funds for the Aklowa Scholarship Project. The goal of the project is to improve education in rural Ghana where more than 70 per cent of the youth live in village communities.

The scholarship provides primary school children who are in need with a backpack containing two sets of school uniforms, a pair of sandals, 24 exercise books, pens, pencils and a dictionary. The scholarships also pay for the child’s school fees and lunch for a year.

“It [the scholarship] is to help deprived students who cannot complete education because of lack of funds,” said Quist-Adade. “We give them kind of a lifeline to complete their education.”

Quist-Adade is from a rural community in Ghana and he knows how far each donation can go.

He received a diploma in journalism from the Ghana Institute of Journalism before being funded to study for his master’s degree and PhD in journalism and sociology in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“I thought that I should help realize the educational dreams of children in rural Ghana,” said Quist-Adade.

He allows his students to raise funds in any way they choose, with a target of $750 per group.

Jasman Virdi, a student in Quist-Adade’s social justice class, was part of a group that held a club night.

“In the end, we sold out. In total, we raised $1,080,” Virdi said.

Quist-Adade appreciates the effort put in by his students as he continues to improve education in his homeland.

“I want to thank my students for the enthusiasm, sacrifice and effort they put into fundraising,” said Quist-Adade. “By the time it is finished, I think we will have raised about $2,000.”

For more information on the foundation, or to donate, visit the project’s website.


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