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.
Kwantlen students are still doing their part to raise money for Haiti.
On Jan. 22, Charles Quist-Adade, his Sociology 1125 class and the Ghanian-Canadian Association of B.C. threw a fundraiser, which raised $2,565 for Doctors Without Borders and the Canadian Red Cross.
(Update: Fund-raising continued after the event and the amount raised has grown to $2,800.)
Quist-Adade was thrilled with the amount of money donated, and said he was expecting to only raise about $500.
“It’s really upsetting to see what’s going on. It’s just scary to see that something can happen out of nowhere,” said Jasman Virdi, a sociology student. “It’s good that everyone is pulling together to help out all around the world.”
The highlight of the event was local poet Kevan Cameron.
Cameron recited three poems about African-American culture, modern society and playing scrabble with his mother.
KSA campus councils have also been raising money after the Richmond KSA challenged Surrey and Langley to a fundraising competition for World Vision.
Altogether the KSA raised $1,132 from students, and will matching $1,077 of it, said Reena Bali, the Richmond campus director
Richmond students donated $928; Surrey students donated $148; and Langley students $55.
Bali said she will be taking the competition further, by challenging the university to match the donation.
Kwantlen’s president David Atkinson sent out a letter encouraging students to do what they can for Haiti, but has yet to announce any donation from the university.
(Note: This article has been edited since publication to include the corrections noted in the accompanying comment.)
In an effort to raise money for Haiti, the Richmond campus Kwantlen Student Association exchanged cereal for donations to World Vision yesterday.
Reena Bali, Richmond campus director, said the KSA no goal for the amount of money it wants to raise, but said that the KSA will try and match every dollar donated.
â€œWeâ€™re just hoping for anything, because for them even a little is a lot,â€ said Bali.
The KSA had originally planned a free toast and warm breakfast for students, but with the crisis in Haiti they decided to change the breakfast into a fundraiser.
The KSA at Richmond campus will be accepting donations until the end of the week, and urges people to donate whatever they can to World Vision or a similar charity.
Bali also advises people to research the charities to make sure that all the proceeds go towards the people of Haiti.
Last month was November on the Gregorian calendar, but it was also the third annual Movember. During November, men around the world grew moustaches to raise money for prostate cancer research. Some participants joined teams and promoted their facial hair to receive donations for the cause.
On the Movember website, teams explained their “mo-tivation” and listed prominent figures who inspired their moustaches, such as Tom Selleck or Jack Layton
The following video includes Nick FrÃ¼hling, the program assistant of Kwantlen’s design program, and Steve Bobroske, an accounting major, who each grew moustaches for Movember.
As well, Natalie Burgwin of the public relations program is in the video. She supported her father’s Movember group as a “Mo Sista,” the term for women who have joined the cause.
Kwantlen’s Fashion Design program put on an stylish display Dec. 4, in and around the Richmond Kwantlen rotunda.
The rotunda and a second-floor corridor were full of bright colors and unique designs, and the students who created them. The goal of the display was to allow other students to view the fourth-year students’ portfolios, and to promote the Fashion Design program.
Fourth-year students Niki Chung, Carolyn Chow and Janis Brunke were also fundraising for the new Julie Hobart “SOS” scholarship by selling “wing” necklaces. The necklaces were designed by a Kwantlen grad and local designer of “Mimi & Marge.” Necklaces remain on sale for $50. The proceeds will go towards the scholarship and the Fashion Design program.
Public Relations student at Kwanlten’s Rochmond campus held bake sales Tuesday and WednesdayÂ to raise money for the Cinderella Project.
As part of their Events Planning course with instructor Amelia Kennedy-Maki, students have formed small groups to brainstorm ways to raise funds for sponsorships and a gala event.
The Cinderella Project will supports kids who have risen above the challenges they faced during high school and persevered to succeed academically.
Students who will be honoured at the event have experienced a number of challenge. including poverty, health problems and family issues.
“It’s a way to recognize their hard work,” said Jenn Currie, a second-year PR student. Currie said that details are still up in the air, but is hoped to be a “jazz and wine event” in February at the False Creek Yacht Club.
PR students faced some competition Tuesday with another bake sale (for a separate cause; see photo and caption) also going on.
“We had a bad spot in the cafeteria and there was another bake sale going on,” said Bryn Silver. Silver said one of their previous bake sales had gone very well and hoped to find similar support for Wednesday’s sale.