For someone who had never attended any Barcamp event, Barcamp Somanya was certainly an eye opener as well as a great opportunity to learn. The event which happened to be the very first of its kind in Somanya, yet the 8th in the Eastern Region, was organized by Verdant Global and Radix Nest in partnership with the Ghana Think Foundation. The event was held on 26th August 2017, at the E.J. A Tettey Enyo Hall of the Wesley Methodist Church in Somanya from 9 am to 4 pm.
The theme for Barcamp Somanya was Professionalism, Innovation and Competence, which happens to be the general theme for Barcamp Ghana 2017. To proceed, a forum was held to mark the beginning of the event and the main focus of the forum was on Somanya and how inhabitants of the town, especially the youth can incorporate Professionalism, Innovation and Competence into their daily routine, businesses and fields of expertise. As the event progressed, participants took turns to unearth the various problems in Somanya and what measures can be taken to solve said problems.
The most laudable idea which almost every participant hammered on was that much investment needs to be made in the bead-making industry since Somanya happens to be well-known for producing beads. Other investments proposed by participants are as follows;
- Youth in the municipality who have attained a remarkable level of education and have the applicable skills should organize volunteerism projects which would see to the training of people in the bead making industry and other supporting industries. Some of the training proposed was the teaching of soft skills aside other valuable training which would enable those in the bead making industry comprehend what exactly it means to run a business.
- As part of the volunteerism projects raised, participants encouraged the youth of Somanya preferably those with advanced education and adequate skills to devote their time to educating others who have a poor mentality about what it means to excel and to have a proper way of life.
- Another tangible investment proposed was that all financial institutions in Somanya and its surroundings make it a point to support these businesses and also educate them on the need to bank with credible financial institutions. Representatives of GN Bank and Barclays bank were present thus participants took the opportunity to appeal to them to not shirk their social responsibilities.
- Financial institutions were also tasked to invest not only money wise in their clients and potential clients but through time as well hence, giving back to the society as it is the only way they can get the people of Somanya to trust them as abled financial institutions.
The second session which was a speed mentoring session, saw about eight young people from different spheres of life who are spearheading transformation and making impact in areas of IT, Digital Marketing, Financial Literacy, Health, Film Making, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Social Media Marketing mentor other participants who expressed interest in the aforementioned areas.
The organizers of the event had the opportunity to share their stories and how Ghana Think Foundation and Barcamp have played a role in their stories. Some of the notable stories told include that of Radix Nest whose founder and team lead is Wilhelmina Mawuenam Agbozo, an IT Support Engineer.
She revealed that Radix Nest was birthed as a result of displeasure about the state of poverty and unemployment of the youth in her locality (Akpese), a suburb of Somanya. She added that the idea to bridge the skills, knowledge and exposure gap as a way of eliminating poverty and unemployment amongst the youth was bought into by the Ghana Youth Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GYSEC) which was an initiative of Digital Opportunity Trust in collaboration with the Ghana Think Foundation of which she was a participant.
To round up, Barcamp Somanya was crowned with a number of breakout sessions which was facilitated by some of the Barcamp Somanya participants. The sessions were in areas such as Business Ethics, Presentation and Teenage Pregnancy in Somanya, Financial Literacy and the ESI principle of achieving monetary success, Digital Marketing and Volunteerism. In each session, participants discussed what each topic entails and how they can manipulate resources in each aspect for the betterment of the society and the nation at large.
Now let’s talk about assessing #bcsom and how it impacted the lives of participants. For starters, the fact that an event like this was patronized by town folks especially the youth meant that the youth in Somanya are beginning to live up to the current trends of the world because prior to this event, it is unlikely to find young people in Somanya at events like Barcamp which seeks to solicit their idea on how to improve the lives of the inhabitants of a particular society cum themselves.
Honestly speaking, it was such an awesome sight to behold as these young people raised issues of concern and at the same time generated ideas on how these problems can be solved.
Though the attendance did not meet the expectation of the event organizers, I strongly believe that Barcamp Somanya has played a very vital role in the lives of participants and they, in turn, would go a large extent to materialize whatever they have experienced and learnt for the betterment of Somanya since achieving a better livelihood for inhabitants of the town depends largely on community participation.
So, till we meet at the next edition of Barcamp Somanya, I would like to plead with every young person in Somanya and outside Somanya to make it an effort to add value to themselves by participating in events such as this and going a step further to implement whatever it is they have learnt.
Finally, the organizers of the #bcsom (i.e) Verdant Global and Radix Nest appreciates all their partners, Ghana Think Foundation, Rite 90.1Fm, KW 89.7Fm, Kloma Hengme and Raymond Tawiah in making Barcamp Somanya successful.
P.S. Participants were served what they tagged #SaSoSo and I know you are wondering what that is so let me spare you the trouble of having to ask around. #SaSoSo simply refers to the Saturday (Sa) Somanya (So) Sobolo (So) which was served during Barcamp Somanya.
Plus, for me as an individual and a first timer at a Barcamp event, I have learnt that it is extremely relevant to engage young people to deliberate and make decisions concerning vital changes which need to be effected in our society. I have also realized how significant attending these events are and what it means to volunteer for projects which have the potential of improving lives and I pledge not to miss out on any of such events when I can equally partake in them.
Go Barcamp! Go Somanya!
Less Talk, More Action, More vim!!
WRITER: Ivy Agbozo