Leadership and influenceChevening is looking for individuals who will be future leaders or influencers in their home countries. Explain how you meet this requirement, using clear examples of your own leadership and influencing skills to support your answer.
(minimum word count: 100 words, maximum word count: 500 words)
I was part of the team that had Facility Assessment of institutional sanitation facility and water supply constructed by the World Bank for beneficiary schools in Ga West, Ga South, and Ga Central under the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA SWP) some months ago. This assessment period led the team to visit schools in their deprived state. Some schools were under trees because of inadequate infrastructure, insufficient desks, lack of teachers, and lack of stationery and so on. This was disheartening to hear the headteachers' talk of the challenges they face in teaching and learning aside the sanitation facilities.
This situation hit me hard and decided to help such schools. I told three friends about it and they were ever ready with their support in cash and in-kind. I selected two schools, Ayim Basic and Agortekorpe Basic schools. For Ayim Basic, there was lack of lack stationery for effective teaching and learning and less concentration of pupils in class because of health issues while Agortekorpe Basic lacked desks in classrooms. I led in the fundraising for the projects; fliers and posters were used to circulate on social media, visits were paid to churches and other institutions for donation. My commitment to the fundraising led to accruing; Gh₵ 1,121, Gh₵ 1097 and Gh₵ 2431 for the three projects respectively. The team gave 200 exercise books, 150 pens, 93 files, 36 mathematical sets, 200 pencils, 80 erasers, and 30 sharpeners, dewormers and iron syrup distribution to about 100 pupils to Ayim Basic School and 20 dual desks to Agortekorpe Basic School.
Upon follow-ups with the schools' authorities, the population of pupils at Ayim Basic has increased by about 5% since learning materials are readily available with increased concentration of pupils during lesson hours. At Agortekorpe Basic, there is more comfort and concentration during class hours.
Again, another most rewarding leadership experience occurred in my second-year project at the University, where being in a five-member team; we were tasked with Adumasa Community Development Plan.
I was the team leader and also responsible for coordinating and directing members on; quantitative and qualitative research, GIS mapping, cleaning of data and reporting. In collaboration with my members we set our goal, organized schedules and timelines for each stage of the project. I set up a WhatsApp group page for easy communication to members and also keep them updated and informed with progress of work. I identified the strengths and skillsets of members and assigned various roles in the project accomplishment. To ensure discipline, a fine of Gh₵ 1 was agreed by the team for a delay or non-submission of task. The success of the project was the award of an "A" grade to my team members and I at the end of the year.
These leadership experiences have made me appreciate the importance of defining team goals, effective communication with team members and leveraging on individual unique skills and abilities. Chevening scholarship will grant me the opportunity to learn more valuable soft skills from an international community to support my work with rural school projects with more impactful ways.