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Case Foundation CEO Jean Case hosted Ama Pomaa Boateng from Ghana for three weeks as part of the FORTUNE/State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership program. We asked Ama to reflect on her time in the program, which draws to a close this week.
Good work is, well, good. Great work is inherently rewarding. Do it with fun and style, and you are not a prisoner of your labor, but rather a master of your craft. If you help others along the way, either by teaching them or just by setting them up for their own success, then both life and work acquire greater meaning. None of us live forever, and we should all leave a little something behind for the good. This “rule” is one of my favorites; it’s one worth repeating and spreading around because I have experienced it with my mentor Jean Case and the team at Case Foundation. Ayekoo! Ayekoo (well done)!
As a beneficiary of the FORTUNE/State Department Global Women’s Leaders Mentoring Partnership program, I was paired with Jean Case and the Case Foundation for three weeks with expectations to learn best practices. As a young Ghanaian woman championing and equipping young girls with marketable IT skills and recruiting them into the industry, I must say that my stay at the Case Foundation has made my mission of bridging the gender digital gap a reality. The Case Foundation has opened its offices and resources to me, giving me the opportunity to meet people who believe in social entrepreneurship, people who use technology, and visits to youth centres which are actually transforming lives.
As a mentor, Jean has encouraged me to see creativity and resilience in spite of obstacles, and I have greatly admired how she leads by example. Her warmth, her smile, her knowledge and her passion has given me a deeper understanding of character building, social responsibility, work and life balance and leadership. Her self commitment and support to her team is evident in the environment that the Case Foundation provides. Every team member became a mentor to me.
Four years ago, my career as a social entrepreneur began when I came across a website for POWERUP. Motivated by POWERUP's interest in bridging the digital divide, I quickly saw the need of empowering young women to bridge the gender digital gap and contribute their potential to the socio economic development of Ghana. Through partnerships and mentoring programs, I continue to look for opportunities for young girls to be IT Entrepreneurs and successful role models while contributing to the betterment of any community. As fate would have it, four years later, I meet Jean who apparently was cofounder of POWERUP. Interesting.
Prior to my arrival at the Case Foundation, I sometimes hesitated to move forward because I did not have the support and experience or skills to implement ideas. I often wondered why, with all this “Women Empowerment” and “ICT for Development” that the government cries, attention was not being paid to creating resources and recruitment strategies for more Ghanaian women to go into this lucrative sector. Much as I thought, I could only do little to have impact on the few lucky girls who I could accommodate. Being at the Case Foundation has renewed my strength, and makes me feel confident and hopeful for the future.
I have experienced how public/private partnerships, fundraising strategies, the social media, the millennial, social innovations, team work and inspiration of young women at the Case Foundation using technology for social good.
Knowing Jean is synonymous with opportunity. I shared with her my goals and she shared with me the current reality, best practices and case studies. She has encouraged and listened to me. We have had fun and shared great laughter. There are so many similarities, it is unbelievable. To have her view me as an able body that can create a difference is a feeling that propels me beyond pride and admiration. I am also so proud to have Michael and Kristin as my coaches.
I will demonstrate commitment and will be a profound inspiration to young girls and society. I leave here better equipped to run social entrepreneurship programs, help develop an understanding of the use and management of Web 2.0 tools and other technologies, such as mobile phones, and continue to build female IT entrepreneurs and workers in Ghana.
There are no words for the gratitude I have for the Case Foundation, its partners, the US State Department, Fortune, Vital Voices, the US Embassy in Ghana, my family and of course to all well wishers who are assisting Ghana in its development. Thank you for supporting the FORTUNE/State Department Global Women’s Leaders Mentoring Partnership.
I would like to say Ayekoo!