WHO WE ARE
JA Ghana is a member of JA Worldwide. JA’s unique, experiential programs – focusing on the areas of Work Readiness, Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy – encourage young people to realize the opportunities of life in the 21st century. In 2012, JA Ghana reached 8,002 students across several schools in Ghana. The pedagogic approach used in our programs is highly practical and “hands-on,” with volunteers serving as teachers, mentors, and role models for the students.
Since its establishment in Ghana in 2008, JA Ghana has served over 15,000 Ghanaian youth in over 80 schools/institutions, across the ten regions of Ghana, with financial, in-kind and volunteer support from stakeholders such as Nokia, Coca-Cola, Barclays Bank, Newmont Gold Ghana Ltd, Goldfields Ghana Ltd, Fidelity Bank, GE and Prudential Insurance. In 2012/2013, JA Ghana reached 8,002 students across several schools in Ghana.
The JA Company Program® provides introductory entrepreneurship education for high school students by giving them the opportunity to organize and operate an actual business from capitalization to liquidation. Over the course of 16 weeks, students collaborate to start a business, develop a product or idea and run the business. Students learn concepts like profit, customer relations, quality control, human resource management, etc. Students not only learn how businesses function, they also learn and apply soft skills that are instrumental to success, such as brainstorming, consensus building, critical thinking, gathering and organizing information, group and self-assessment, interpreting production inventory, oral and written communication.
Professionals from the local business community volunteer to employ a variety of hands-on activities and technological supplements to challenge students to use innovative thinking.
Young people are drawn to careers that they are familiar with or that their parents prefer: doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, police officers, whereas some of the best careers in their communities are ‘unseen’. A Job Shadow gives students “a-day-at-the-office” experience by pairing high school students with professionals in the local business community.
Students acquire and apply skills needed in demanding and ever-changing workplaces. They are also able to recognize career clusters and potential job positions; understand the importance of researching the requirements needed to earn a position; and develop job-hunting tools such as networking, preparing resumes, and interviewing skills. The program is made up of classroom sessions and the day-long job shadow visit. Staff of the host company provides mentorship, role modeling, career guidance and interpersonal skills development, aimed at building the futures of young people. Additionally, the JA Job Shadow positions students to think about and explore possible futures in those industries.
JA Ghana orchestrates conversations between schools and companies, training students and hosts on what to expect and how to interact during this day-long event.
ITS TYME stands for Immersion Training Strategies: Targeting Young Marginalized Entrepreneurs. This program targets out of school youth, providing them with basic business education with a mission to equip them with the practical, strategic and tactical business tools they need to become financially self-sufficient and active contributors to the social and economic life of their communities. ITS TYME reaches young people in the car parks, sports stadiums, streets and other centers of youth activity and bolster their skills to succeed.
CHA-CHING is a program about six band members whose exciting adventures teach them about key money concepts – Earn, Save, Spend and Donate. This financial literacy curriculum targets primary school students between the ages of 7 to 12 years old and is designed to improve access to information and activities that support the growing and critical need for financial literacy among the youth.
There are six lesson plans implemented over six weeks and are designed to run as additional learning added on any school programs. The program uses multiple platforms such as music videos, board games, apps and comic strips for students to learn and apply the key money concepts within and outside the school setting. Students acquire critical and essential financial concepts to make wise money management decisions while utilizing the different platforms CHA-CHING offers to consolidate and enhance learning.
The innovation camp is a full day’s event of intensive experience for students that stimulates their creative and innovative abilities. Young people learn to solve unfamiliar real business challenges in the shortest time possible in an unfamiliar environment. The exercises sharpen their young minds and discover their individual potentials. Through this competition, students learn to practice and improve their communication and presentation skills, and work in teams to solve challenges with support from mentors and volunteers from the local business community. This gives students exposure to real challenges that companies confront in their business while motivating them to be successful in the labor market.
Learners are given a specific challenge to solve within a set period of time. The link between business and education helps students to develop skills that are relevant to the workplace and allows them to apply their academic learning to real life situations. JA Ghana has organized Innovation Camps with Fidelity Bank, where students were challenged to develop banking solutions that would encourage young people to save. JA Ghana has also organized Innovation Camps with GE (General Electric), aimed at supporting and promoting STEM opportunities and careers among students. Corporate volunteers from GE interact with and contribute to the growth and development of students, giving them insight into the possibilities of their future professional lives.
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