The Salih Self-Development Center in Ghana 2022

The Salih Self-Development Center in Ghana

Fund for the Future of Our Children Promoting Community Development in Ghana

The Fund for the Future of Our Children (FFC) is helping to foster long-term opportunity in Aboabo–a small area within Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city. The city is widely known for its rich, vibrant culture. Aboabo is an engaged, supportive community that is committed to nurturing its young people. However, its economy has been challenged by the shutdown of a key employer and a lack of access to capital and raw materials. Its people are dealing with low-quality housing stock, health and sanitation hazards, and disparities in education.

The Salih Self-Development Center is working to address these issues and help uplift the area. The FFC became a partner in this work through its relationship with Ibrahim Salih. He grew up in Aboabo before receiving a scholarship at age 16 to attend high school in the United States. He received a 2011-2012 Youth Leadership Grant from FFC. He later attended Hood College in Maryland.

He was not able to return home for 10 years, but he always remained focused on using his education and connecting with resources to enhance the lives of the people in Aboabo. He founded the Salih Center to bring his vision to reality. It now provides vocational training programs in sewing and computer skills.

Young seamstresses are being trained in traditional West African designs as well as more contemporary designs. This allows for artistic expression, cultural exchange, and entrepreneurial opportunities. The computer skills program is serving the growing interest in the technology sector, which is a valuable career choice for young people around the world. The Salih Center is laying a foundation that allows Ghanaians to emerge as young leaders on the global stage.

The Center also hosts medical clinics in the community so that residents can get screened for high blood pressure and gain knowledge about health. It provides access to doctors and nurses who present literature and other educational resources to illustrate typical warning signs and red flags. The Center is also educating the community about the importance of garbage and waste disposal and advocating the importance of environmental stewardship. A future objective is to build a facility which creates jobs collecting and sorting plastic, which will then be used to make roof tiles.

Currently, the organization is developing a major new vocational training facility. FFC has provided funds which have launched the first phase of the project. The Salih Center has created an inspiring set of building plans, land has been purchased, a well has been constructed, and 2500 cement bricks have been acquired.

The building will be over 1000 square meters (10,000+ square feet). It will feature classrooms, a meeting room, housing for professors, students, and staff, plus a lobby. It will also have dedicated parking. This will enable the Center to offer a variety of vocational programming, including: construction and welding, automotive repair, consumer electronics, plumbing and electrical installation, furniture making, and block laying and tiling. This kind of training is essential for promoting sustainable development in Ghana.

Ibrahim Salih is a profound example of how providing opportunities for one young person can help promote transformation and innovation more broadly. He is always looking for ways to give back to his community and provide avenues to help others thrive. FFC is proud to support his impact in Aboabo and beyond.