The Yale Club of Ghana, made up of Ghanaian alumni of Yale University in the United States has launched the "Yale Green Ghana Campaign" to promote environmentally friendly practices amongst Ghanaian

To mark the campaign, the club undertook a clean-up and landscaping exercise at the Tema SOS village in Accra, on Saturday 10th May 2014. The Yale alumni in attendance included Mr Kweku Awotwi who chaired the event, Hon. Kwesi Botchwey, Miss Ruth Botsio and Mr Ken Ofori-Atta. 

They were joined by newly admitted Yale students from Ghana, family members, friends, and students from the SOS- Hermann Gmeiner International College, who came out to work as part of the community service component of their International Baccalureate (IB) program. 

The launch of the Yale Green Ghana Campaign coincided with the Yale Day of Service, a day on which Yale alumni all over the world gather to continue the Yale tradition of service by engaging with and giving back to local communities.

The Yale Green Ghana campaign was launched by Mr. Awotwi under the theme, 'Recycling, a shared responsibility for environmental sustainability'. The group donated recycling bins and undertook a massive cleanup exercise, whilst interacting with the children of the SOS Children's Village and participants of Play Soccer. 

Explaining the rationale behind their choice of activity, Vice President of the Yale Club of Ghana, Ruth Botsio, indicated, “There are many issues that different groups engage with in Ghana . Some pick education, others focus on girl child education, yet still others tackle women's abuse and so on and so forth. However, collectively, we tend to neglect environmental issues because we don’t see the negative effects of our actions immediately. For example, we don't see the impact of our actions on global warming, until maybe the rainy season is delayed or it arrives several months earlier than expected.”

She added that “The Yale Club of Ghana feels that it is important to start educating children on issues relating to the environment at a tender age so that by the time these children reach their teenage and young adulthood years, they know that what I do to the environment, how I interact with the environment, is definitely going to affect my future.”

Children were taught how to make soccer nets from used water sachets by the sponsoring NGO, Play Soccer, in addition to various fun games and activities. For the Yale group, the move is worthy of emulation.

According to Ruth Botsio, “The main lesson that each alumni takes from Yale is that everyone can make a difference- hence the Yale Day of Service. We embrace the ethos that wherever you find yourself and with whatever resources you have, there will always be something that you can do that will significantly benefit your community. This is the attitude that we are trying to promote. ”

Officials of the Tema SOS village which houses about 200 underprivileged children expressed appreciation for the gesture.

In an interview with JoyNews, Isaac Kojo Ackon, Director, Tema Sos Village said, “We are not that rich but we are trying to make the best out of the little that we get and looking at the program, they gave us some bins that will always help us to separate the food waste from the polythene bags and we will use it, we will recycle our waste… so that our environment can be kept cleaner than before.”

Yale University is meanwhile offering 2015 and 2016 SHS graduates the opportunity to be part of the inaugural Yale Young African Scholars Program, to be held in Accra this August.

Students are to apply online at www.globalscholars.yale.edu/africa by 16th May 2014.

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