Odomfour Dr Kwasi Apraku III, the Paramount Chief of the Odumase Number One Traditional Area in the Bono Region, has set up an education endowment fund with US$5,000 seed money, to support brilliant, and needy students in the Area.
According to the Paramount Chief, who is a United States-based medical practitioner, the “fund is designated, only accessible to benefit brilliant and needy students in the Traditional Area whose parents can not afford to further their tertiary education”.
A Board of Trustee, chaired by Professor Stephen Tabiri of the University of Development Studies (UDS), and a native of the town, was set up to manage and ensure deserving students benefit from the fund, accordingly.
Speaking in an interview with the media at Odumase in the Sunyani West Municipality on his vision for the Area, Odomfour Dr Apraku II said he had prioritised education, and stressed his readiness and commitment to support beneficiaries to even study abroad.
Already, the Paramount Chief explained he had held extensive engagements and discussions with some natives of Odumase, resident in the States and Europe, who had also promised to contribute to the fund monthly.
“I have engaged a lot of them and they have agreed and promised to contribute at least US$100 dollars each into it every month, so that we can sustain the fund to benefit the majority of our brilliant but needy students, ready to further higher in their education”, he stated.
“By so doing, we believe beneficiaries would also be inspired, and thereby, give back to our society by contributing to the holistic development after their educational career”, Odomfour Dr Apraku III stated.
He, therefore, advised students in the Area to concentrate on their books and learn hard to enable them to access and benefit from the fund to pursue and achieve high academic laurels.
Quality education, the Paramount Chief explained, remained the surest legacy that could be bequeathed to the contemporary and the unborn generation, saying the government alone could not shoulder such responsibility, hence the need for the establishment of the fund.
Odomfour Dr Apraku III, however, bemoaned the growing trend of alcoholism, drug abuse and peddling among the youth of the area, and advised them to refrain from such unhealthy lifestyles that could truncate their education and ruin their future dreams and aspirations.
He partly attributed the youth involvement in substance abuse, promiscuity and unruly behaviours to the high unemployment rate in the area, and called on the government to do more and create jobs for the people.
Nonetheless, Odomfour Dr Apraku III stressed his readiness to release lands and called for government assistance to support the unemployed young people, interested to engage in commercial farming and cashew plantation to engage in that, so as to minimise or tackle the teeming youth unemployment in the area.