The VOICES Empowerment model is rooted in the belief that inherent in all children and youth, is the capacity to be agents of change, and in so doing, to transform their lives and enhance their communities. This capacity is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child.
The model illustrates our belief that when Children’s Rights are prioritized, communities support processes that develop their individual voices. This “voice” as it evolves, enhances their capacity to participate in their communities development from an empowered position. This empowered participation results in individual and community transformation and development.
The participation of community in this process is essential as a true sense of belonging is necessary for this model to be truly effective.We believe when young people are given opportunity to discover their “voices” & enabled to exercise their right to participate in personal and community development, transformation occurs. The result is an inspired “voice”, engaging and positively transforming society TODAY.
Community Action Teams
The CAT’s program is our flagship community-based development initiative for young people between 8-14. A 3-year school-based extracurricular program, it is run in communities with schools that score in the bottom 15% in the JHS matriculation exams.
Through the use of the VOICES Empowerment model, CAT teams are guided in a capacity building process that achieves two main outcomes: a) Positively impacts self-confidence and sense of self-efficacy, and, b) Directly impacts how CAT team members engage with the school work and the role they believe they play in their communities. The final result is a gradual process of transformation from low-engaging JHS students to critically thinking and self-directed empowered agents of change.
VOICES Fellows facilitate the empowerment model inputs, shared in weekly modules on school grounds. The weekly “Team Meets”, 12 per semester, are designed to link to each other, creating a rich empowerment tapestry. Each academic year (cycle) is focused around a specific theme that causes CAT Team members to build a sound knowledge-base in Rights, VOICE, Empowerment and Participation. In addition,using highly participatory and child-friendly delivery methods they work towards developing the skills-set necessary to engage meaningfully with their own personal development and positively impact community evolution.
VOICES Entrepreneurship Institute
The VOICES Entrepreneurship Training Certificate program is offered to young adults 18-28 yrs old who are in the early stages of their careers. The Certificate focuses on developing Self-assessment skills, Improving Efficacy, developing Leadership and Creating Future change-makers. This program is designed to be experiential cultivating life-long skills necessary for self-development and success. It is anchored in the premise that one of the most effective ways of building capacity is by providing a forum for an individual to actively develop and hone their own talents and a set of transferable skills.
Program completion requirements include active participation in workshops, submission of all workshop assignments and active participation in the Final Group project. The program is delivered in a combined format of face-to-face workshops, participation in learning and sharing circles either in person or virtually, global online hangout sessions, and self-directed readings. All program participants are accepted on full scholarship funded through our Village Pot Program. Graduates from this Certificate Program are certified as self-starting, problem-solving, multi-skilled young people trained and experienced in adding value to operations and generating successful outcomes. To demonstrate our stand behind the outcome of our program, we negotiate internship opportunities for our graduates with a guarantee to of added value and success to operations.
As part of the VOICES Global Collective, every year we recruit and host Fellows for 3 months ( June, July, August) in Accra to join in helping organize a joint international initiative that impacts the community development in the participating member countries. Each year a scholarship is awarded to the selected fellow that provides a living wage for them as well as providing them with appropriate technology for their internship. The call for applicant is announced in Febrary of the year of the fellowship. This initiative is the evolution of our VOICES health and wellness and VOICES immersion program.