Born in Ghana but spending more than half of her entire life in the United Kingdom, Rhoda Agilinko is helping young students in the northern part of Ghana to be able to achieve success in their studies. This week on Game Changers, we are looking at the life of this young beautiful and kind hearted lady. I believe you will be inspired.

Who is she?

Rhoda  Agilinko was  born in Old Tafo, in  Kumasi, Ghana to Stephen  and Diana Agilinko who were  teachers at the time. She started her education at Siniensi Primary and Junior High School in the Upper East region of Ghana. She is twenty one  (21) years of age. She recently graduated from the university of Kent, United Kingdom having studied a degree in Politics and International  Relations. Currently, she is taking a gap year out in Ghana to establish and build up her non-profit organization before she returns to school  to pursue a masters in Law.

When  Rhoda was  young, she  wanted to be  a Politician because she loved to help others and being a politician gave her the opportunity to help a lot of people in her community and beyond. She strongly  believed that Ghana has the potential to lead a wind of change in the continent of Africa and she wanted to be part of that great change. The dream  to become a Politician is yet to change because the driving factor is still the same. She also has interest in issues about fairness, justice and equality in  Ghana.

Rhoda Agilinko  has set up an organization  helping communities socially and economically in  the Upper East region of Ghana. ‘Homeland Ghana’ is a nonprofit  organization working to provide resources and opportunities for  the deprived youth in rural communities through educational programs.  The main vision of the organization is to assist young Ghanaian students to succeed in their studies. It aims to instill in students the confidence  that when they buckle down to study and learn, they will be as capable as anyone else in the world to achieve their dreams.

“We  cannot  emphasize  enough the  transformative  power of education and  the good it does for one’s  personal growth. One of such programs  Homeland Ghana champions is the School  Aid Program”, Miss Agilinko said.

The School  Aid program  donates educational  resources and materials  (school textbooks, exercise  books, pens, pencils, book bags etc.)  to schools in need for a period of two years  to best gauge the level of success the program has achieved. These  materials are collected in the United Kingdom from willing donors including  schools and individual donors.

Why she started Homeland Ghana

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“Having  been born  and raised in  Ghana up until the  age of eight (8) when my family moved us to the UK, I understand that it could  have been me in need of someone else’s help in the same way that I am trying  to give it to others. To be given the chance to serve others is a blessing since  I firmly believe that when life has been good to you, you cannot help but pass those  blessings forward”, Miss Agilinko explained.

Challenges

There  are three  challenges facing  Homeland Ghana today namely  fundraising in the digital age  and competitiveness.

“It  is a  real challenge  getting people to  understand that with  a non profit organization,  people need to constantly support  our work and vision. Indeed, a one off  donation helps us but to have people donate monthly  is a real blessing and keeps our programs moving forward”, she said.

“Another  challenge is  competitiveness  with other organizations, making  Homeland Ghana stand out with the  programs that we implement so to gain  recognition to energize and mobilize supporters”, she added.

Projects

Rhoda is currently  involved in working as  a Senior Team Leader of  “The Junior Apprentice”, a  youth program in which a group  of young people compete against each other  in a series of business related challenges to win  business opportunities and cash rewards. As a team leader,  it’s her responsiblity to provide direction and guidance to the  young people for the purpose of achieving task goals.

Vision for the next Decade

In  the next  10 years, it is Rhoda Agilinko’s desire  that Homeland Ghana would have supported a lot of schools effectively  and enabled them to bring out the very best in the students.

“It  would  be a complete  joy to reconnect with  some of the students we  support and find out that  they are living out their dreams  and helping others do the same”, she revealed.

“I  also desire that  Homeland Ghana gains  huge recognition for the  work it does and our vision”, she added.

In  order  to achieve  the things mentioned  above, Homeland Ghana is  working with the best team  of people who are specialists  in the areas assigned to them. As  an organization they are constantly working  to publicize Homeland Ghana to the extent that  it gains recognition abroad as well as in Ghana.  Since Homeland Ghana wants to effectively implement all  of its programs, they do not want to solely rely on the  donations of people. They have set up an online store to sell  products produced by those in the communities they support such as  handmade bags, local clothing and shea butter production.

Motivation

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Rhoda’s parents  were teachers who did  not earn as much as they  needed to bring up their four  siblings and herself. Through their  schooling and personal sacrifices, they  were able to save up and relocate the whole family to the  UK.

“When  I look  at my siblings and  all that we have achieved educationally, I cannot  help it but be inspired and grateful for my parents.  My parents have taught me that education has a transformative  power and can take you places where other ventures may not”, Rhoda narrated.

Advice

“The  best advice  I can give to anyone  who wishes to become like me is  to strive to be perceived as the  most capable, not the most visible  or popular. In everything, there is  the general assumption that unless you  are well known for what you do or who you  are, you aren’t doing much. Learn as much as  you can, for as long as you can so that you become  invaluable. As an individual, it is so essential to know your  own worth. We are all astounding, one of a kind, talented people,  but then we do not naturally realize that. We tend to let others measure  our worth and so often these are people who do not merit any in how commendable we really are.”

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