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Irish and Ghanaian Student Leaders Share Perspectives and Visions

Rowan Beddows is the president of the BWB Club in Villiers in Ireland and Ohemaa Asibuo recently started a BWB club at Tema International School in Ghana. They discussed what it's like to establish a BWB club and what their goals were in their respective school and country.

Rowan: Why did you decide to set up a BWB club?

Ohemaa: There’s a lot of problems in my country that need to be addressed but most of the time, people don’t listen. I joined the ecotourism forum and I was nominated for the BWB pioneer award. I saw it as an opportunity to make a change in Ghana and also give the IB students something impactful to do for their CAS experience.

Rowan: What do you hope to do as a president for your members?

Ohemaa: I want to not only lead members but also help minimise stress as we partake in grade 11 together, which in IB, is work heavy. I also want to gain access to the things teenagers need which is what inspired our local action goal.

Rowan: What is your local action goal?

Ohemaa: We decided our local action goal would be to help girls gain access to pads since this is not only a problem in Ghana but also in many other countries around the world, especially at schools.

Rowan: What do you wish people knew about Ghana?

Ohemaa: Many people have negative perceptions of African countries like Ghana, they assume that we don’t have access to anything and make many ignorant statements about Africa. I wish people understood that we’re just like any other country in the world, we have developed sides and underdeveloped sides as well. We aren’t defined by poverty, so they shouldn’t define us by it.

Rowan: If you could solve one SDG goal, what would it be?

Ohemaa: Inequality

Ohemaa: Why did you choose Buddies without Borders?

Rowan: The forum and this opportunity give me the chance to raise awareness on issues I care about.

Ohemaa: What is your main goal for your BWB club?

Rowan: When I started, our main goal was to help fight global warming in Ireland, we started out by picking up waste on our weekly hikes.

Ohemaa: How did this impact your community?

Rowan: We cleaned up a lot of trash in our community and raised awareness on littering. We plan to raise awareness of climate justice by having a day at school where we go to classes and teach students more about the impact of climate change and on keeping our environment clean.

Ohemaa: How have you benefitted from your time as a BWB club president?

Rowan: It has helped make me more aware of SDG goals. It's also made me more open-minded, take initiative in issues, and helped me with time management skills. For example, dealing with schedules and time differences.

Ohemaa: Any advice for new BWB club presidents?

Rowan: Try to involve your school in your project as much as possible, and make sure to find a member who respects both you and your local action project. This person can help you manage the club if it becomes too much for you.

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