At the Accra International Conference Centre last Friday 26-year-old Charles Ofori Antipem was adjudged the winner of the MTN Heroes of Change Season 5, for innovating a miniature science laboratory for junior high schools.
Watching his father as a science teacher use a bottle and a funnel to teach students how rain is measured instead of a rain gauge, young Charles decided to provide a more advanced and efficient way of teaching and learning science in schools.
It was this conviction that drove him to shrink a whole science laboratory into a small box.
Known as a mobile laboratory, which is similar to the popular mathematical set, it includes tools such as conductors, capacitors and cells.
His mobile laboratory has made the teaching and learning of practical science easy, accessible, effective and efficient for thousands of children and teachers across the country.
The aim of this science set, according to him, was to make students creative and innovative.
Currently, 25,000 students across the country have received this science set.
Sharing his experience after the award, Mr Antipem said he felt honoured and overwhelmed by being selected by the jury as the MTN’s Hero of Change for 2019. He noted that this achievement called for hard work and commitment.
“We have a huge task ahead of us. The science set we know has power to transform science education not only in Ghana but across the world. We are going to work hard to ensure that every student in this country gets access to one to enable them to conduct their science experiments,” he said.
In his remarks at the grand finale, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Mr Selorm Adadevor, said MTN Heroes of Change was one of MTN’s most significant projects because of its objective to “showcase, inspire and most importantly, reward the many hardworking Ghanaians who strive to make meaningful contributions in their communities.”
“They defy all odds to make lives comfortable for members of their communities,” he indicated.
He added: “MTN Heroes of Change gives us a unique opportunity to commend all those doing selfless acts to improve and brighten the lives of people. Heroes of change is to get you and I to work together to find solutions to societal problems which can only be solved by ourselves.”
Mr Adadevor stressed that MTN Heroes of Change was about those who had institutionalised, structured and sustained their extraordinary selfless works and added that “it is our hope that through this project, we would all be inspired to help impact and transform lives within our communities in diverse ways.”
All 10 finalists, Charles Ofori Antipem, Dr Daniel Owusu Asiamah, Frank Abeku Adams, Louisa Enyonam Ansah, David Hagan, Rev. Father Akologo Dominic Alale Azumah, Justin Yelevielbayire, Mawusi Nudekor Awity, Dr Benjamin Akinkang and Diana Adjei were each presented with a citation and a cheque for GH¢10,000 to further their respective projects as change makers in the areas of education, health and economic empowerment.
Individuals in the media and arts industry who in their own small way had contributed to effecting positive change in the lives of others were also recognised.
The Founder and CEO of Tech Era, Mr Derick Omari, was adjudged the MTN Young Hero for leading a team of university students to impact the lives of persons living with disability through access to quality and inclusive education.
An editor at Adom FM, Ms Afia Pokua, was rewarded for using her media influence to rally volunteers to raise money for the construction of decent structures and libraries for rural schools through her Vim Foundation.
They were each presented with a citation and cheque for GH¢10,000 from MTN.
Education Hero award
“Indeed, disability is not inability,” were the initial words of Louisa Enyonam Ansah, a 56-year-old woman who was born without an arm.
For more than two decades, she has given hope and a sense of belonging to young people living with disability in Nsawam-Otoase in the Greater Accra Region.
Through her Enyonam Short Foundation, which is self- funded, Madam Enyonam has been accommodating children with disabilities by giving them education.
Health Hero Award
For his commitment to providing free surgeries for people with diseased conditions such as hernia, goiter and other physical deformities in Sandema in the Builsa North District of the Upper East Region, Dr Benjamin Akinkang was awarded the MTN Hero of Change in health.
For taking young ladies who engaged in prostitution from the streets and giving them apprenticeship opportunities to learn a trade and earn a living, Diana Adjei was adjudged the MTN Hero of change for economic empowerment.
For their great achievements and significant acts of kindness, each of the three received a citation, a shield and a cheque for GH¢30,000.
The auditorium, which was electrified the whole night due to performances from Kuami Eugene, Rex Omar, and Tagoe Sisters, was turned into a state of suspense when Chukwu, an artist, was invited to reveal the MTN Hero of Change 2019 with his artwork.
It was a nervy moment for the finalists and their families as Chukwu deceptively painted the winner upside down. When he finally turned the painting upwards, it was the innovator, young Antipem, who became Chukwu’s master painting and MTN Hero of Change 2019.
He received a citation, a shield and a cheque for GH¢100,000 from MTN.