The Jirapa Municipal Youth Association (JMYA) hosted its first Homecoming, Jamboree and Awards Night in December 2021.
The event which aimed to recognize and appreciate the development efforts of various people and organizations was under the theme “Holding hands and honoring our development partners”.
The event was characterized by activities such as a quiz and debate competition, a blood donation exercise, a float, an awareness creation and the official launch of the event. The rest included Unity games, a cleanup exercise, a career and business development seminar, awards, and dinner.
To stimulate and maintain the spirit of a healthy academic competition between the schools of the municipality of Jirapa, JMYA organized on November 6, 2021 a debate competition for the four high schools of the municipality, namely: Ullo Senior High, St. Francis Girls’ Senior High School, Han Senior High School and Jirapa Senior High School. A quiz competition was also held for the top 5 top performing colleges in the municipality based on the 2020 Basic Education Certificate Exam.
Schools that participated included St. Francis High School, Presentation High School, Jirapa Model Girls’ High School, Duori High School and Ganaa Memorial High School. Ullo Senior High School won the debate competition while St. Francis Junior High School also won the quiz competition. The same day, a blood donation exercise was carried out by the Youth Association to supply the blood bank at Saint-Joseph Hospital. At the end of the fiscal year, the blood bank at St. Joseph’s Hospital was stocked with 143 pints of blood.
Sunday, November 7, 2021 was the day of the creation of the float, awareness raising and the official launch of the jamboree. Young people in teams marched through the main streets of Jirapa to the sound of music and a marching band. The young people finally converged on the grounds of St. Anthony Primary School where the presiding member of the Jirapa Municipal Assembly officially launched the jamboree.
Subsequently, the semi-finals and the finals of the Unity Games were held respectively on December 26 and 27, 2021 after the start of the preliminary phases of the competition from December 18, 2021. The Unity games which aimed to promote unity and socialization among young people saw the participation of eight Commune Zones: Jirapa East zone, Jirapa West zone, Sabuli zone, Gbare zone, Ullo zone, Tuggo zone, Hain zone and Duori zone. Jirapa East Zone won the ultimate prize which is Cup and Bragging right after beating Sabuli Zone in the final match. All areas that participated in the unit’s games returned home with various rewards including 200.00 Ghc cash, soccer balls and a set of jerseys.
The cleanup exercise followed the Unity games. The Association mobilized members of various youth groups in Jirapa, including Zoom lion workers, to undertake this all-important exercise on December 28, 2021. Main neighborhoods of Jirapa commune, including MCE residence , the Catholic Church, the hospital and many others were cleaned up.
Another important activity that took place on December 28, 2021 was the unveiling of the statue of Professor Sir Dr. Godfrey S. Bacheyie, a great philanthropist who, along with the Rotary Club of Windsor, has contributed immensely to Jirapa’s development at the fields of education, water and health. The popular amount of its contributions is the Neonatal and Intensive Care Unit of St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Jirapa Municipal Library, the water supply system of a small town and many others. The statue which sits at the entrance to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Jirapa was erected by young people to honor the venerable son of Jirapa nicknamed by some residents as the “father of development” in Jirapa and beyond.
The next seminar was the much anticipated Career and Business Development Seminar on December 29, 2021. This event which aimed to give better exposure and experience to the people of Jirapa, especially young people, attracted a lot of people. With the guest speakers, Eric Zunuo Banye, Dr Bokumah Alex, lawyer Vitus Gbang, Mr. James Ziekye, the COP Ms. Beatrice Zakpaa Vib-Sanziiri and Lieutenant-Colonel Felix Korbieh, the participants had no regrets about doing part of the seminar. Some of the topics that were explored included “Overcoming the Mental Barriers of Poverty and Fear of Failure: Paving the Way for Entrepreneurship Initiative”, “Harnessing the Fortunes of 21st Century; how to start, grow and develop your business ”and“ How to live above the storms of life ”.
The jamboree culminated with the awards night and dinner on the 30e December 2021 at the Royal Cozy Hills Hotel, also known as Jirapa Dubai, with Professor Naa Bruce Bannoe Yakubu as Chairman and Dr Hafiz Bin Salih (Upper West Regional Minister) as guest of ‘honor. Other recognized personalities of the Municipality such as the Municipal Director General and the Deputy were also present for the dinner and the awards ceremony. Various individuals and organizations have been honored in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the development of Jirapa. Professor Sir Dr Godfrey S. Bacheyie was the Grand Prize winner. A total of 25 prizes were awarded.
It can be recalled that the Municipal Youth Association of Jirapa received the award for the best youth association of the Upper West region in 2018 by the National Youth Authority of the upper region and is rapidly advancing to in 2021, it still turns out to be the best youth association in the region. The Association’s objectives are to promote unity and solidarity among its members, to serve as a forum for the collective search for solutions to the problems facing the citizens of the traditional council of Jirapa, to establish and maintain a front of knowledgeable and enlightened youth to defend the education, moral, cultural and socio-economic development of the Jirapa Municipal and to encourage its members in the pursuit of greater academic excellence. The association is open to partnerships with other organizations both governmental and non-governmental to propel development in the municipality of Jirapa.