Ahaspora’s Felicia Arthur, represented Ahaspora at the 3rd Annual HALI Indaba which took place at Lake Elementiata, Kenya from April 24-26, 2018. HALI – High Achieving Low Income is a network of non-profit organizations and institutions united in one mission: to support high-achieving, low-income students from across Africa in their search for quality university education, in the US and beyond. The HALI Network was initiated in 2016 with Ahaspora as one of its founding members. Ahaspora is a member of the HALI network because of its commitment to mentoring high school students in Ghana, and as such, its partnership with the Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) program. The annual Indabas bring HALI organizations, admissions officers, and relevant stakeholders together to share their experiences, strategies and stories.
This year, one of the focuses of the conference was identifying ways to encourage students or young professionals who study abroad to return to their home countries on the Continent; particularly given that most students receive scholarships with a requirement that they will return home after schooling abroad. So questions about “what do they come back to after being away for a long time and losing contacts?”, introduced the Ahaspora story.
Ahaspora showcased the types of support that has been given to returnees and Ghanaians in the Diaspora. From the thriving listserv where members are able to ask questions that aid the transition, to the happy hours where returnees are able to network intrigued participants. At the end of the discussions, participants realized opportunities to build such networks within their institutions or among their student groups to foster a smooth transition home, and most importantly give more options for young professionals to give back to their home countries.
Felicia, who represented Ahaspora at the 2018 HALI Indaba had this to say: “For me, it was a great opportunity to hoist the Ahaspora flag high while highlighting the possibilities derived from communities like ours. Seven years of immense support for the returnee and seven years of hope that you can make it no matter what.”
As Ahaspora is here to matter, our narrative mattered most at this year’s Indaba.
Written by Felicia Arthur