The Executive Director of the Head of State Award Scheme – Ghana, Peter Akai Anum has challenged the youth who aspire to occupy various leadership positions in every facet of their lives to be committed in offering voluntary services wherever they find themselves.
According to him, constant offering of voluntary service (s) holds the key to building one’s leadership skills and knowledge bank to continue to remain relevant as an impactful leader.
“Leadership is practical exhibition of skills and talents and that practicality must come within a space and that space is with people in different settings you serve”.
“To be that good, impactful leader, you must start with service. Service is a basic principle; not until you start serving, you will not learn how to lead”.
Mr. Anum was speaking to some selected youth leaders who are representatives of the National Youth Leaders Network at the Youth Regional Networks Leadership Training Program organized by FOSDA with support from Oxfam in Accra on October 18.
The selected participants numbered 17 were drawn from various youth groups within the Greater Accra and the Ashanti Region.
Youth volunteerism in Ghana today has dwindled significantly especially those in tertiary institutions, has lost the zest to volunteer and offer themselves to play roles in the development of this nation and their respective communities.
Some of the questions the youth often ask anytime they are called upon to volunteer are: “What do l get from this?”, “Isn’t this the job for others?” and “Would l get some money from this?”
The communal spirit of old which saw students going back to their villages and towns during vacations to teach, do clean-up exercises, provide labour for the building of infrastructures such as schools and clinics and availing themselves to volunteer for any other community engagements is fast becoming a scarce reality and a major cause of worry.
But interacting with the participants, the staunch advocate and global youth leader underscored the need for the youth to embrace the spirit of volunteerism to help them build knowledge, experience and to explore the numerous opportunities at stake.
He attributed lack of knowledge and inexperience among the youth today to their unwillingness to engage in voluntary services.
“Many people complete their University education nowadays and they lack experience”, how can we gather experience, quizzed?.
“We can gather experience right from our days of Senior High School (SHS) and the University at our leisure time through voluntary engagements”, he answered.
He concluded by saying every leader must be ready to serve and every leader is a servant, adding ” to be that good, impactful leader, you must start with service.,….Service is a basic principle, not until you start serving, you will not learn how to lead.
Peter Akai Anum is a renowned global youth leader and advocate with a wealth of experience in youth mentorship, education and development which he has gathered through volunteerism working with both local and International organizations over the years. Before his appointment into office as the Executive Director of the Head of State Award Scheme-Ghana in 2012, he had diligently served the Commonwealth in various capacities from 2019 to 2011.
In October 2011, he was also nominated by the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council (CYEC) to sit on the International Youth Planning Team for the Eighth Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF8) held alongside the Commonwealth Head of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Australia.
Peter was adjudged the Best Youth Worker for Africa by the Commonwealth in 2016. Among his long list of achievements, he was also awarded as the 2018 Most Influential Young Ghanaians under Leadership & Civil Society Category by the Aviance Media.