Overview of ENA’s Asamankese District Literacy Graduation Ceremony.
(Written by Cecilia Amankwah)
As our mission statement clearly states, “We engage and strengthen individuals, families, and communities to end poverty by instilling hope and teaching principles of sustainability in: Education, Micro Credit, Clean Water, Medical services, Orphan Support, Eradication of Modern Slavery.”
The mission of Engage Now Africa Adult Literacy Program is to provide free educational instruction to the disadvantaged and marginal community members to improve literacy and skills of numeracy. We acknowledge the fact that illiteracy locks communities into vicious cycles of poverty which breeds grounds for all sorts of social vices.
Literacy on the other hand is the key to breaking out of poverty, putting a stop to prostitution, child labor, and reducing crime. It gives people the confidence to better their lives through education and provides the means to secure better jobs. It also gives people a voice and a place in today’s society.  Due to this, Engage Now Africa is helping to eradicate illiteracy in Ghana and beyond. The ENA literacy program is currently running in 7 regions and in 75 communities and are hoping to reach out all the 10 regions in Ghana.
Asamankese is a town in south Ghana and is the capital of West Akim Municipal District, a district in the Eastern Region of south Ghana. Asamankese has a settlement population of approximately 39,435 people, and is located on the main highway to Kumasi and Accra in the interior.
President Norman Hill of the Ghana Accra West area mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints saw the need for ENA to usher in the Adult Literacy Program for these noble men and women within the Asamankese District to combat illiteracy. Under his leadership, ENA Adult Literacy Program was piloted about 9 months ago. We are happy to announce Asamankese District members have successfully completed the ENA Literacy Program.
The 1st Day of August, 2015, marked a significant and memorable day in the history of these noble men and women who never thought they could read, write nor speak basic English.
We began the ENA literacy program with 100 participants and 10 instructors in Asamankese, Kade, Oda and Adoagyiri. At the end of the literacy program we had 52 participants who graduated with certificates. The graduation ceremony was held at the Asamankese District center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The place was well decorated with ribbons and beautiful flowers to add another touch to the magnificent building. Students were nicely dressed with ENA Literacy T-Shirts to grace the occasion.
There were smiles and laughter all around. Students were very happy to see each other and also tried to speak basic English. Such achievements serve as a testament to the efficacy of the ENA Adult Literacy Program. The smiles on people’s faces are priceless.
The graduation ceremony started at 11:00 a.m. and was chaired by the Mission President and Richard Adu (ENA’s Literacy Supervisor) conducted under his directions.
After the opening song was sung a literacy student by name of Sister Edith Gatu was called to give the opening prayer in English, and the welcoming address was said by Richard Adu. A special song which was performed by the Asamankese and Oda branches, followed by SisterRita Amugi-Okine (a literacy student) as the 1st speaker. Rita spoke on how the ENA literacy program has changed her life for the better and was very grateful for such a wonderful program.
Students took turns to read and also quoted passages they had memorized, followed
by recitation of poems. In fact, I cannot fully articulate in words miracles in the lives of these students. It was hard to fathom the fact that these students could barely read a few months ago. I was personally blessed to be among these beautiful souls and to witness how their lives have changed for the better due to ENA Literacy.
I presented on the “blessings of education” and congratulated them on their efforts. I also encouraged them not to relent in their efforts to continue learning. I assured them such meaningful undertakings would enable them live and contribute positively in their various communities, and also compete in today’s global world.
I also encouraged them to teach their children the importance of education by taking their studies very seriously so they could grow to become great leaders in the future.  “Our education must never stop. If it ends at the door of the classroom on graduation day, we will fail” Elder Henry B. Eyring.
Not only will continuing education increase our opportunities in the work we do, but it will also increase our ability to serve in the Lord’s Kingdom. The Lord knows our gifts and hidden talents and how they may benefit us as well as those He would have us serve.  As we faithfully continue studying and searching, doors of opportunity will open and we will be able to serve to a greater capacity.
 After my speech five students spoke and they all shared with us how they started the literacy program knowing nothing but could now read and interact positively in society.
Certificates were presented to all students who completed the ENA literacy course. The people who participated in presenting the certificates were, Francis Ansah (ENA Director of Education), Jordan Wellington (Asamankese District President), Norman Hill (Ghana Accra West Mission President) and myself, Cecilia Amankwah (ENA Ghana Country Director).
President Hill gave the concluding remarks by congratulating them in their efforts and encouraged them to take up church callings and responsibilities. He also encouraged others to join the literacy program. Joyce Ofosu (a literacy student) gave the benediction in English and we had a delicious meal afterwards.
Those in attendance were; the Mission President, District President, Branch Presidents, Literacy Students, Literacy Teachers and some church members who came to witness the ceremony. The ENA Graduation Ceremony was another great achievement for ENA. We cannot thank the co-founders and donors alike enough for this wonderful program.