The Newmont Akyem Development Foundation (NAKDeS), has awarded scholarships to a total of 938 needy second cycle and tertiary students from its 10 operating communities, to further their education at a cost 1,017,048.37 Ghana Cedis within one year of its inauguration.
The beneficiaries were made up of 596 students from second cycle institutions, and 342 students from tertiary institutions, including 431 females and 509 males.
The Executive Secretary of NAKDeS, Mr Paul Apenu, who disclosed this at a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a six-unit classroom block with a staff room, store and an office for the old Abirim Primary School, indicated that an apprenticeship programme to equip the youth with alternative livelihood would soon take off.
He said the project was being funded from Newmont’s contribution of one dollar on every ounce of gold, produced by the company and one percent of profit before tax on Gold, produced by Newmont, since it started work three years ago.
Mr Apenu, said the foundation recognized the fact that shared legacy could be created through partnership with relevant stakeholders, including the seven-member Sustainable Development Committees (SDCs) in all the 10 communities, to foster relationship and to equip the SDCs to attain the goals and objectives of the Foundation.
In an address read on his behalf, the General Manager of the Newmont Akyem Mines, Mr Kelvin Moxham, said the company and representatives from the affected communities formed the Akyem Social Responsibility Forum (SRF), which led to the formation of NAKDeS to improve the well being of residents of the operating communities.
The General Manager urged the contractors executing the project to work diligently, and let safety be the cardinal principle in their operations, to ensure safety of the workers and urge all stakeholders including the chiefs to monitor the project to ensure value for money.
Mr Paul Aboagye Dadzie, The Birim North District Chief Executive (DCE) said the Assembly has been part of the partnership and development since the signing of the social responsibility Agreement and NAKDeS to ensure the needed transformation of the people living in the mining communities.
He commended Newmont for living up to its expectation of complementing the government’s efforts in providing access to quality education, healthcare and other needs of the people through its Foundation.
Some of the students who have gained admissions at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), the Afosu Midwifery Training school and some secondary schools commended Newmont for the scholarship which have enable them to further their education and advise other school children in the district to study hard to benefit from the scholarship scheme.