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Voices Of Inspired Children Engaging Society (Voices)
Program Overview
 
The VOICES (Empowerment) Training Institute (VTI) provides specialized youth empowerment training programs that builds  ability to harnass, analyze and utilize information, skills and resources to achieve a positive impact on their personal. profesional and community development.  The V(E)TI currently offers two Certificate programs for post-secondary school applicants. These are the   SELF Empowerment Certificate program and  the VOICES Community-based Fellowship program.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                         
Program in Action
 
The SELF Empowerment Certificate program:  This is a certificate program delivered by the VTI. The SELF Empowerment Certificate is offered to young adults 18-28 yrs old who are in the early stages of their careers. The SELF- Empowerment Certificate focusses on developing  Self-assesment skills, Improving Efficacy, developing Leadership and Creating Future changemakers.  This program is designed to be experiential cultivating life-long skills necessary for self-development and success. It is anchored in the premise that one of the most effective ways of building capacity is by providing a forum for an individual to actively develop and hone their own talents and a set of transferable skills. Program completion requirements include active participation in workshops, submission of all workshop assignments and active participation in the Final Group project. The program is delivered in a combined format of face-to-face workshops, participation in learning and sharing circles either in person or virtually,  global online hangout sessions, and self-directed readings. The cost for this program is  per participant and is payable upfront on acceptance and registration. Graduates from this Ceritificate Program are certified as self-starting, problem-solving, multi-skilled young people trained and experienced in adding value to operations and generating successful outcomes. To demonstrate our stand behind the outcome of our program, we negotiate internship opportunties for our graduates with a gurantee to of added value and success to operations..
 
The current curriculum requires the equivalent of one day a week for a period of 12 months. In each month learners participate in  4 sessions structured as follows: 

 

  • The VOICES model: The Intersection of RIghts, Voice, Capacity, Empowered Participation, and Transformation
  • Arise Teen Camp: Your true identity, Empowered to Impact
  • Youth Enterpreneurship: Is it for you?
  • Transforming Communities through Youth Empowerment Series: 1
  • From the Mind to the Paper: Writing to communicate PART 1 & 2
  • Work a group: Facilitation for success
  • Special Series: Youth Impact Workshop
  • Special Series: Cross-Cutting Professional Development Skills
  • We think therefore we are: Critical thinking & Problem-solving for Impact
  • Whats your brand? Creating and Managing your "You"
  • Media at your fingertips : Social Media and Technology for Success
  • Making Money work for you: The Tool and the Resource
  • Self-directed Learning and group project (3 hrs) --Self-directed learning is another key lifeskills of all successful individuals. Participants are given suggested readings and encouraged to conduct further research to enhance the knowledge delivered in the preceeding week.

 

                                                   

 

                                                                                                            

     

VOICES Community-based Fellowship Program : This fellowship finds its purpose in the dearth of high-potential opportunities for high school graduates who performed below average in the Matriculation Exam. Designed as a 13 month long Fellowship, a maximum of 13 young people from this demographic with a demonstrable passion for their community and an interest in personal growth are actively targeted and recruited.  Recruited from within our V4C-CAT team communities, they must be willing to commit a minimum of 15 hrs/ week and be interested in breaking the status-quo that seeks to define them as unachievers. Program Completion requirements includes, active participation in assigned V4C:CAT team, attendance at all workshops and seminars, submissions of all reports and program impact reflections, and successly completion of Community Programs Officer Internship. Successful VTI Community-based Fellowship graduates are highly trained and experienced problem-solving individuals who have risen above the status-quo narrative to take control of their future. In recognition of this, they receive the following: Participation certificates for workshops and VTI Community-based Fellowship Certificate , 3 references into mentor relationship with a professional in their chosen profession, Automatic membership into the VTI Alumni linkedin network and Scholarships to cover remedial classes tuition and to take the high school graduate exam.

 

 
 
 
The Fellowship Curriculum provides the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and expertise by participation in its 4 intersecting parts:
  • Community Engagement: Fellows begin their Fellowship with seminars and workshops that serve to equip them with tools and understanding of the special impact they can have on their community as VOICES community development facilitators. In this role they not only act as our bodies in the community, but they also provide community knowledge and insight that is critical to community ownership of initiatives borne out of the VOICES empowerment model. To wit the are responsible for the following:
    • They act as facilitators to the CAT teams, guiding each “Team Meet” and delivering the VOICES empowerment model modules (Arms).
    • They canvass the community for support with NGOs, businesses, corporations, Governmental agencies to help achieve maximum buy-in (Feet)
    • Translate their training into community appropriate tools used to ignite social change. 
    • Our passion for youth empowerment and participation joined to our fellows passion for the  well-being of their communities collide to create the ripple effect necessary for scalable and sustainable social change. (Heart)

 

  •  Project Management Skills-building Internship: Concurrent to their Community Liaison/Development Faciltator role, each fellow has the opportunity to participate in a 10 week long paid internship working in the office as a Community Programs Officer. A maximum of 3 CPO’s work together honing skills on:
    • Goal Setting and Action planning
    • Resource mobilization and management (Time, Finances, Administrative inputs)
    • Teamwork and coalition building
    • Leadership
    • Internet research,Database management & Report writing skills
    • Office & Program Management
    • Utilizing IT tools for business development including use of cloud computing services
    • Monitoring and Evaluation strategies and tools
    • Using social media to develop personal brands ( Linkedin, Facebook, etc..)

 

 

Program Evaluation

 

The VTI program is built around core monitoring and ongoing evaluation strategies to ensure that participants are maximizing the learning opportunities. These strategies include matrices that specifically assess the following benefits:

Self Assesment and Personal Development and Transformation: Participants in the first month of their programs are taught how to design personal action plans, logic models and monitoring and evaluation strategies for their own progress. In addition, as a group, they are engaged in a PATH process, to develop a Community - driven Health Impact Assesment Tool. This tool is used on a quarterly basis to map their progress towards achieving their vision and goals for their class.

Building Networks and Connections: Participants have the opportunity to establish a network with affiliated organizations and Resource Development Managers. In previous years, we have engaged Resource Development Managers from VOICES Global Collective, UNICEF, Clinton Foundation, Ashesi University Ghana, Ministry of Local Government Ghana, Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence, and Wharton Business School in Pennsylvania-USA. The networks are essential to the continued growth of the participants and we ensure their continued strengthening by providing forum for follow-up conversations and mentoring for all alumni.

 Building Blocks for Effective Leadership: The VTI strongly emphasizes and encourages participants to think "outside of the box" in terms of further academic or professional opportunities on graduation. We award to our 3 most dedicated and transformed participant various levels of  scholarship to contriute towards the cost of the first year of university, college or any other such program to which they have gained admission. To all our other graduates, we provide a business incubator that provides them with technical tools and access to our extensive network for mentoring as they develop an enterpreneurial that has been appropriately planned and mapped out . In addition, for field projects, VOICES consultant contracts and office assistant duties, participants also have the opportunity to be financially compensated for their efforts.

 

Program Testimonial

“As a participant of the V.O.I.C.E.S Training Institute’s (VTI) activities, I have been able to identify my own mission and vision, write reports, and manage my community development projects. I have also gained knowledge on how to use diverse computer software applications. I have had real experience facilitating Public Health Club meetings, and helped kids to design their own projects. In effect, I haven’t just helped enhance the transferable skills of the club members, but also upgraded my own communication skills and leadership skills.”  -Martin Drah, 18 Years (VTI participant 2008/2009)

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