IBMers without borders
my experience in the Corporate Service Corps program in Accra, Ghana!
I feel so blessed to and proud of being an IBMer like never before! In 2014 I was selected to participate in the Corporate Service Corps program and in October 2015 I received my assignment: Accra, Ghana in Africa. After three months of pre-work, my team deployed on Feb 19 2016 for a month assignment. It was a long journey since my application in May 2014 until my team deployment in Feb 2016, but it has been one of the best experiences I have ever had at IBM and in my life, really, one of the best experiences!!!
My team (the CSC Ghana 12 team), a team of twelve experienced and creative IBMers from 8 countries (Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, India, Korea, Japan, US and Mexico), was the first pilot of the partnership between Peace Corps and IBM. Our projects were dedicated to support the initiative #LetGirlsLearn launched by the first lady of the United States Michele Obama to help women to access education around the world (more than 62 million girls worldwide do not have access to education nowadays).
We worked with the Ministries of Education & Gender, Children & Social Protection and TECHAiDE (a social enterprise that is using technologies to support education in Ghana and in others West-African countries).
With the Ministries, six members of this amazing team worked to develop a national mentoring framework for women with the objective to connect professional women with girls in elementary schools and high schools to support their development and prevent these girls leave school. This framework is supported by a web-based information management system designed to implement ownership, outreach and impact analysis of empowerment camps, education programs and workshops.
The other six members (where I was) of this great team worked with TECHAiDE to develop its business model that includes financial, marketing and supply chain strategies. Additionally, we supported TECHAiDE in the creation of the prototype of one of their products (ASANKA), as well as the architecture, content strategy and business strategy for this product in order to reach 400 schools in Ghana in September 2016.
The work that would take five months to be completed, we did it in just one month. In total, we were able to create over 15 deliverables.
Additionally, we had a service community day where we collaborated with Ashesi University and Peace Corps to provide mentoring to high school girls students from different regions of Ghana as well as students from Ashesi University. This was one of the best days of my assignment in Ghana where we spent time with these amazing generation of future leaders!
But not everything was about work. We had time to spend together as a team visiting Volta Region and Central region. In weekends, we visited Elmina Castle, Cape Coast Castle, Monkeys Sanctuary, Kamum National Park, and several other tourist areas.
This time in Accra helped to realize that we, as IBMers, can use our skills, knowledge, expertise and capabilities to impact our communities. We, as citizens, have a deep responsibility to help each other to grow. We, as humans, have a purpose far beyond what we can imagine to transform this world and make it a better place to live!
Here is some of the press coverage: