Ghana: Unilever Foundation for Education & Development
Unilever's commitment to Ghana is longstanding. For many years, Unilever Ghana has invested in the country's economy and the skills of its employees as well as in a wide range of community initiatives.
Supporting education & development
Bringing all these initiatives together is the Unilever Ghana Foundation for Education and Development. The Foundation, launched at the end of 1999, concentrates on areas identified as those in which Unilever can best support Ghana's aim of becoming a middle income economy by 2020 — education, health, technology, science and the development of business enterprise.
Since 2000, the Unilever Ghana Foundation has awarded 120 scholarships to children of employees to cover three years of education at secondary level. Twelve students studying at local universities have also received scholarships to cover residential and tuition fees. In August 2001 the Foundation sponsored two exceptional students, allowing them to continue their postgraduate studies at universities in the UK.
Encouraging science education
The Foundation is also contributing towards science education in schools and encouraging school children to take up science as a subject, through the introduction of the Annual Young Scientist Award for scholars between the ages of 12 and 16. Two young scientists identified in 2002 will receive Unilever scholarships to complete their science courses in secondary school.
At tertiary level, the Foundation has developed university chairs at the University of Ghana (Business Studies); Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Chemistry); and the University of Cape Coast (Teacher Education) to enhance research and tuition in those fields at these institutions.
Supporting local businesses
To help develop new Ghanaian businesses, the Foundation holds two workshops annually for small scale entrepreneurs. These are aimed at improving business skills that will allow them to generate further growth and increase employment opportunities within their businesses. To date, 75 small scale entrepreneurs have benefited from the workshops.
Helping rural communities
Rural communities have also benefited from the Unilever Ghana Foundation which has provided ambulances to three of the most deprived rural provinces to assist with management of emergency medical care cases. From 2006 the Foundation will increase its focus on improving health and hygiene needs of rural communities by providing portable water to deprived communities.