On 17 April 2014, BCS held an Inauguration Ceremony organized by Ibrahim Oubda to ordain the recently finished facilities in the school and commend the success of the project so far. The ceremony coincided with the April Team Ghana trip, giving those students the opportunity to attend the ceremony along with the other guests from Zurich International School – Jeff Paulson (Director), Mark Schulz (Deputy Director) and Nicolas Bentley (Director of Student Life). Among other attendants was the local chief plus chiefs from nearby areas, along with politicians and government and university officials. The audience was primarily made up of BCS students and their parents.
The Inauguration Ceremony went through the morning and began with a welcome address recognizing ZIS students and directors and the BCS community. A BCS student, Bright Adade, then read out a poem he had written, ‘Look to Yourself’, finishing with, “Life is how you use what you have, not how you use what others have.” This was followed by a speech by Ibrahim Oubda which began in English but was mostly in Twi. It was clear how proud he was of the school’s progression as he became teary part way through the speech, expressing, “For me, it simply makes me happy that despite all the problems encountered in the efforts to establish this school, my dream has at long last become a reality.”
Following Oubda was the District Director of Education, who shared his “want to commend Ibrahim and the family of Zurich International School.” A second BCS student, Augustine Adjei Mensah read the poem that he wrote, titled ‘Todays Leaders and the Next Generation’. He talked about current leaders in Ghana, then read, “But the big question is: what are the leaders of today doing for the next generation? Mr. Ibrahim Oubda had the answer to this question ten years ago; he could not keep his wealth to himself but to open his arms to underprivileged people like us.”
After the second poem, Oubda’s former peer and current President of the Young Professionals and Youth Coalition Initiative (YPYC) and Human Resource director of the Forestry Commission, Andy Osei Okrah, gave his speech. He congratulated Ibrahim on how his dedication and effort has impacted the school, recognizing that “he never had it easy growing up”. He discussed the importance of leadership in the project, “I am amazed at what I have seen. It shows what great leadership can do. I am hopeful that all will learn from this demonstration of true leadership. Ibi has demonstrated the leadership and influenced many lives. Applaud Ibi and his team. Everyone can become a leader.”
The chiefs of nearby villages then entered followed by dancing BCS students, and the front panel (Oubda, Paulson, Schulz, Bentley and other officials) proceeded to line up and shake their hands. The drummers and dancers performed upon their arrival, and once all was calm, Nicolas Bentley made a speech, thanking the communities of Bosomtwe, BCS and ZIS, Jeff Paulson and Mark Schulz, Ibrahim Oubda, Mr. Amos and the BCS PTA, on behalf of ZIS. He finished by regarding the students, “And finally to the children of BCS. The goal of this project has to be about the children of Bosomtwe, and through quality education, setting them up to become confident, knowledgeable young people and leaders in their community.”
Kayil Barnabus, the Head Teacher of BCS talked about the promise of accessible education in his speech, which was followed by a speech in Twi by two of the chiefs.
After all of the speeches, there was more singing and drumming, along with dancing by a group of BCS students who were later joined by their peers, teachers, Barnabus, Oubda and the village chief. As the official ceremony came to a close, the festivities continued with lots more dancing.
It was, in truth, a long morning, however due to the wise words and cheerful atmosphere, it was an enjoyable one for all attendants. The Inauguration Ceremony was a special morning for the community of Bosomtwe Community School, students, parents and staff alike, and it was a morning that the ZIS attendants are likely never to forget. It was a privilege to be able to attend such a special day in the history of BCS.
– Madeleine Schulz and Joya Ammueller