Biyoom means youth in Likpakpaln, the language spoken in the area around the small city of Saboba in northeastern Ghana. Thus the name of our association reveals two important points about us: With whom we are concerned and where we are operating! We work to support the youth of the Saboba district together with the Saboba Youth Centre.
The Saboba Youth Centre
In 2010, a group of young people in Saboba, a small city in the northeast of Ghana, joined forces to empower the youth of their region by giving them a voice and helping them towards better opportunities for their lives. A few years later, the Saboba Youth Centre emerged from this group.
Since then, much has happened. The youth centre has grown and works on numerous projects in and around Saboba. The team of the SYC continues to recruit itself from Saboba and its surroundings. Its members are people who are willing to offer their time and efforts to help their fellow human beings, and especially future generations. All members of the SYC are volunteers. Many of them have participated themselves in activities of the SYC when they were younger, and now they work towards offering even more children these possibilities.
However, not all of the SYC’s projects and activities address the youth directly. The youth centre is also in touch with the communities in which the children are living, with their parents and their teachers at school. But the closest contact, also in choosing which problems to address and how, is kept to the youth, who are encouraged to develop and implement new projects. It is a core concern of the SYC to give the youth a voice and to let them have their say in the developments of their society.
The work of the SYC comes at a critical time for Ghana. The country has developed into a functioning democracy with a rapidly growing economy. New possibilities open up for its citizens. But this process is fragile: There are growing disparities, since the coastal south is richer and more prosperous than the rural north. It is due to these reasons that the work of groups like the SYC is so important: they stimulate the youth to shape the direction their country is taking.
In the beginning, the SYC was only slowly accepted in Saboba and remained unknown. But through their relentless work, the SYC has gained the respect of the populace and is supported by the district government as well as local authorities such as chiefs. Entire communities lend their hand to implement projects.
Together with about a dozen other youth centres, the SYC is supported by Youth Empowerment for Life, an organization that offers the volunteers a platform to exchange experiences and develop new concepts. They also coordinate a number of transregional projects, such as the Youth Parliament developed by the SYC, which is being implemented in several other districts with the support of YEfL.
Our Association in Germany
At Biyoom e.V., it is our goal to support the volunteers of the Saboba Youth Centre to realize their ideas and projects. It is important for us to take as little influence as possible on the decisions of the SYC. We are convinced that they themselves know best which problems are the most urgent and how they can be solved, since the SYC’s members live in the region and understand its situation much better than us. We trust their judgment of the situation and aim to give the SYC the freedom to implement its projects as required.
To support the SYC as efficiently as possible we strive to let every donated Euro arrive in Saboba. Due to transaction fees etc. this is not entirely possible, but we treat all donations with greatest care and complete transparency. Therefore the contact to our members and donors is very important for us. We want you to know what your donations are used for, and we hope to spread our enthusiasm for the SYC and Ghana’s society!
We have been in touch with the SYC since the end of 2016 and have been at work ever since. In 2017 and 2019, we visited Saboba to have a look at the projects ourselves. We will also continue to visit Saboba regularly, not to incessantly monitor the SYC, but to continue to have face-to-face contact and to be able to tell even more about the SYC in Germany and Europe.
Our efforts to support the SYC culminated in January 2019 with the founding of our association in Munich, Germany, and the official recognition of our charitable work.