Simmons entrepreneur starts nonprofit to educate disabled children in Africa
Non-profit management and entrepreneurship MBA student Obiageli Ukadike recognized a serious education gap in Ghana, Africa. People with physical disabilities are often shunned from mainstream society and denied access to quality education.
To combat this injustice, Oby co-founded The WaWa Project, a non-profit organization aimed at providing education to physically disabled children in Ghana. The WaWa Project plans to raise approximately $2.5 million over the next five years to build a handicap accessible secondary school for children grades six through twelve. The non-profit will build the school, hire local staff and administrators and create education plans to teach students skills they can use post graduation. Oby is ecstatic about the attention her cause has received.
"I am incredibly passionate about making sure that every person has equal access to education. In many ways, I am confident that if you do not have adequate education, you are cheated from many opportunities in life. When I think about how much we can do by accomplishing this goal, it literally gives me goose bumps! I look at this project not only as giving children with disabilities hope but we are altering a society's perception of these people's usefulness. We are challenging something that has not seriously been challenge yet."
Oby is in her last semester at Simmons College and founded the organization while working full-time at Harvard Medical School and earning her MBA from Simmons School of Management at night. She competed in last year's Silverman Business Plan Competition and won $10,000 for her organization. Oby also received a scholarship last year from Simmons that allowed her to make a trip to Ghana last summer to work locally on The WaWa project.