Non-Profit Spotlight: How Christabel Dadzie Is Bringing Young Diaspora Professionals To Contribute Ghana’s Development
Christabel Dadzie, the Founder of Ahaspora Young Professionals, is one of many Africans who left home to find greener pastures. While many of these people totally forget home, there are others like Christabel who left home, came back, and established something big to help their country and the continent at large.
Who is Christabel Dadzie?
Christabel Ewuradjora Dadzi, the Founder and co-Chair of Ahaspora Young Professionals, is the last of four children. She studied International Relations at the College of Wooster, Ohio. Furthermore, Christabel bagged her master’s degree in Internal Affairs from the University of Columbia, focusing on economic development.
She is an international development specialist who has experience working on economic development all over the world. She currently works at the World Bank as a senior social protection specialist at their Ghana branch. Before this, Christabel worked with USAID, leading projects on performance evaluation and program assessments.
She also works on the Leap Cash Project, which helps people who can’t afford to have a meal a day. With all these credentials and great background, Christabel Dadzie came back to Ghana and established the Ahaspora Young Professionals.
What is Ahaspora Young Professionals?
The Ahaspora Young Professionals is a nongovernmental organization founded in April 2011. It is an organization for young Ghanaian professionals who lived or studied outside of Ghana and returned to their homeland. These people use their knowledge, resources, and skills to make Ghana a much better place. Ahaspora provides young Ghanaian professionals who have returned or are thinking about returning home with a support system to help them positively impact their country as an individual or as a group.
Since its inception, Ahaspora has grown massively and has also helped many of its members to find jobs in the country. Christabel Dadzie ideated on and founded this beautiful and service-oriented organization. An organization that started with just eleven people now has over two thousand members to its name.
Christabel Dadzie’s Motivation to Start Ahaspora Young Professionals
To many people, coming back to Africa, a continent characterized by backwardness, poverty, and diseases is a ludicrous idea, especially if such you are as accomplished as Christabel Dadzie. However, Christabel breaks down the issues youth have and creates specific solutions to these issues based on age, education (secondary school educated, tertiary level educated, or uneducated), and gender.
One of her values is patriotism. She loves her country. The other value she propagates is excellence. She believes that whatever is worth doing is worth doing well. According to her, you must always strive for excellence and whether you achieve it or not, you will learn a lot on the journey.
The inspiring Ghanian carries these same values and they form the basis for founding Ahaspora. Christabel believes that the people are the government and the people can make Ghana better. As at the time when Christabel came to Ghana, there were other professionals trooping into Ghana because of the economic decline in the US at the time.
Many people had lost their jobs and had to come back to Ghana not that they wanted to but for the lack of other options. Thus, the idea of Ahaspora Young Professionals was to make these people who were foreigners in their own country stay a little bit longer.
The Numerous Challenges that Faced Ahaspora Young Professionals
With the motto “to whom much is given, much is expected” in mind, Christabel Dadzie formed Ahaspora. However, the challenge it faced at the beginning was that people weren’t consistent. The consistency here has to do with giving back to the organization. The organization grants opportunities such as housing, jobs, and many others. Sadly, people weren’t giving back to the organization in return.
This did not deter her from pushing through with her ideas. The organization continued to inculcate its value system of giving back to the members. Eventually, more and more people started buying the idea of giving back. Also, another challenge faced by the organization was how to spread the value system of the organization and get more members. However, through seminars, conferences, mentorship programs, and many more, Ahaspora has gone from the 12 membered organization to more than two thousand members.
Successes of Ahaspora Young Professionals and Possible Expansions
In 2020, Ahaspora Young Professionals celebrated their ninth anniversary. Nine years of an ordinary idea becoming a reality. Not only has the idea come to the fore, but there are also many things that the organization achieved. The company has been able to set up mentoring programs successfully for more than 800 young adults and high school students.
One of the organization’s big flexes is its partnership with notable organizations as well. For instance, when the organization celebrated its ninth anniversary, it celebrated its partnerships with organizations such as the British High Commission, GHL Bank, African Diaspora Nation, and Office of Diaspora Affairs at the Presidency office.
Also, the organization is planning to launch its app which would mean that the members of the organization would be able to get easy access to available opportunities. Also, they can make donations without stress. The Ahaspora Young Professionals is also looking for a way to partner with the European Union office in Accra, Afropolitan Cities, International Organization for Migration, and many others to bring more opportunities to their members and give back to the community in the process.
Five Lessons from Ahaspora Young Professionals
There are many things to learn from Christabel Dadzie and her nongovernmental organization. Here are a few things you can learn from the creation and sustenance of the organization.
#1. To whom much is given, much is expected
If you are more privileged to be able to get something, you should try to give back to society; regardless of how little. This is Christabel Dadzie’s motto and what led her to create the organization Ahaspora. Christabel Dadzie and the Ahaspora Young Professionals preach this through their conferences, mentorship programs, and many other programs.
#2. Just do it
This is another lesson that can be learned from the creation of the organization. If you have an idea that you are passionate about, just do it. Do not think that it wouldn’t be a success or that it wouldn’t work out. Just do it! Christabel said that she got the idea for creating Ahaspora.
#3. Incremental progress
This is another lesson that you should learn from Christabel and Ahaspora. She started with just 12 members including herself. Now, the organization has more than three thousand members. How did she achieve this? Simple, she progresses little by little.
Yes, it is great to have a startup that goes worldwide in the first year. There are some organizations like that. However, most great organizations and brands started small, and through consistency just like the Ahaspora, they became what they are today.
#4. Always look for like-minded people
If Christabel had told some of her friends about the idea she had in 2010, and they had waved off the idea or even pointed out the flaws in the idea, will there be Ahaspora today? Most likely not. However, Christabel’s friends whom she pitched her ideas to, because of their like-mindedness, approached the idea meticulously and formed what later became one of the biggest nongovernmental organizations in Africa. See the power of like-mindedness.
#5. Don’t give up
This is another great lesson to learn from Christabel and Ahaspora. Almost all organizations at some point face challenges that seem insurmountable. However, you shouldn’t give up if you believe in your idea. Christabel could have given up when members of Ahaspora weren’t consistent or when people were not willing to join the organization. However, she stood firm. Eventually, we have a great organization based on the idea of giving back.
Not many people have the same zeal and drive Christabel Dadzie has. More so, not many Africans in Diaspora would want to embark on a journey where their idea wouldn’t bring profit. How many people would be willing to give back to a society that was so bad, they had to leave? However, giving back to society is what Christabel is all about. Thus, she has been able to make her country a better place through Ahaspora Young Professionals.
A quick question. Are you aspiring to leave your country? If yes, what are your reasons? If you eventually leave, will you consider coming back to give to your community? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.