Springboard Road Show Foundation

Matthew Peprah Boateng

Intervention: CoRe

Many will reference CoRe as their turning point. 

Matthew saw at close range how COVID-19 abruptly disrupted the Springboard 2020 Road Show as well as his master’s Programme. He describes how the CoRe Programme became arguably a far bigger outlet for expressing his passion for developing young people.

The global news coverage in December 2019 of a new coronavirus and its rapid spread appeared as one of those conventional happenings that capture the world’s attention for a short while and quietly fade out without much fuss. Little did I know that this outbreak will escalate into a global pandemic in record time and considerably change my life within a few months.

My name is Matthew Peprah Boateng, and I oversee operations at the Springboard Road Show Foundation. I served as a Deputy Project Manager in charge of Operations on the CoRe Programme from June to December 2020. When the President of Ghana directed that all public events should be put on hold as a COVID-19 preventive measure in March 2020, our team was feverishly preparing for the Global Convocation of the Springboard 2020 Road Show in Accra.

Our mandate for the 14th annual edition of that nationwide youth development intervention was to train and mentor five thousand emerging leaders, young entrepreneurs, and tertiary students through zonal conferences and a million others through digital channels. Before the directive, we had held two highly successful events in Kumasi and Cape Coast. We had the finale slated in 6 days’ time at the Accra International Conference Centre when the COVID-19 lockdown was announced. All pre-conference activities and stakeholder engagements were terminated with significant financial and logistical implications.

On a personal front, I was, at the time, preparing for the final semester of my Master of Arts (MA) in Marketing Strategy with the University of Ghana Business School. I had planned to take an extended break from work to concentrate on academic activities. Suddenly, one could not be sure of anything. The various uncertainties clouded my passion for driving change and improving lives. The hopes of many young people who depended on Springboard’s roadshows for career and personal development guidance was fading. After a while, it became clear that young people needed to urgently reskill to be relevant during and post-COVID-19.

Amidst all these uncertainties, the CoRe Programme became the bridge for the gap in my life. Contributing to the planning and scoping of the CoRe Programme and being so directly involved in its implementation brought me fulfilment and renewed hope. CoRe created new and limitless avenues to reach more young people, something I’ve been passionately pursuing for the most part of my professional life.

Initially, the task of using digital platforms and mainstream media to provide support for young people to survive the challenges of the pandemic appeared daunting from the onset, considering the many technology and internet limitations among the target beneficiaries.  However, through teamwork, a learning spirit, hard work and dedicated leadership, CoRe reached record numbers with an average of over three million young people benefitting from the e-learning broadcasts each month throughout the period.

Through the e-Learning episodes, young people were guided to nurture and utilize their talents. They were counselled to cope with job losses, anxieties, and traumatic experiences, and groomed to develop skills relevant for the post-COVID-19 world of work. The Group Counselling and Group Mentoring sessions brought beneficiaries closer to professionals for psychosocial and technical support, respectively.

By far, the most gratifying part of this CoRe Programme has been the opportunity to hear, at first hand, the impact stories of beneficiaries, many of whom expressed deep appreciation to Mastercard Foundation, Springboard Road Show Foundation and Solidaridad as well as their mentors, counsellors and facilitators.

I firmly believe that the lessons and impact of the CoRe Programme will be felt for many more years. The stories and testimonies will continue to pour in, and the overall impact will grow bigger and bigger over time.

I will not be surprised to hear people share stories soon and refer to the CoRe Programme as the turning point in their lives.

Thank you, Mastercard Foundation, for investing in young people’s lives and rekindling my passion.