Birthdays are always a good time to reflect, so on my birthday blog post i wanted to share a cause i believed in, Rights to Rights founded by the inspirational Catherine Hagan...Nothing is impossible....stay inspired, and thank you for the birthday wishes, God bless u all x Teiko
1. What is the Right to Rights Foundation all about?
Right to Rights Foundation is a Non profit Organization based and registered in Ghana, West Africa with the main aim of ensuring that the less fortunate in the country are given the opportunity to enjoy their basic human rights as outlined by the United Nations universal declaration of human rights.
2. Why did you begin the Right to Rights Foundation
I started Right To Rights Foundation in 2007 after I returned from a class trip from Chennai, India. On the trip we worked with Professor Swaminathan who is known as the Gandhi of our time – we worked with different Women Self Help groups to help them apply for microcredit loans, building curriculum for children that couldn’t afford to go to school etc.
When I returned to Tokyo ( where I attended university) I decided it was time for me to do something similar to what Professor Swaminathan does but to help the less fortunate in Ghana.
3. What are the main ideals and motivation of Right to rights foundation?
The Right To Rights Foundation team and I have been fortunate to accomplish what we have due to the opportunities we were given mostly because of our education. It is so sad to me sometimes to see people in Ghana who are so smart, but due to lack of opportunity to achieve their dreams are stuck in places where they shouldn't be.
Personally, I try to imagine what these people would be if they were put in my position and given the opportunities that I have had. This is the main driving force - obviously doing this kind of work doesn't benefit us monetarily, but the feeling we get from helping those we can is way more valuable.
4. You just celebrated your 3 year anniversary. Tell me about some of your accomplishments and setbacks if any in the last 3 years.
Wow, the accomplishments are a lot.
Well we are a registered foundation in Ghana, West Africa. We have partnered with great foundations including FIDA Ghana Chapter, FAWE Ghana, Compound Foundation etc. We have awesome celebrity supporters including Rhian Benson, Bre Scullark, Wale, Mario Winans etc. We were able to raise money for 15 girls from Nsaba Diaspora Senior High School in Nsawam, Ghana to continue going to school and so much more. I don't think we have had any major setbacks - things might not always go how we plan them to, but they always give rise to a new opportunity so we don't give those things much thought.
5. Tell me about the “Impossible is Nothing Campaign” and how it began.
Impossible is Nothing is part of Right to Right foundation’s Self esteem for girls campaign. This is a campaign in which girls in Ghana are encouraged to pursue the different careers they are interested in by various Ghanaian women who are making a difference in the different work they do. These women send motivational videos to the girls in Ghana explaining the obstacles they had had to overcome etc. to show that Impossible is Nothing.
The Self Esteem – Impossible is Nothing campaign came about when Right to Rights Foundation visited Nsaba Diaspora Senior high school, an all girls high school in Nsawam , Ghana. Most of the girls at this school seemed to think the best they could do (career wise) was nursing , they weren't looking beyond nursing. I think Nursing is great, but it definitely isn't for everyone and we want to show this with our Impossible is Nothing project.
6. Who benefits the most from Right to Rights Foundation?
Three years ago ( when the foundation was started) I would have answered this question by saying the least fortunate in Ghana benefit most, but now as time has gone on and Right to Rights has grown I think EVERYONE benefits from the foundation. There is no doubt that we definitely focus more attention on the ones who are less fortunate than us and therefore cannot cater to themselves fully. However with projects like the Self esteem / Impossible is Nothing , everyone benefits - as I like to say, you can never get too much good advise and I believe this is what these projects do , especially the Impossible is Nothing videos.
7. You have a range of talented, successful and inspiring people on board. Do you think having role models directly on board is an important part of Right to Rights Foundation?
Definitely, the main Right To Rights foundation team ( our core staff) is quite young, I started Right To Rights foundation when I was only 22 years old so we really took the direction of the people that know about the Non Profit world, fortunately for us, these people believed that our dream was a legitimate one and stood by us. As time went on and we grew up, we learned what to expect with Non profits etc, but we still utilize the genius minds we have behind us.
We are also lucky enough to have some celebrity supporters that believe in our cause , this definitely helps us especially with fundraising projects. Fortunately or unfortunately, we live in a world that even if a cause is good on its own, it seems better and more credible when there is Celebrity support.
8. How do they (role models) impact on local communities?
So far, Bre Scullark from America's next top model has been kind enough to answer questions people might have about life in general, accomplishing ones dreams, modeling etc. We are also working very closely with Ne-yo's foundation, Compound Foundation - don't want to give away too much information on that yet, but it will be towards education.
9. Tell me about the rights to rights involvement in the project in Haiti
and the Caribbean
Even though Right To Rights Foundation is a Ghana based Foundation aimed at helping the least fortunate in Ghana, we couldn't stand aside and watch what was going on in Ghana. We donated the little donations that we received in the month of January to Wclef Jean's foundation www.yele.org. We also worked closely with one of the friends of Right to Rights foundation Anedie ( who is from Haiti) to spread the word about volunteering, donating etc.
10. What are your long term goals for Right to Rights foundation ?
Right to Rights foundation hopes to promote all the basic Human Rights. We have started with Education - we hope to go on to Health, food, freedom etc. We really just want to make a priority what many people take for granted - once we see that we have made a difference in the lives of people, we will know that we have made a difference.
11. Finally, how do we find out more and get involved?
To get involved you can check out our website www.righttorightsfoundation.orgor our fan page on facebook Right to Rights Foundation. They can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org