THE FOUNDER’S VISION
African Scholarship Trust for Education and Leadership (ASTEL) is the brainchild of Dr Charles Ampomah-Dwamena, a career scientist and an African community leader in Auckland, who recogniseS the need to empower the youth of today, particularly the young Africans living in New Zealand to pursue excellence. The guiding principle of ASTEL is that empowerment creates foundation for excellence.
“Trampoline not a safety net”
As a community leader, Dr Dwamena has first-hand knowledge of the inherent qualities and potential of these young Africans, which are usually on display especially during sports and cultural events. At the same time, he recognises the unique challenges they face in their new home New Zealand. It was against this background that he cultivated the desire to see the qualities and potential of the young people harnessed for the benefit of themselves and society.
To bring the best out of these young ones, we require a “trampoline” rather than a “safety net” approach. This means that as stakeholders, we should not be waiting around to help those who become disadvantaged and fall through the cracks. Rather, at the earliest opportunity, we should be proactive in providing the support and encouragement that will help these young Africans to reach to greater heights; to help them jump as high as they aspire to and are capable of reaching. "It is my dream to see these young Africans fulfil their potential in this land of opportunity" says Dr Charles Ampomah-Dwamena.