The John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Foundation is set to roll out its activities with the first batch of 10 students benefiting from a lifetime educational programme.
From the next academic year, the beneficiaries will be offered scholarship from the basic level through second cycle to the tertiary level with the possibility of further studies at the postgraduate level.
Dr Cadman Mills, a Co-board Chairman of the foundation, said in an interview in Accra last week that the selection process was ongoing and priority was being given to talented children from very poor families, as well as children with special needs; especially those with hearing and sight impairment.
The foundation is a non-sectarian, non-partisan and non-profit institution dedicated to the memory of the late President Mills.
It is funded through private contributions and seeks to promote excellence and harness the leadership qualities in talented but disadvantaged youth and those with physical and other disabilities in Ghana.
In particular, it will provide financial assistance to talented children from poor homes to further their education and will support sports programmes for the youth with physical and other impairments, including their participation in the Special Olympics.
Dr Mills, who is a brother of the late former President, said the foundation was working with a number of establishments including Huawei Technologies and Kosmos Energy.
"We are really excited," he said, when asked about the foundation’s preparations.
The foundation's board has Dr Mills and Professor Mills’ widow, Dr Ernestina Naadu Mills, as co-chairpersons.
Other notable personalities within the country and outside constitute the board. "Once the board is in place, every year, we shall make a lifelong commitment to the children who meet our requirements," he said.
Dr Mills explained that they decided to include children with special needs as beneficiaries because of the late President’s experience in life.
"Prof. Mills was a strong man. And it's no secret that this was a man who was very fit. But in his old age he had other problems. He had issues with his sight during his old age, that is why we are going for children with special needs," Dr Mills explained.
He further indicated that the late President was convinced that but for education he would not have been what he was.
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