- Kwadwo Agyenim-Boateng, University of Cape Coast
How Far Can It Go? Success in Progress
Finding yourself in a new city, a new neighbourhood or even a new school gives even the most experienced traveler the jitters! Ever relished the idea of actually knowing where you are headed just by observation? Mapping might just be a whole new intriguing world to explore!
Many are interested in engaging in mapping activities; however, few participate in the meeting of YouthMappers. Hence, the question, WHY? Before the beginning of every academic year, students come with the motive and desire of coming to learn how to map but never show up, yet again we question the WHYs? Some show up for a couple of meetings and subsequently, cannot be found, and we try to reason why that is the case?
The Could-it-be’s and snags
Could it possibly be a lack of interest in our younger generation from creating resilient communities around the world and changing their world by mapping it? Could it be students are not taught well, and even if taught, are the basics and complexities entirely grasped and understood?
It is intriguing to note that over and over, again and again, they all voice out one response or concern, “we do not have laptops to help us map.” Many seemingly have the interest and desire to map, but a lack of equipment and gear needed to map is serving as a major factor in the decline of this noble chapter. This is a major challenge, but how far can it continue to limit the potential and desires of interested youth. Luckily, every problem has a solution, but you have to be creative enough to find it. UCC YouthMappers has focused greatly on the solution. As a result, old and experienced mappers give out their laptops and gears to new and beginner mappers to complement their desire and zeal to map with comfort. These practices have also created effective mentor and mentee relationships between experienced mappers and new mappers, which has also perfectly aided their development.
The Department of Geography and Regional Planning has proven to be a backbone to the chapter as it grants access to the department’s GIS laboratory to individuals who also have the desire and motivation to map but are without laptops. But even with all these solutions, we can wonder how far can these measures stand.
Notwithstanding, UCC YouthMappers have defied the odds, crossed these barriers and continue to be effective and outstanding in mapping activities where mappers go as high as mapping over 50,000 edits in a single mapathon. Tough times never last, but tough people do, and as a chapter, our ultimate measure is not where we stand in times of comfort and convenience but where we stand in times of challenges, difficulties and controversies.
As UCC YouthMappers, the fundamental mandate of generating and using geospatial data and information to respond to global developmental needs never diminishes-we continue to build mappers. Executing mapping activities that respond to these actual development needs around the globe can only be actively and dynamically performed when challenges are overcome. Solutions that the chapter has tirelessly and unflaggingly worked to achieve and accomplish.
This is our success story.
About the Author:
Kwadwo Agyenim-Boateng joined UCC YouthMappers in 2019 and has been an active member of the chapter. Since then, he has worked his way up to be an advanced mapper. He is currently the organizer for the chapter.