Gerald Emmanuel Arhin is a visually impaired, University of Cambridge graduate who has fought and overcome difficulties since childhood. When he was six years old, Gerald underwent a botched surgery intended to stabilize his glaucoma and has been blind ever since. In a town in Ghana where disability education was minimal, discrimination and stigmatization were daily hazards throughout Gerald’s life. The emotional and psychological trauma he had to endure was monumental. He envisions a world in which no child goes through what he went through -- where everyone has equal access to opportunities regardless of their background. He has been taking meticulous steps to achieve this goal.
Growing up, Gerald’s mother was one of the few people who believed in his importance and, despite her small income, found a way to provide for his education. Before Cambridge, he completed his basic education at Akropong School For The Blind, where he served as the Senior Prefect. He attended Okuapemman Senior High School and was elected by more than three thousand students to become the first ever blind Senior Prefect in an integrated high school in West Africa. Gerald then pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Ghana where he gained a first (GPA 3.8/4) in Political Science and Philosophy.
Gerald’s African Studies dissertation at Cambridge focused on exploring the development models in the use of Ghana’s oil revenues. He noticed through his studies and his first hand experience growing up in an extractive area, that the interest of ruling elites to seek or hold on to power greatly shapes the use of the country’s oil resources. Gerald is particularly concerned with how this political tendency affects those living in such areas, most of whom are impoverished and do not benefit from the natural resources. This trend has sparked conflicts in several countries, and Gerald stresses the importance of Ghana taking heed from such examples.
Gerald has suffered directly from this wealth disparity dynamic and his experience motivates him to make policy changes. There are many children who find themselves in similar situations to Gerald’s and, through no fault of their own, are unable to overcome. Rural communities that are close to extractive areas in Ghana are particularly underdeveloped and the most vulnerable people -- such as children, persons with disabilities and the aged -- are usually the most affected.
The next step on Gerald’s path is a PhD in Development Policy and Management. Pursuing this course will give him the required skills, knowledge and expertise to invest in the most distressed areas and make policy that uplifts the living conditions of those most vulnerable. After being accepted to four prestigious programs in the UK, he settled on Manchester University and awaited scholarship decisions. After some time, he was informed that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the university would not be offering any scholarships. Back home, the pandemic has made matters even worse for his family, as his mother’s trade has heavily been affected. As the first born, Gerald’s three siblings are looking up to him which makes him all the more determined to move forward and break barriers.
Of all the hurdles Gerald has had to overcome, poverty is the most challenging. He is resolute to defy the odds and contribute to solving the many challenges confronting our world today.
For all of our sakes, the people who know and believe in Gerald urgently ask you to help support him through the first year of his PhD, which begins on September 30. We are grateful for any amount you can give. It is a donation that will not only help an individual, but the many he hopes to sustainably impact. Thank you for contributing to the world we hope for.
Yearly Tuition: $25,391.60
Yearly Accommodation: $7,697.66
Yearly Food, Books and Internal Transportation: $8,018.40
Yearly Total: $41,107.66
- Paula Bird
- Rachel George
- Hannah Keller
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