OTTAWA, Thursday, February 2, 2023 – Earlier this week, representatives from Desjardins Ontario Credit Union, Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop and Saint Paul University gathered to celebrate Sheila Aboagye and Joseph Jethro Sereme, the winners of the 2022 Desjardins Bursary in Social Innovation.

Aboagye and Sereme, both students in the Master’s in Social Innovation, were awarded a bursary of $10,000 to launch social innovation projects.

“We are grateful to our partners for investing in our students and the important work that they are doing,” said Chantal Beauvais, Rector of Saint Paul University. “Building on what they have learned, Sheila and Joseph have developed impressive projects that will promote real, positive change in communities in Haiti and Ghana.”


My Girl, My Pride

Sheila Aboagye’s project – titled My Girl, My Pride – engages girls between the ages of 10 to 15 years in Ghana’s Kwahu district, a region that experiences a high rate of teenage pregnancies. The project will educate teenage girls in sexual and reproductive health to help empower them in their personal health choices.

“I am very happy to receive this funding,” shared Aboagye. “With this bursary, I will have an even greater platform to ensure that information on sexual health is readily accessible to more young girls.”

Job Power

“The Desjardins bursary allows us to create hope for thousands of young people in Haiti,” said Sereme. “The funding will help us to mobilize the Haitian diaspora – especially in Canada – to participate more effectively in the creation of sustainable jobs by and for youth in Haiti.”

Through his project Job Power, Sereme seeks to create financial partnerships between members of the Haitian diaspora and community leaders in Haiti to invest in youth-led job creation and ecological projects. Through this program, approximately 100,000 Haitian youth between the ages of 16 and 20 will be encouraged to develop projects that address community-based environmental issues such as reforestation, waste management and civic engagement.

About the Desjardins Bursary in Social Innovation

For the past four years, the Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop, Desjardins Ontario Credit Union and Saint Paul University have partnered to award two grants of $10,000 to support social innovation projects led by students in the Élisabeth Bruyère School of Social Innovation.

The Desjardins Bursaries are awarded to students’ based on the criteria that they present well-developed strategies to make a positive impact in addressing an important social issue.