The Lebanese community in Ghana has awarded a one-year scholarship, totalling GH₵55,400, to five students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

It is to enable the beneficiaries who were earlier sponsored by the community for their Bachelor of Arts Degrees, to pursue Master of Arts (MA) degrees at the Institute.

The beneficiaries include Theodore Abiwu, who received Gh₵10, 580 for MA Journalism and Agnes Ansah Bekoe who got Gh₵10, 580 for MA Development Communication.

Jessica Achia Opoku and Emmanuel Kwabena Budu-Annor had Gh₵10, 580 each for MA Public Relations while Sophia Owusu received Gh₵13,080 for MA Development Communication.

All of them are expected to graduate next month with first class-honours.

The Lebanese Ambassador to Ghana, Maher Kheir, presented a cheque for the amount to the GIJ Rector, Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, at a ceremony at the Institute’s North Dzorwulu Campus, Accra.

He commended the beneficiaries for their academic success and challenged them to stand up for what is right at all times.

“We need more professionals like you to speak out against injustice, inequality, human rights abuse and violence which plagues many.

“This is the reason for your education and this scholarship. As you continue on your life’s journey, I urge you to make your education count,” he said.

To enrich the journalistic experience of students and bridge the cultural gap between Ghana and Lebanon, Mr Kheir said, a comparative research programme was introduced last year to allow students to research on Lebanese-Ghanaian topics.

He said the first batch of students under the initiative had completed their programme and it was expected that a mini-seminar would be held for MA students at the end of their study each year.

During this seminar, he said, the beneficiaries would have the opportunity to do a brief presentation on their research, a step that would help unify the two countries.

“This inter-cultural exposure is necessary in today’s challenging society especially in your profession to help us build bridges which unite us than barriers which divide us,” he said.

The Ambassador gave the assurance that the Lebanese Community would continue to support the students to maximise their skills because they believed in their capabilities.

For his part, Prof.Kwansah-Aidoo said the gesture signified the strength of the relations between the Lebanese community, the embassy and the GIJ which should not be taken for granted.

He thanked them for their generosity and pledged to ensure the relationship between the university and the community would be sustained and strengthened.

Prof.Kwansah-Aidoo welcomed a suggestion for the creation of an internship opportunity for students at the embassy, and a mini-seminar as they would enrich the experiences of the students.

He advised the students to make the best of the scholarship opportunity.

Mr Abiwu, on behalf of his colleagues, thanked their benefactors and assured them of excellent academic performance to justify their investment.