Afia Asare Named 2015 Rising Star Award Winner

AfiaFor 2015 Rising Star Award winner Afia Asare of Opportunity International, this year’s rollout of the LINGOs Learning Platform has been a demanding – but rewarding – project.

The Rising Star Award recognizes a new member of the LINGOs community who shares ideas, innovations, and best practices in support of the LINGOs vision and mission.

Afia, a Human Resources Assistant based at Opportunity’s Shared Services office in Accra, Ghana, wears many hats in her work, among which is the role of administrator for the Opportunity Learning Center, Opportunity’s online learning platform.

As administrator, Afia was deeply involved in the process of moving Opportunity’s learners to the new LINGOs Learning Platform this spring. And her methods for readying the learning platform to meet Opportunity’s needs were not so different from the same accessible learning she wants to provide for her learners.

Drawing on the support of her supervisors, the LINGOs community and learning found online, Afia gathered the tools to make the project happen. “I made sure that I attended LINGOs’ Office Hours,” she says, laughing. “I attended several meetings to learn best practices…I also used YouTube and the web to learn how to design in WordPress.”

Afia’s hard work paid off – the platform took shape. Now, Afia says, there are over 2,000 learners on the platform from 15 of the countries where Opportunity International works. She works with 15 administrators on the ground in those regions to continue optimizing Opportunity’s learning offerings to the needs of her learners.

About learning accessibility, Afia is firm. She says that these days, it isn’t about “just going to town to buy books. If you want to read, you can go online and search for whatever you want to learn…So I feel like [the new platform] is just bringing learning to the doorsteps of people. I feel very rewarded being in charge of a system like this, and working for Opportunity as a whole.”

“Afia took the initiative,” says Chris Proulx, LINGOs’ CEO. “She’s a great example of one of a few of our main member contacts who are in regional or field-based offices…and who are able to tap into the global LINGOs community to leverage the resources and best practices that can help them do their jobs that much more effectively.”

With the new LINGOs Learning Platform ready, Afia is setting her sights on expanding the learning offerings to more of Opportunity’s global staff.  That, and leveraging the tools that the new platform has to offer.

“One area that I want to explore is certificates,” she says. “In general, people want to be recognized. They want people to see what they’ve done – to have something to show.”

It’s a journey that begins with accessible learning, wherever it is that you are.

About the Global Learning Awards

Presented annually at LINGOs’ Global Learning Forum, the Global Learning Awards celebrate individuals and organizations that have significantly supported LINGOs’ mission: ensuring that its members and the NGO community at large have access to affordable, appropriate learning wherever they work.

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