Meet our founder and global director, Doris Donkor!
Doris Donkor founded D1:8 in April 2017 and incorporated D1:8 in July 2018. She lives and works in the city of Sunyani, the capital of one of Ghana's largest regions. Doris is an entrepreneurial-minded woman and a loving mother seeking to provide opportunity and guidance to the young children that live in the Sunyani area. Doris has remarkable talents centered around the planning and organization of educational, vocational and spiritual training for the women and children in her region of Brong-Ahafo, Ghana. She is married to Isaac Ransom Kotei and together they have three wonderful children: a bright, inquisitive boy, and two sweet girls.
Prior to founding D1:8, Doris had spent over 13 years working in leadership positions with African Assistance Plan; a faith-based non-governmental organization in Ghana. Her initial role in operations and administration led to increased responsibility and the establishment of new programs at AAP. In 2006, Doris led the creation and establishment of an innovative Microfinance program that provided seed-funding for small business in and around Sunyani, with a focus on assisting impoverished women.
With Doris' leadership, AAP became the first NGO in Ghana to deploy ""Mambu"", a Cloud-based micro-finance banking tool that managed the micro-loans and payments from her banking clients. In addition to helping fund these businesses, she also facilitated the organization and development of business seminars and workshops in Sunyani, Ghana for local business people. As this program expanded, Doris developed training materials and personally led training sessions for micro-finance teams in both South Sudan and Nigeria working with International Aid Services - a Global aid organization focusing on the provision of clean water and community development for war torn and poverty stricken regions of Africa.
Doris has been working with children for over twenty years in both educational and spiritual mentoring. She taught at the AAP model school in Nsuta-Techiman, and initiated child learning programs which have now evolved into life transforming school programs for children in and around Sunyani. Mrs. Donkor has a strong passion for “mothering” and mentoring children and young adults and has the dream of creating a youth center where children and adolescents can come and find solutions to life challenges that they struggle with. By supporting D1:8 you are helping Doris to fulfill a life-long ambition to selflessly serve others in her community, and in doing so, you become a part of that community."
Let's hear from Doris herself as she answers a series of questions, from the origin of the organization, to how it's going today, to her future vision for the ministry.
1. What is your role within the D1:8 Ministry and how long have you been a part of it?
I am the Founder and Global Director of the Ministry since its inception in 2017.
2. How did you initially get involved in the organization?
I decided to make that move of faith and finally bring my age-long vision into action.
3. What motivated you to start this ministry?
After working with my local church as the Director of the children’s ministry and engaging many of these children on a personal level, I knew there was more we could do for these children beyond denominational boundaries. I saw a need in the children’s lives that most churches never touched; the strengthening of their social, personal, and even academic lives.
4. What about D1:8’s mission or values speaks to you most?
Developing these young ones into capable adults based on GODLY principles. For our values, just the word incorruptible sums it all up.
5. In what area do you think D1:8 is thriving in the most?
I think D1:8 is most thriving in the areas of mentoring, counseling, and guidance.
6. What do you think is D1:8’s greatest need or hurdle right now?
One of our greatest needs is finding more volunteers who have passion for young people within our communities and are willing to mentor. We also have an ongoing need to financially support the many, many life-changing projects we see in our community, and in the personal lives of the children who attend our gatherings.
7. How have you seen D1:8 grow or evolve since its inception?
Since the beginning, D1:8 has grown rapidly in activities, programs, and projects. Every year there is something new the Lord adds to our growth. We started with just one chapter, and have expanded to 6. We began with simply hosting chapter meetings, but now we host various events, such as Boys & Girls Summits, Summer Camp, Prayer Festivals, and more.
8. What is your greatest passion? What legacy do you want yourself to leave behind?
I am extremely passionate about mentorship, especially peer-to-peer mentoring. I’ve found that young people are more likely to listen to peers more than adults. That means that when we have breakthroughs with one child, that sets off a domino effect of personal growth within the group. I’d like to leave behind a legacy of being remembered as the woman who impacted the lives of every young person she encountered positively for the Lord.
What legacy do you want D1:8 Ministry to leave behind?
I’d love it if D1:8 left behind the legacy that it is a space where young people can come and find answers, counsel, and guidance.
9. What are your goals for the next 3 to 5 years for D1:8? What priorities will help you achieve them? What barriers are in your way?
My goal for the next 3 to 5 years would be to have D1:8 travel beyond this region and expand into other regions in Ghana.
Another goal is to have our center at Nsuta well equipped with vocational training opportunities available for our young people. Our priority to achieve this would be to invest in resourcing volunteers and also training some of our grown kids to take up volunteering assignments with the ministry. Our greatest barrier would be obtaining financial resources.
10. Tell us a story of a particularly powerful moment you experienced while involved with D1:8.
There are several powerful moments along the journey of starting and running D1:8. One story that comes to mind is the day my mom gave the ministry her property, to run the center. That moment was very powerful and surreal to me because many years ago I had a dream of having a Christian youth center, but I didn’t know how that could be made possible, specifically without the space for one. At the time, D1:8 had not fully developed in my mind or heart, so getting that offer from my mom was so divine for me. The D1:8 center definitely still has ways to go until it reaches our full vision for it, but we’re trusting in Jesus to help us get to that point.
Our long-awaited entrepreneurship training program has officially begun, and the kids ae excited, but they need your help! Hear from he 3 students that have joined our sewing in this latest blog post.
We want to spend some time on this special day to thank all the fathers and men that have impacted D1:8 and helped make it what it is today! We appreciate the different ways you all have supported this ministry.
Read about the special opportunities D1:8 has had to preach the gospel to a new community, Asuakwa, with the hope of expanding our ministry and opening up a new chapter! So many lives have already been shaped and committed to Christ through our discipleship training and messages. The Lord is working in this community and we're thankful to be a part of that movement.