Michael Flowers – Success story of a past DAFI scholarship beneficiary
In the early 1990’s, a young man, studying for a university degree in Mathematics and Physics fled his native Liberian country to Ghana with little or no hope of achieving his dreams of finishing his University education.
“My studies for the BSc Mathematics major and Physics minor at the University of Liberia came to a halt in 1990 due to the Liberian civil war”
Michael Flowers is now a chartered Engineer, thanks to the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative Fund (DAFI). As a Professional Doctorate Degree holder in Engineering, Michael Flowers is the founder of the Flowers School of Technology and Management in the United Kingdom, Germany and Ghana. Flowers is a perfect case in point of the aims and objectives for which the fund was established.
The DAFI scholarship programme, officially sponsored by the Foreign Office of the German Government was launched in 1992 to provide tertiary education scholarships to most deserving refugees in their country of asylum. Their vital objective is to contribute to human resource development, giving opportunities for refugees to be self-reliant, an objective which is in line with UNHCR’s goal of providing durable solutions for refugees.
Flowers was among the first batch of refugees in Ghana to have been sponsored by the DAFI scholarship to further their education at the University level in 1992. Being a determined young refugee with no intention of seeking resettlement anywhere, Flowers successfully graduated from the University of Ghana with BSc (Hons) Physics in 1996.
Michael Flowers is very grateful for the DAFI initiative which he recounted in his own words as a scholarship initiative that “potentially removed me from the hustles and bustles of the capital and placed me in an academic environment, exposing me to excellence and increased opportunities”. And this excellence and increased opportunities the DAFI scholarship bestowed on Flowers were indeed evident in his life, as he gained the opportunity in 1997 to study for his Masters Engineering Degree programme in Advanced Manufacturing Systems at Brunel University, London. This was after he had served as a Teaching Assistant at the Physics Department of the University of Ghana.
Looking back, Flowers believes in giving back to the society that has given him so much by supporting the common course of both UNHCR and the DAFI Programme.
“I am committed to helping refugees thrive by providing free mentorship and career-oriented training workshops through collaborations with the UNHCR DAFI (Education Unit), associated country partners, and fellow academic colleagues”
Thus in 2011, Flowers hosted the DAFI Scholars Strategic Leadership Modeling Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. Through this workshop, Flowers in collaboration with UNHCR Geneva and Nairobi, was able to sensitize and empower DAFI Scholars to take up strategic leadership roles in society. In addition to assisting in DAFI seminars to provide seminar- based education for refugees in Ghana and elsewhere, Flowers has also been organizing free seminars in his professional field at the Department of Physics of the University of Ghana to students, lecturers and the general public.
Michael Flowers is also an academic reviewer and a proud author of six books in Mechanical Engineering, Digital Technology and Internet Manufacturing and Services. The young refugee boy who fled to Ghana from Liberia with limited opportunity, financial and human psychological capacity to re-enter academia, is now Michael Flowers, the inventor of SPIKEPRO-GB Patent #9917363.5 (A running shoe feature designed to solve quality problems in the context of enhancing durability of spikes) and HAND GLOVES-GB Patent #0426684.7 (a designed hand glove finger-tip feature for beauty salon to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS virus and other communicable diseases through the exchange of body tissues) thanks to DAFI.
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