Edmund Yirenkyi

MAEP Candidate, Environmental Policy Institue,

Grenfell Campus, Memorial University


Edmund Yirenkyi was born and raised in Ghana. He graduated with BA in Theology from the University of Wales in 2013, where his research focused on the role religion plays in community development and social justice. Upon graduating, Edmund spent a few years working with various organizations and rural communities in Ghana to help build community capacity and support rural communities in developing skills and experience, increasing opportunities, and enhancing their involvement in the decisions that affect them. His personal experience and knowledge of community development and social justice in his home country led Edmund to work as a research assistant. As such, he explored ways to empower rural communities by ensuring their inclusion and participation in decision making, equality of opportunity and anti-discrimination, partnership and involvement, recognition of collective ability, and the development and training of individuals. Additionally, he worked to determine ways to build and link structures and help rural communities to maintain their development momentum.

Edmund decided to return to school to further his education and develop his knowledge of community development and social justice. He enrolled in St. John’s University and graduated with an MA in Global Development and Social Justice. He explored why women migrate from rural communities in Ghana to urban areas to work under harsh conditions, the implication of their harsh living and working conditions on their health, and the role that governmental and non-governmental organizations play in creating sustainable rural communities for women to thrive there.

Leveraging on his enthusiasm towards sustainability of rural communities and the various practical experiences obtained while volunteering and interacting with multiple organizations, he joined the Environmental Policy program at Memorial University to learn about the policy aspect of community development issues. Now, under the supervision of Dr. Kelly Vodden, Edmund will be conducting his graduate research on philanthropy and its role in environmental stewardship and social justice and in creating sustainable rural communities.