The Women’s Health to Wealth (WHW) is an organisation committed to the health and education of girls in first and second cycle institutions within the Ashanti Region. To achieve this, Girls’ Club program was instituted. There are currently thirty-six (36) girls’ clubs in the Atwima Nwabiagya, Afigya Kwabre, Kwabre East and Bosomtwe Districts in the Ashanti Region. See appendix 1.
The program creates safe environment for girls to express themselves, improve their literacy skills, learn about their biological makeup and associated changes as well as good health practices. The program also has measures to provide support for club members whenever the need arises for their well-being.
In line with this objective, WHW came to the aid of a club member, Victoria Asamoah, from the Piase D/A Junior High in the Bosomtwe District. Victoria fell and broke her leg at the beginning of the 2016/2017 academic year but was not immediately taken to the hospital by her guardians. A Herbalist was contacted to help her. However, her condition deteriorated as a result of the lack of proper medical care.
Facilitators of the club, Mavis Owusu Ansah and Matilda Animah upon investigations realised Victoria was being denied conventional medical care because of financial problems. They reported to the Executive Director of the WHW, Nana Abena Akuamoa Boateng for assistance. It should be noted that Victoria had by this time been kept at home for over a month. Nana Abena tasked a WHW program officer, Abraham Nkrumah, and the two facilitators to take her to the hospital.
On the 28th October, 2016, Victoria was sent to the St. Michael’s hospital, Pramso in the Bosomtwe District. She was however referred to the Komfo Anokye teaching Hospital because the needed medical care at the time of her admission was beyond the capabilities of the District hospital WHW paid about five thousand Ghana Cedis (GH ₵ 5000) for her hospitalisation and medical bills.
Due to the due diligence of the club facilitators in attending to the welfare of club members and the timely intervention of the Executive director of the WHW, Victoria has been given the needed medical care and is now back on her feet.
Her legal guardian, also her brother appealed to the WHW for aid in paying her medical bills. This was subsequently done and Victoria went through a successful surgery in November, 2016.
Victoria Asamoah is now well and though she has not completed the therapy needed to regain the full use of her leg, is very grateful to the WHW and her facilitators for the love and commitment to her health. It is therefore expected that she can return to school when it reopens in January 2017 and continue her education.
Greater Works Restoration Foundation (GWRF) recently held a free surgical outreach to the Upper East Region.
The programme was extremely successful and the impact was significant in the lives of the individuals we operated on.
Thirty (30) successful free reconstructive surgeries were performed. Eighty five( 85%) percent of the patients seen were women and children with all forms of anomalies ranging from birth defects to acquired traumatic events of which post burns deformities were common.
Below is a summary of how the items donated were used.
- The little teddy bears were given to the children to calm them down before and after the surgeries
- The pain medication was given to children post-operatively to control pain
- We donated some boxes of examination gloves and a box of drugs (Advil) to the administration of the regional hospital.
- On our last day, we made a very long drive to SIRIGU, on challenging terrain to an orphanage for babies and toddlers where we donated some of the blankets and teddy bears you gave us.
From the period of 18th to 29th July, 2016, empower change matrices were conducted for the women of Krobo and the Bantama market. This activity not only helped the women realize what they were gaining from the program but it also helped WHW know where there was significant progress and where there was not and it helped immensely in planning future activities.
On the 10th of October, 2016, a WomenStrong representative (Julia Nethero) visited WHW to learn more about the organization and its activities.
During this period, she visited Krobo and Wawase where she interacted with some of the women in the SoCCs program. She got to know from the women the benefits, changes and overall developments the program has brought about in their lives. The women were also happy to interact with her as they had not met any member from the consortium before.
The Wawase SoCCs community in the Afigya Kwabre district has a current membership of 38 women managed by the SoCCs program officers and Madam Doris Asamoah and Madam Abenaa Donkor, elected leaders of the group.
On the 20th of November, 2016 during the community’s monthly a report was received on an existing misunderstanding between Madam Doris and Madam Abenaa which had translated into poorly organized meetings and inconsistent clean-ups. The program officer opened a platform for both leaders to express their concerns after listening to both leader’s concerns and the opinions of the other members on the issue, the program officer offered his advice and suggested that the leaders let go of the issue, both leaders accepted the advice, apologized to each other and promised to work in harmony for the benefit community.
During the following month’s business meeting, the program officer noticed both leaders were seated together, joyfully chatting and also, on enquiring, the program officer also found out that the preparatory meeting prior to undertaking a clean-up exercise which was brought to a halt during the period of conflict has been commenced. Below is a group photo taken after the issue had been settled.
As mentioned before, all communities in the SoCCs program participated in clean-up activities in their respective communities.
What sets the first clean-up exercise of the Aduamoa group (consisting of 19 women) apart from the rest is the commitment they showed towards the activity and the amount of work they were able to do in just one day.
2016 is the year Ghana will elect a new president. As such, it is important for every Ghanaian, including our women, to understand the various processes that occur during this period as well as what to look out for from aspiring presidential and parliamentary candidates. Thus, on the 28th of September 2016, a political talk was organized and facilitated by the SoCCs program officers and the executive director of WHW. A total of 54 women attended this meeting.
The SoCCs program in 2016 had a special persistence and promotion of good health and sanitation amongst its participating communities. For the Bantama community, this was even more important as the women stated that, aside from the regular clean-up exercises, they would also like to have regular visits from a variety of health personnel to give them advice on diet, dental health etc. As such, a health talk is organized every other month and the first talk was done on the 29th of March, 2016.
By Akosua Afriyie Boakye
This is an ambiguous phrase that calls to mind many scenarios; the good, bad and ugly…. making one wonder exactly what is meant or was meant by its user. In the case of Akua Blessing, a form one student of Amanchia District Authority Junior High School in the Atwima Nwabiagya district of the Ashanti region in Ghana, it concerned a pair of rubber sandals, a pair of torn leather sandals and her bare feet.
On the 27TH May, 2016 during delivery of orange seedlings to the WHW Girls Club, I saw that all club members as well as students of Amanchia D/A were neatly dressed in clean uniforms, white socks and sandals. One student stood out! She was dressed in a clean and well-ironed uniform, with her hair combed neatly BUT had no shoes. Class mates giggled and teased as they passed by her while others smiled and patted her arm or shoulder in sympathy.
Upon enquiry, it was revealed that, Blessing had worn black flip flops locally referred to as Charlie Wote to school that morning, because her only pair of well-worn sandals had come apart the previous night before while cleaning it for school. However, it is against the school regulations to wear Charlie wote to school and the pair of flip flops had been seized in accordance with the school rule and poor Akua now had to go barefoot as she had no acceptable foot wear to put on even if she went back home.
Akua lost her Charlie wote and had to bear the shame and humiliation of walking barefoot on the rough stony compound and being tagged as a disobedient student.
Fortunately for Akua, WHW provided a new pair of approved sandals and so she did not have to go through the humiliation of walking barefoot for days, weeks or even months on end.
Food for thought
Knowing full well the implications of her actions that fateful morning as Akua set off to school, her desire for an education with a better future at all costs, made her do the unthinkable….
One cannot help but wonder,
- How many more Akua Blessings are in communities outside the operational areas of WHW?
- How long can these young ladies keep up with the taunts of their peers and community members for lack of one need or the other in seeking to make a better future for themselves and posterity through education?