Last weekend, 21 members of Patriots Ghana KNUST embarked on an outreach to the Community Special Vocational School, for Intellectual Disabilities Deduako-Kumasi. The purpose of the visit was to interact with the students, commence the collaboration between the two organizations, engage in gardening together with student and make donations.
The patriots were received at the school amidst drumming and dancing by the schools cultural troop, and they couldn’t help but join in dancing. After everyone was seated, the assistant headmaster, Mr. Joseph Stanley (Msc.) welcomed them to the school.
The founder of the chapter, Mr. Emmanuel Yamoah, responded by introducing the team to the school, after which each member introduced themselves to the school.
The students of the school then enthusiastically introduced themselves, mentioning their names and nicknames. Mr. Yamoah then explained the reason for the visit and activities for the day.
He talked about the intentions of the chapter to support the school, which are in three forms. Firstly, to supply the school with food items and renovate the schools garden to ensure sustained food supply. Then provide the school with materials for their workshops and market the end products. Lastly, initiate a self-help group (with CLED-Ghana) to improve conditions of students and ensure all the above initiatives are properly carried out.
Afterwards, the patriots together with the students held hands and went on tour of the school. They went to the workshops, and here the students showed them some of the artifacts they make, such as candles, beads, macramé, batiks, leather works etc. They also went to the dormitories, and the students were so happy to show them their nicely laid beds and proposed that the chapter spends the night in the school.
They then went to the office of the headmaster, Mr Stephen Gyasi, where he presented a nicely designed candle to the president of the chapter, Shamsiya Abdul Kadir. This was to commemorate the beginning of a long lasting relationship between the two organizations.
After everyone present went to the garden of the school to prepare beds for planting of the vegetables and also clear the land to plant maize. This was done with the help of expert from the Faculty of Agriculture, KNUST. This turned into a fun activity, which everyone participated in and interacted with each other amidst laughter. The maize planted would help sustain the food supply of the school, since it has a lot of uses.
After the day’s work, it was time to have more fun! There was drumming, dancing and eating together, dubbed “soboloparty”.
Each student had a dance partner and there was a dancing competition between the students and the patriots. There was so much joy in the atmosphere and it also created the opportunity to get to know each other more.
Finally, the president and executives of the chapter presented the donations to the school. This included bags of rice, gari, sugar, maize and also can foods, clothing, shows, toys, toiletries and detergents, extra seeds, a first aid kit, bed sheets and many other items the students requested for. The students and staff of the school were so happy and headmaster thanked the team on behalf of the school.
After this, each student took a picture a member of chapter he or she has been with throughout the day and all the pictures would be printed and sent to the students. After the day’s event, the reporter from NhyiraFm (104.5) and Luv Fm (99.5) interviewed both the headmaster of the school and the leaders of the chapter.
They used the opportunity to create awareness about stigmatization of people with disabilities and also to solicit for support for the school. The leaders of the chapter also met with the staff to make preparations for future initiatives geared towards ensuring that the students are well catered for, trained and properly integrated into the community.
Special thank you to our National Cordinator, Eric Opoku Agyemang, Director of Campaign for Learning Disability, Mr.PadmoreQuansah, and Director for Girls Education Initiative of Ghana, Elizabeth Patterson for the expert advice, contributions and future support for this project.Patriots Ghana KNUST would like to express our profound gratitude also to everyone that supported, especially all the students of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST),that donated cash and items. And also the patriots of KNUST for saving 1cedi per to donate and making every effort to make this happen even when it was within the examination period, especially the executives and the project coordinator TheophilousAdjei. We also thank NhyiraFm (104.5) and Luv Fm (99.5) for assisting with advocacy.
The next phase of the project is to increase awareness about stigmatization of people with intellectual disabilities, increase food supply, improve the workshop’s productivity and initiate a self-help group.
All these initiatives would be done together with the students, their parents, and the school. Patriots Ghana is requesting support for this project financially to complete and sustain the proposed initiatives. As far as we are concerned disabilities means possibilities. You can support us by donating to MTN Mobile Money account 0247602583 or donate online at. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/support-for-school-for-the-intellectually-disabled
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