United Way Ghana in partnership with the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB)successfully distributed 300 boxes of food supplies to households in Akropong, Mamfe and Abiriw. Beneficiaries of the food distribution included aged members of the community struggling to provide for themselves and families of young learners who are beneficiaries of United Way Ghana’s Improving Basic Education program and Nyansapo Scholarship Scheme.With the food supplies supporting entire families the 300 boxes of food supplies translated to over 1,800 lives benefiting from this initiative alone.
For residents of Akropong, Mamfe and Abiriw the donation of food supplies consisting of rice, sugar, oil, gari, beans and canned fish represents much needed relief for their families. COVID-19 not only negatively impacts the health of individuals but it has compounded existing economic pressures on families, parents and the aged. Disruption of the educational system has also added increased pressure on parents of learners no longer benefiting from free school meals – the main source of nutrition for hundreds of thousands of students across the country.
One learner highlighted how the food supplies would help their household by saying “when my father goes to work and doesn’t come back with money, we can prepare this…when we are hungry too, we can soak the gari and eat it”. COVID-19 has exacerbated the volatility of hand to mouth living – a reality for many residents of Akropong. These households face the prospect of going to sleep at night without having food to eat because of failure to generate income during the day.
>A newly single mother, unsure of how she was going to feed herself and her children, was brought to tears upon the realization of the relief brought to her family by the food supplies. By her own admission, the food supplies gave her the opportunity to find her feet to provide for her children in the long term by meeting their needs in the short term.
Faustina Abbey, United Way Ghana’s Impact and Operations Lead touched on the impact of the food distribution exercise, “I realize that most of the households struggle for their daily meals. So, receiving the items from us was an answered prayer for them. What amazedthem was the fact that whilst their wards were in school, we ensured theyhad the required school supplies, and we followed them whilst they are home to also ensure they do not go hungry. This, I know, has instilled hope in them, knowing that there is someone out there looking out for them”.
These stories are a drop in the ocean of hundreds of stories from individuals whose lives have been impacted by this single day of food distribution made possible by the Ghana Association of Bankers. Yet, the selfless dedication of volunteers and teachers from Akropong who helped identify the neediest students and their families cannot be left out. While adhering to crucial COVID-19 prevention measures such as wearing of face masks and social distancing, volunteers went forth into the community, traversing tough terrain to reach 300 households.
This is just one example of United Way Ghana’s COVID-19 relief efforts as we embark on further response initiatives centering around donation of food supplies, weekly educational programs for young learners, community sensitization and provision of PPEs in underserved communities across the country.