Our History

Nearly 20 years ago whilst I was resident in London, I would come on regular visits to Ghana. On each occasion, I would bring along about 10 books, most of which I would have read, to give away as presents. Over a few years, upon enquiries, I realized most of the books were never read. In disappointment, I decided to save my books so one day when I returned, I would build a substantial library attached to my home and open my doors to anyone who would want to borrow and read. From this was born my first idea for a charity.

In 2007 I came on a short holiday and lodged in Frankie’s Hotel, Osu. One morning as I was leaving the hotel, I saw this young girl selling fruits on the forecourt; “heh, why are you not in school?”, I questioned. “Please sir I do but I need to earn some money to help my mother pay the school fees”, she replied. I was shocked. This young girl has to earn her fees, I thought. I asked her to bring her school report the following day with a promise that if it good enough I would help her. Sadly, she didn’t turn up and two days later I left for London. I didn’t think of her again.

In 2009, I returned for another short visit and again stayed at Frankie’s. One evening as I returned to the hotel, someone tapped on my shoulders. As I turned I realised it was this young girl. Now she had grown so tall. On enquiry, I gathered that it took three or four days before she obtained the school report by which time I was long gone. I asked what she was doing. She had finished senior high school and selling porridge with her mother in Nima. She also indicated her wish to go to a computer school. As I had little time on my hands, I commissioned one of my friends to interview her and advise me on how best I could help her. Soon after, I returned to London. My friend did a good job and found her a school at IPMC, Accra. I sent the annual school fees and she was back to school.

On my return the following year, I brought her a laptop to help her study and also arranged to meet her parents. It was quite an experience. Mother was solely in charge and selling porridge to support the family and educate her two daughters, Barakatu and Faiza, which was quite challenging. I was so touched I decided to sponsor both girls. On completion of IPMC and SSS, both girls secured employment at the Ministries. Barakatu eventually left for Eastern Europe to pursue further studies. Faiza got married and has children of her own. She is currently pursing a nursing course at the University of Ghana and is in her final year.
I tried to assist another disadvantaged student but this did not end well.

Three years ago, I had two operatives tasked to tidy up my flat whenever I was around. I began to chat and to investigate their backgrounds and ambitions. One Friday when they arrived to do their cleaning, I asked the boy, Daniel, whether he was going to continue to work in housekeeping or had any plans to improve on himself. He told me he had planned to go to university. He took the job so as to save up to pay the fees. “That’s good”, I replied. In the conversation he informed me he had already a substantial part of the fees but as that faithful day was the last day for settling the full fees, he would have to apply for a refund and try again the following year. Good grief! I knew a could help him with a bridging assistance, but not on the day as I had just enough for a weekend beer with my friends. I called up a Facebook friend who is a senior lady at the university of Ghana with my story and she quickly assured me there would be a few days grace period for late payers. The following week I found some money to assist him with the balance, and subsequently I engaged him in an extensive chat on himself and his family. There was no way anyone could support him, even with trickles. He would have to work full time and attend full time university. This would be a true recipe for failure. I made up my mind there and then to take up all the academic fees for the duration of the course and to provide him with a monthly stipend as well. He is in his third year and his annual report are worthy of continued support.

In 2018, I elected to support my fruit seller with the academic fees of her daughter, Juliana. She is currently in her first year University of Ghana. At this point I decided, with the support Mansa in particular and the rest of my daughters, to extend the library idea to a wider level of supporting the needy to attain higher education. Mansa is currently supporting a young person in vocation training and Naa Amanua has also offered jobs to others. This year we are likely to take on further 4 students. Indeed, we try to have a modest lifestyle so we can help others.
This is our true dream, to help our country in our own small way. I am sure that if you join us with donations, we can do more. Currently I am continuing to build the library. It is conjoined to my soon to be home which will also be home of Otinkorama Memorial Foundation. I’m sure you can see my enthusiasm even as I climbed to inspect the recently completed roof in the photographs. Hurray!