Actress/ Lawyer Yvonne Okyere-Whalley, has through her foundation, presented a cheque of fifteen thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC15,000) and assorted food items to the Kibi School for the Deaf. The donation coincided with the official launch of The Forgotten Foundation on Saturday, December 12, 2015 in Kibi.
Speaking at the launch, Yvonne Okyere-Whalley, said it is the objective of the foundation to spread its wings to support other schools caring for disabled children. She said “The Forgotten Foundation is an independent, non-political movement formed to ensure that people living with disability receive the care, love and respect for their basic human rights.” As the motto states, the foundation is aimed at ‘improving the lives of disabled children’ by fundraising and providing an enduring support to institutions that are handling disabled children.
Queenmother of the Akyem Abuakwa traditional area, Nana Adutwumwaa Dokuaa, who also chaired the event, condemned the ill treatment meted out to disabled children. “You will all agree with me that physically-challenged children are the most neglected and abused in our societies, and sometimes, this is done with justification under the guise of outmoded traditional beliefs which I find to be very unacceptable,” Nana Adutwumwaa Dokua said. She noted that the original goal of setting up the Kibi School for the Deaf is being challenged by harsh economic challenges, societal neglect, and lack of compassion for the needy. The queenmother further urged Ghanaians, home and abroad, to support the Forgotten Foundation project and also implored corporate bodies to use their resources to improve the lives of the forgotten children.
Mr. Allan Whalley of Stellar Group of Companies, one of the donors of the foundation, commended Yvonne for the hard work she put into the launch of her foundation. Stellar Group of Companies donated an undisclosed cash amount to the foundation and also donated solar equipments to the school. Mr. Whalley explained that the solar power will be a convenient alternative as the school is faced with frequent power cuts. He further pledged more support for the school, adding that his company has plans of making more donations in 2016.
Headmaster of the Kibi School for the Deaf, Mr. Michael Castro Cudjoe, lauded The Forgotten Foundation for coming to the aid of the school. In his address, Mr. Cudjoe revealed that the institution basically relies on government funding and a few philanthropists. According to the headmaster, the school is faced with several challenges, notable among them being inadequate financial support and encroachment of illegal miners on the school’s property. He was however optimistic that with the launch of the Forgotten Foundation, the challenges facing the school will be minimised.
Special Speaker at the launch, Nana Osei Boakye Yiadom II, Chief of Adamorobe in the Akuapem traditional area, expressed her gratitude to Yvonne and her husband for conceiving such an idea to support the disabled children. Touching on her previous experiences during her UN peacekeeping work in Uganda and Malawi, she advised against guardians and parents who hide their children from the public because of their disability.
Nana Osei Boakye Yiadom II later joined Nana Adutwumwaa Dokuaa and Yvonne Okyere-Whalley to formally launch and unveil the official logo of The Forgotten Foundation. The event was well attended by traditional rulers and leaders, representatives from donor corporate bodies, friends and supporters of the foundation, school heads and workers, as well as students of the school.
Our gratitude goes to our sponsors and donors including: Max Mart, Hull Blyth & Stellar Group, MAN Enterprise, Snapitgh, n.dowuona & co. Our media partners: Viasat1, TV3, Adom TV, Live 91.9 FM, GhKwaku. The Forgotten Foundation would also like to thank Nana Adutwumwaa Dokuaa, Kwame Amoah, Kwadwo Aboagye- Atta, Yaw Brakohiapa, Sammy Marfo, Naa Dei-Kotey, Nana Osei Afriyie and Kwasi Kyei.
Donations to The Forgotten Foundation can be made to the foundation’s account. Name: The Forgotten Foundation; Bank: First Atlantic Bank (Airport Branch); Account no: 02368 411 01012 or Mobile money- 0545972406.