Money raised from UK donations is helping the GUBA Foundation improve the lives of two Ghanaian children with autism. The London charity donated £1,650 in October to the Autism Awareness Training Centre in Accra, Ghana. The money will be used to fund the education of two autistic youngsters at the centre for six months.
GUBA Foundation’s founder and CEO Dentaa Amoateng and head of PR George Ameyaw presented the cash to centre owner Mrs Quaynor in October and used the time to get to know the children a little better. After touring the centre, the children welcomed the pair with a ‘singing through sign’ performance.
“The kids were a joy to watch and were so excited to see us,” said George. “It showed in their enthusiasm to perform what they had learnt for us.”
But much more needs to be achieved to support autistic children at the centre and dispel firmly held beliefs in Ghana about the condition. The centre is in need of a sensory room, outdoor pool and outdoor toys, particularly soft toys all aimed at helping the children’s sensory development skills.
“We would love to provide longer-term support for these children so that we can assist them for a whole year and institute a scholarship scheme for others like them in the centre,” George added.
A wider challenge for the GUBA Foundation is building autism awareness within Ghana. As Dentaa pointed out; “Attitudes to autism in Ghana remain an obstacle against empowering communities. People still have no idea what Autism is and those that do know still believe that it is linked to curses.
“Stigmatisation is such a problem that some parents would rather prefer to hide these special children than have them live freely within their community.”
“It’s a really worrying situation and the main reason why the GUBA Foundation is taking the autism awareness session we have been doing in the UK to Ghana in 2014.”
The GUBA Foundation is planning to take its autism message to Ghana next year as part of a week-long campaign. The campaign will include bringing autism experts to Ghana, visiting autism schools and churches, and training workshopsfor parents to boost their understanding of the condition.
If you would like to support GUBA Foundation’s work, you can donate a maximum of £10 by simply texting the word GUBA00 followed by the amount to 70070 e.g. GUBA00 £10.