…For Work In Gambaga Witches Camp
The First Lady, Lordina Mahama, on Wednesday received a donation of One Hundred Thousand Japanese Yen (¥100, 000) from the Association of Wives of African Heads of Mission in Tokyo as support for her philanthropic programmes in the Gambaga Witches Camp in the Northern Region.
Mrs. Mahama, had addressed the Association of Wives of African Heads of Mission in Tokyo and leaders of some Japanese Women Groups at a luncheon held in her honour by the Association as part of President John Dramani Mahama’s Official Visit to Japan.
The First Lady, had impressed the association with her eloquent account of the charity programmes of her Non-governmental Organization called, Lordina Foundation in Greater Accra, Northern Region, Upper East and Upper West.
Speaking at the Marriotts Hotel, Tokyo, Mrs. Mahama, described the camp as a desolate community, to which women, mostly elderly women accused of witchcraft have sought refuge, when compelled to abscond from their homes, under the threat of death or torture.
According to her, the first time she visited the camp, she wept openly, because the women lived in abject poverty and misery.
But working together with government and other partners, the Lordina Foundation, has brought smiles to the faces of the dejected women.
“We are currently facilitating the construction of a vocational school in the camp, to teach the women, and their children, useful skills in order to be self-sustaining. The vocational school comes with improved accommodation, with modern sanitation facilities”, she said.
Mrs. Mahama, who is currently President of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA), described her philanthropic work in the camp as the most acclaimed programme of the Lordina Foundation.
She also mentioned the periodic medical outreach programmes to mostly under-served communities in Ghana by her organization as another high profile programmes the Lordina Foundation is carrying out in Ghana to deal with cervical, breast cancer and HIV, and also provide education on these diseases for the general public, especially women.
The First Lady further mentioned provision of skills and vocational training to create opportunities for girls and women, adding “we also present these trainees with tools of their trade, including sewing machines, hair dryers, embroidery machines, and many other equipment with which they can begin life”.
She disclosed that with support from Medshare of USA, the foundation’s support for deprived health facilities has been most successful.
“We have distributed vital medical supplies, and equipment, to more than 50 District Hospitals and Health Centres, across the length and breadth of Ghana”.
In education, she said “we support schools and facilitate scholarships for needy students to study in Ghana and abroad”.
She that noted that, there are many more issues affecting women, but as First Ladies of Africa, they are prepared to show leadership in this area, and are counting on the support of spouses of the envoys to tackle them head on because “as women, we find that our responsibilities keep increasing in our ever evolving complex world. There is always room in the world for more love and more care”.
The motto of the Foundation is; “The more we share, the more we have”, Mrs. Mahama asked for contributions that can “help make this world a better place for others, than we found it”, adding “together we can empower women all over the globe and help to heal our ailing world”.
Earlier in the morning, Mrs. Mahama who joined President Mahama to pay a courtesy call on Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko told the association how she was struck by the meticulous care and preservation of culture and tradition in what is one of the most technologically advanced countries.
She said visiting the beautiful Akasaka Palace this morning, it is obvious that Japan has been hugely successful in preserving its positive cultural heritage,
Mrs. Mahama, urged the ladies to behave like their host country Japan, by learning “to preserve what is positive in our heritage, and culture, and jettison the practices that are harmful and degrading”, adding “in Africa there is a lot we can be proud off, and we must preserve. But there is also a lot that we must discard such as child marriage”.