Siblings Adwoa Nyamekye Mensah, 8 and his sister Adwoa Enyimpa Mensah, 3 were both born hearing impaired.
Their parents Ismael Ebo Mensah, 42 and Dehia Mensah, 34 are also deaf. The family is from Assin Fosu, the central region of Ghana. They have been working as tailors but the Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult for them to find continued work. Without proper income and given the financial constraints the family is going through, Adwoa Nyamekye was forced to drop out of school.
“I was worried about how he will be able to cope later when he goes back to school. I don’t want him to fall behind but we simply could not afford to send him to school now,” Ismael said.
The family came to know about the non-governmental organisation ANOPA Project through a family friend who suggested that they visit them to find out if they are eligible for any assistance.
ANOPA is an international sports project based in Cape Coast, Ghana that uses sports as an instrument for individual development, promotion of gender equity, peace, and other important soft and social skills development for kids in the Central Region of Ghana.
After assessing the family’s situation, ANOPA Project arranged for the children to be enrolled at the Cape Coast School for the Deaf and Blind, a government school with a population of about 800 students who are both visually and hearing impaired.
Although the school is free and open to the public, certain conditions such as Parents Teachers Association fees, uniform, and educational materials expenses are a burden to children who come from disadvantaged families.
With funding from RYTHM Foundation, ANOPA Project gives support to the children in the form of educational materials and accessories, food relief items and payment of levies in the school. The children will also be encouraged to enroll on their all-inclusive swimming project.
“Without this assistance, I would not have been able to provide education to my children. I am very grateful for this,” Ismael said.
He hopes to see his daughter achieve her dream of becoming a teacher one day.