Regional News of Wednesday, 13 June 2012
The goalkeeper of Accra Hearts of Oak and a former mate, on Wednesday lent their support to a UK-based Ghanaian, to launch a foundation to champion the course of the underprivileged in the society.
Sammy Adjei and his former team mate Yaw Amankwah Mireku, threw their weight behind Reverend Mrs Olive Barnor, to establish the charitable non-profit foundation, christened: “Olive Tree Praise Foundation” (OTPF) expected to focus on helping the most disadvantaged and socially excluded children, youth and women in Ghana.
Speaking at the launch in Accra, Rev. Barnor called on politicians, religious leaders and influential individuals in the society to “give their voice to the voiceless children in the country and in the world as a whole”.
She expressed disquiet over ill-treatment meted out to children, that had led some of them to either commit suicide or ran away from home.
Rev. Barnor advised religious leaders and politicians, who had turned aside from their mission to alleviate the economic and social burden of the citizenry, to be penitent.
She said God detests those who perpetrated the suffering and oppression of the underprivileged.
Rev. Barnor challenged the wealthy in the society to be selfless to assist the poor for the purpose of achieving equalisation.
“It does not make any sense, when I am so rich and the rest of the society is poor,” she said.
The foundation is the initiative of Olive Tree Praise Ministries (OTPM), which is headquartered in the UK.
The mission had spearheaded a number of activities geared towards empowering people to attain the right to survival, protection, development and participation.
Rev. Barnor expressed optimism that the OTPF would empower women and children to be self-reliant.
“We believe that these groups have the capacity to change their lives for the better, and it is our role to nurture and build their confidence and help them renew their minds through the word of God.
“By this process, we are raising a new generation of leaders that could become responsible individuals and productive members of their community and empowering them to make positive decisions about their future and the future of our country.”
The OTPF is expected to operate from its Huni base in the Efutu Municipal area in the Central Region to other parts of the country.
So far, management of the foundation had acquired a piece of land where it would start small-scale agri-business to empower the productive poor in the surrounding communities.
In a solidarity message, Nii Ayi Obeng, the Traditional ruler of Huni Oblakua, expressed gratitude to the OTPM and Rev. Barnor for her kind gesture and gave the assurance that he and his people would offer the ministry the support they need.
He called on other bodies to emulate her example to bring socio-economic development to the doorsteps of the people.
Mr. Adjei, the former Ghana Black Star’s gloves man, lauded the initiative of Rev. Barnor, stressing that children were the future foundation of the society and should therefore be well-nurtured, fed and groomed.
He said it was his dream and prayer to establish a foundation in the future to assist the needy.
Mr. Adjei described his affiliation to OTPM as a miracle and pledged his unflinching support to the foundation.
He called on the youth to learn hard and to aspire to become icons to be celebrated.
Mr. Mireku, who began his career with Hearts of Oak but left 10 years later to join Viva Kerala in India on June 12, 2007, dismissed as baseless the popular notion that footballers were academic dropouts, stressing that “you can create a niche for yourself if you are focused in life”.
He expressed optimism that the activities of the foundation would advance in leaps and bounds to impact positively in the society.**