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Regional News of Sunday, 31 May 2020

Source: Stephen Kwame Yeboah, Contributor

Coronavirus: Lincoln students partner ESKA Foundation to support children

The students in a pose after the donation exercise The students in a pose after the donation exercise

The entire world is reeling under the impact of the novel Coronavirus, killing millions across the globe.

While the Ghanaian government is doing all, it can to help the citizens, support needs to be pouring in from all corners.

One will understand that, during this critical period, children are the most vulnerable though the disease is killing the grown-ups.

Due to this, four young students from Lincoln Community School in collaboration with ESKA Foundation have taken up the mantle to support the needy children in the nation’s capital Accra.

The four students- Sisters Suhani Midha (Grade 9) and Shanaya Midha (Grade 4) along with Siblings Krsna Jagtiani(Grade 9) and Shivv Jagtiani (Grade 11) – all students of Lincoln community school who have realized that in these trying times the need for essential items are paramount for children, hence through a concerted effort at galvanizing public support donated items like books, toys, clothes, foods and most importantly masks.

Speaking during the presentation, the Chairman and Director of ESKA Foundation, Ms Emelia-Jane Hamidu explained the rationale behind the donation and the effort from these four Lincoln students in ensuring that, they alleviate the plight of their fellow children in Ghana.

“I will start my short welcome speech with a quotation from the very heart warming letter I received from our young donors Suhani & Shanaya Midha and Krsna & Shivv Jagtiani expressing their grave concerns for the plight of under-privileged children in Ghana with specific reference to “Street Children and Special Needs Children”, and more especially so, during this pandemic period when even the well-to-do in our society are facing grave challenges.

“The most poignant sentence in their letter was a declaration, and I quote; “They all deserve to be Happy, rather every Child in the World Deserves to Be Happy”.

“For such sentiments to come from young children who could, like many others at their age, be spending their time on games and gadgets, and thinking about what else they are going to ask their parents to buy for them as presents, is indeed quite remarkable.

“They then took the initiative of setting up a WhatsApp Group of all their Family Members and Friends to discuss this pressing concern they had for the underprivileged children and to solicit their support in gathering clothes, food items and everything else that they could donate to help alleviate the plight of their fellow Children in Ghana.

“They then went on to try and find a Charity that they could team up with, who would help them to track down the underprivileged children so they could give as many as possible, as much as possible and more importantly – to show them.

“They then went on to try and find a Charity that they could team up with, who would help them to track down the underprivileged children so they could give as many as possible, as much as
possible and more importantly – to show them love and care, and hopefully bring a little joy into their lives.

“So today, I welcome our Special Guests, our young donors, The Midha Siblings and Friends; and also The Press; who are contributing their quota to Charity through highlighting the needs in ways that are both sympathetic to the plight of, and sensitive to the dignity of the disadvantaged in our Society – and in so doing help to spread awareness and to bring in more help for them through publicity.

She added that, “by making a slightly longer Observation about our Phenomenal Country, Ghana, and I hope all Ghanaians will be proud of what we have become as a nation, only 63 years after attaining our independence.

“Today, as we are gathered here for this short Ceremony, we are “visible proof” of the fact that Ghana is truly a melting pot nation, made up of different tribes and different races and is also a nation where citizens of different Generations Can, and Do, Come Together, to share their blessings and good fortunes with the less fortunate and disenfranchised children of our country with the hope that through our Private Sector efforts, in support of the Government of Ghana’s Own laudable Efforts, Ghana will very soon arrive at that “Glorious Era”, when all Ghanaian Children will have the Benefit of growing up in decent and affordable homes with access to clean water and good sanitation, wholesome food, good healthcare and with equal access to sound education, such that, by the time our young partners become young adults – there will be no such words like ‘Dis-enfranchised’, ‘Homeless’, ‘Hunger’, ‘Uneducated’ and ‘Street-Children’ in our collective Ghanaian vocabulary.
“We welcome on-board, today, Our newest Partners, who themselves are young teenagers, aged 14 years and younger, their family and friends. We thank you all for your kindness, your donations and your time today. But before you leave today’s Function, I would like to Sow a Seed of Possibility in our Minds. ESKA is looking at another worthwhile Charitable Endeavour for ourselves, our young people and our Press to embark on.

“We can call it “Children Teaching Children”, starting with my own children, their cousins and friends and hopefully, with the Midha Children, their Cousins & Friends too: – Where the Young Ones will volunteer a few hours of their free time every weekend (but more especially during their holidays) to ‘adopt’ a single child, or a small group of Street Children to teach them the very basics of how to Read and Write, and do simple Mathematics, and to read Children’s Books to them and also share their English Language communication skills with them, so that within a very short time, the ‘adoptees’ will be able to register into mainstream schools at an age appropriate level.

“This will be arranged in a safe and conducive place and will be supported by ESKA’s staff, Our Adult Volunteers and hopefully the parents, family and friends of our ‘Teacher-Children’.

Also, to add her voice was Ms. Krsna Jagtiani who talked the impact of the novel Coronavirus and urged all to adhere to the safety protocols to help control the spread of the pandemic.

“This Coronavirus has had a severe impact on us globally in just a matter of three months and these three months we all to adapt to new things like social distancing and quarantine.

“In this quarantine we all reflected on how some of us so blessed and privileged to be where we are, and unfortunately the under privileged are the most targeted right now, this is the most important time for all of us to connect and come together as one and give back to our community.

“Like I said the under- privileged are the most targeted right now and a vast amount of our population are daily wage earners and due to the previous lockdown and other certain restrictions that have been put in place, they have no idea where to find their source of income and support their families, so hopefully this is where we can play a role, hopefully our donations can make their lives a bit easier and happier, as in this times we need to focus on joy more than anything else.

“Also, a huge thanks also goes to the front line workers like the Doctors, Nurses, and Security personnel because these people are currently risking their lives daily to make our lives easier”, she added.