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Diasporian News of Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Source: E.K. Oduro

SESA Ghana foundation holds inaugural event

There comes that moment in time when one witnesses an impending doom and gets that epiphany to rise and change the course of this reality. It is with this sense of urgency that SESA Ghana foundation; a non-governmental organization was formed with the aim of bringing people together, regardless of their ethnic, political, religious, educational and age differences etc. to have dynamic conversations, which can be formulated into productive IDEAS to help advance Ghana’s development. On Nov 12, 2016, SESA Ghana held its inaugural event with a dinner and fund raising at the Hilton Hotel in Queens, NY. The night was a beautiful blend of African wear, authentic Ghanaian music and rich local dialects of mother Ghana. Also, guests from various countries as well as representatives from other civic organizations graced the occasion. By the end of the night, it was laid bare the challenges we face as a people and the opportunities at our disposal in tackling them. Why SESA? The name stems from a sign of the Adinkra family of symbols, “SESA WO SUBAN” which translates into, “ change of character.”

As the name implies, this organization is about a paradigm shift of our mindsets, which the group believes is the bane of Ghana’s mounting of problems. So many of our fellow Ghanaians now seems to be living with the ambient horror that, their fate is etched in stone. We have witnessed decades of escalating corruption, increasing debt, abuse of our lands and natural resources. We have seen selective justice done in plain sight and maligning of the poor and most vulnerable out of national development. The scariest part of all these is the fact that, we as a society have over the time come to accept such mess as the norm. Our successive governments largely operate on unending borrowing and foreign donor aids, who dictate the pace and type of development we embark on. Politics pervade all aspects of governance to the extent that well-intentioned policies from opposing political parties are usually abandoned to deny giving the opposition the deserved credit. The so-called illiterates: the petty traders, drivers and construction workers, are continually marginalized in our societies yet they drive the bulk of our economy.

Without a clear voice of advocacy, without the tools to better our lot, we exist in an inevitable state of despair. Vehicular accidents claim daily lives, yearly down pour of rain takes innocent lives, malaria is still a top killer and simple infections still kill. Psychiatric hospitals lack gloves, teachers lack chalks, pupils don’t have uniforms and most go to school on empty stomachs. Our sanitation is an eye sore. We litter on a heartbeat, urinate on every wall in sight and pollute our water bodies at will. Our debts keep compounding. Our lands have been sold to foreigners to be raped and abused. Our education system is milling out underpowered, less informed graduates. Ghana in 2016 boasts of association of unemployed grads. The youth has taken to gambling and other immoral acts. There is so much loss and pain. It might seem there is no end to this dark tunnel. We might feel anguished and heart broken. There is so much one society can endure. But yet, we rise. Decades of government policies, culture, nepotism and tribalism are being revealed as inadequate in tackling this laundry list of our ills.

President of SESA, Elder George Boafo espoused the importance for the change we need to start with we; the people. SESA seeks to drown the chorus of voices that seem to use national tragedies and triumphs as political football. SESA does so by staying informed, engaging in productive dialogue and coming up with solutions. For SESA, the change we “demand” doesn’t necessarily lie in the halls of parliament, the Jubilee house or the offices of a donor country; it starts at home. For Ghana, the time for experimentation is over. This is the time when the burdens become too heavy for one leader to bear and too dire to be ignored. A time when bad policies become too real, when expectations of a brighter tomorrow is dimmed by ignorance, corruption and sheer wickedness. This is the time when our consciousness must be woken and wavering optimism shattered. It’s that time when cold truth replaces hagiographic fantasies of past leaders. A time when we take that little step to pick up the trash off the street and rebuke our loved ones who choose to litter. The time when our patriotism trumps our need to make that extra buck.
For SESA, this is our time of civic awakening and moral growth. A time to begin a serious dialogue about what works. SESA Ghana also operates with a philanthropic arm to make changes in our healthcare, sanitation and school systems. Yes, there would be the struggles in finding that path which works. What we all as Ghanaians possesses is that resolve for change; the status quo has to fundamentally change. Responding on a comment made by a representative from the Ghanaian mission in NY, vice president of SESA, Mr. Kwame Karikari stressed the essence of this organization. He explained how SESA transcends political parties, cultural backgrounds and even religious associations.

The time is now when we as citizens of Ghana educate ourselves the right way. When we change how we live. The time is now when we learn the essence of sacrifice. The time when we celebrate the small hero who sweeps the street and drains the standing mosquito infested waters. It is a profound time to which we must endure to be part of. We must all step boldly in this moment of time and forever “SESA” our motherland.

By : E.K. Oduro
( SESA GH FOUNDATION).