The Accra City LEOs club, Ashesi LEOs club, Gye Nyame LEOs club, Labone LEOs club and the Legon LEOs club yesterday, on the occasion of its International Mega Twinning Project 2020 made some donations to the Motherly Love Foundation at Kwabenya. This year’s twinning project dubbed; “Hunger Relief” is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 2, that is: Zero hunger. Zero Hunger seeks to achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Thus, the world needs an equitable distribution of food supplies.
According to the spokesperson for the LEO Clubs, Madam Jennifer Adani, though the Legon LEOs club made donations to the home sometime last year, they realized that the home needed more support and this was what drove them back to the orphanage.
The clubs also took time to engage in activities like singing, dancing, playing as well interacting with children of the home. The patrons became bewildered by the exceptional level of intelligence and eloquence shown by the majority of the children. This attests to the fact that a lot goes into their educational upbringing.
Items donated include: Tin Tomatoes (1 box), Milk (2 cartons), Rice (1 sack), Milo (1 carton), Mackerel (1 box), Oil (medium size gallon), Indomie (2 boxes), Spaghetti (1 pack), Biscuits (3 boxes), Gari (30 cups), Eggs (4 crates), Plantain (2 bunches), Yam (10 pieces), Drinks (4 packs), Oats (half box) and Sachet Water (10 bags).
The Founder of the home, Rev. John Azumah expressed much gratitude to the clubs for their support and charged them to continue with their impactful humanitarian causes. He further wished the group well in all its endeavors.
Accra LEO Clubs
The Accra City LEOs club, Ashesi LEOs club, Gye Nyame LEOs club, Labone LEOs club and the Legon LEOs forms the Accra LEO Clubs.
LEOs Clubs are a youth organisation of Lions Clubs International. The word “LEO” stands for Leadership, Experience, Opportunity.
LEOs Clubs encourage youths to develop leadership qualities by participating in social service activities. They are dependent on a Lions Clubs to sponsor and initiate a LEOs club.
The LEOs Club was formed in the year 1957 and has 200,000 members in 140 countries.
Motherly Love Foundation
The Motherly Love Foundation was started in 2008 by Rev. Azumah and his wife Mrs. Lydia Azumah to house infected and affected orphaned children from HIV/AIDS and abandoned HIV/AIDS infected children.
The Foundation currently houses 52 children living with HIV/AIDS.
Challenges Facing the Foundation.
While speaking to Rev. John Azumah, he stated said that, one of the greatest challenges facing the home is stigmatization. He bemoaned that, there was a point in time the home was tagged as an “HIV home” and people did not want to associate with it. He said that, children of the home have gone through numerous ill-treatment at school when teachers and students get to know their condition.
Another problem faced by the foundation is educational support. Rev. Azumah laments that, the home is very far from government schools, so he has to enroll the children in private schools near the orphanage and this is very costly.
The orphanage also needs a lot of medications especially antiretroviral drugs to boost their immune systems. He added that, he is positive but cannot infect anybody at the moment. He claims to have reached the undetectable stage of the virus, which also means nontransmittable. Hence, the virus cannot be transmitted to another at this stage.
There is also the problem of failure to disclose HIV status. Most people fear to disclose their status to others for the fear of stigmatization. He revealed that, a good number of the youth today are living with the virus but are unwilling to disclose to their partners and keep on spreading it. He added that, disclosure is a personal thing and it is up to the children to make that disclosure when they come of age. His duty now is to protect their identity he added.
Citing data to back his claims, he stated that, 62,000 children are currently HIV positive and 502,000 adults are positive. These numbers go to the hospital to take the antiretroviral drugs, yet there is a huge junk of persons living with the virus who do not go for the medication or do not even know their status.
Furthermore, he said that they have always faced blockages in every sphere of their lives. He says, for instance, a person living with the virus is exempted from entering into the security services, prevented from traveling or even prevented from taking some professional courses.
Even churches have now made an HIV test report a prerequisite for holding marriages. In effect, once you have the virus the marriage would be called off though the virus may nontransmittable he shared.
Moreover, the activities of Pastors and Herbalists have not helped HIV/AIDS patients at all. These spiritual men discourage people from going on with their medication. They instead provide them with concoctions which do them no good.
A Call to Action
He is calling on the government to rise to the call since the sensitization and education about the virus has come to a dead point.
He’s also calling on Civil Society Organizations to add their voice to the campaign since the number of infections keeps increasing by the day.
Source: Felix Acquaye