By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh |
It was all joy as 20 persons with disability (PWDs), beneficiaries of MTN Ghana Foundation, the social responsibility wing of telecoms giants, MTN graduated with other students at St. Theresa Centre for the Physically Challenged (Inclusive), Abor in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region.
The 28th graduation ceremony which came off on Saturday, July 20 saw the presentation of certificates to all 45 graduands in Dressmaking, Tailoring, Weaving, Electronics, Electricals, ICT Computer Hardware, Leatherworks and General Printing.
The ceremony also had exhibition from departments of Tailoring and Dressmaking, and great performances from A.M.E. Zion Cultural Troupe from Asadame, the Centre’s Army Cadet Corps and Cultural Troupe to entertain attendees.
Director of the Centre, Rev. Fr. Johnson Emmanuel, SC in a welcome speech, gave a glowing tribute to MTN Ghana Foundation for their support, describing it as “an uncommon demonstration of a deep rooted concern and dedication to transformation of life.”
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel outlined how the Foundation was contacted by former Director, Rev. Fr. Isaac Nwagboso leading to the inauguration of the sponsorship programme on October 20, 2016 with a cheque and fulfillment of promise by presenting set up tools to beneficiaries of the sponsorship on the day of graduation.
He took a swipe at politicians who had seen St. Theresa Centre as strategic platform for their political campaigns and “make promises that they never intend to fulfill.”
“The members of the MTN Ghana Foundation are not called honourables but they carry out honourable actions but our politicians who are called honourables many a times carry out all other action except that which is honourable; an honourable man cannot lie, cannot make empty promises.”
MTN Foundation Education Advisor, Ebenezer Terkpeh in a speech said the Foundation was happy it responded to the appeal to sponsor the vocational training of the PWDs.
Mr. Terkpeh said witnessing the ceremony themed, “Equipping Our Youth with Skills, A Path Way to Holistic Development of Our Society”, it was worth investing the GH¢156,000 to provide “full scholarship” which took care of school, feeding and external examination fees, school uniforms, and material for practical work for the 3-year period “and start up tools for these 20 students.”
“Indeed, our association with this school should not come as a surprise because the students here exhibit some of the values that MTN stands for. Our can do spirit comes in handy for we all know that our friends here had to overcome many challenges to be here today.”
He commended management of the school for contacting the Foundation for the benefit of the students and congratulated the graduating students for successfully going through 3 years of intensive academic work, urging them to continually enhance their skills to remain relevant to society.
Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison was particularly happy with the Centre saying, it “stands out as one of the rare institutions in Ghana that has continued to pursue the ideas of government to create an inclusive education for the citizenry of Ghana as a nation.”
Madam Morrison commended MTN for supporting such a good course and challenged other organisations and churches to be more attentive to the needs of vulnerable in society as government alone could not do it all.
She urged parents not to keep their children with disability at home but give them the necessary care while advising people against looking down on PWDs saying, anyone could become a PWD by virtue of accident or illness, using her mother as example.
The Minister also got spiritual and prayed that the 20 PWD graduating students should surmount all obstacles in the challenging society they were about entering to be successful while wishing all the others well in their various chosen vocations.
St. Theresa Center for the Physically Challenged is a non-profiting institution depending on the Catholic Diocese of Keta-Akatsi to equip PWDs and the less-privileged with skills to be self-reliant. It was built by late Rev. Fr. Angelo Confalonieri, a Combonian missionary from Italy and commissioned on April 29, 1989.