10 minutes ago | Opinion Madam Akua Mmerah, A Heroine Of Change By Janix K. Asare
Madam Akua Mmerah although was struggling in life, she defiled all odds to raise funds from a mortar and pestle business to start an orphanage to provide a home, school uniforms, shoes, food and more for orphans from poor homes in order to prevent them from teenage pregnancy.
When Mad. Mmerah got herself pregnant at the age of nineteen, she could not face the stigma attached to teenage pregnancy so she started gallivanting after skipping classes which finally led her to quit her vocational school training. Nonetheless, at the age of forty (40), the pregnancy, the baby and her inability to complete her vocational training could not become stumbling block to her God-given passion and vision to help widows as well as prevent orphans from the dangers of teenage pregnancy and its associated stigma just like she got herself into.
She later obtained a loan from Gladys Asthma to fund widows to commence trading to make ends meet. The widows disappointed her by misappropriating the funds but she was still able to pull through to pay back the loan and move on in life.
Later, she had the opportunity to host a program on Shaft FM called Obaapa in Obuasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana which earned her invitations as a speaker at various church programmes. On her way to Obuasi one day, she believes God spoke to her to establish an orphanage at the current location called Tewobaabi (now part of Asokwa District), a village in the outskirts of the then Fomena District.
When she returned to Kumasi, she surprisingly observed three birds unselfishly feeding other three birds for three days. Later, the number of birds that visited her house at Bremang in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana increased day by day till she continuously fed about a hundred (100) birds of different species for days. To her this was a confirmation from God for her to start an orphanage.
She then begun providing school uniforms, food, shoes and more to support ten (10) orphans she got to know of through the Apostolic Church in Asokwa close to Obuasi, Ashanti. She did this with proceeds from her mortar and pestle business as well as her family. With support from Rev. Florence La-Kumi and Maame Emelia she rented a story building to start Sympathy Children’s Home now Patmos Children’s Home on 27th March, 2008 which has served a lot of beneficiaries from basic schools to the tertiary level for almost eleven (11) years. She believes in quality not quantity so all the children she houses are accepted into the orphanage after careful investigations by the Social Welfare Department as required by the law. She currently works with eight (8) volunteers made including widows.
Mad. Mmerah believes every child has a purpose so she cares for the orphans as her own and provides almost everything for them so that they do not get themselves into teenage pregnancy. She uses a unique approach of advising both the cat and the mouse (both the male and female parties) involved in teenage pregnancy. She trains them in the ways of God and also equip them with vocational skills for them to become the bread winners of their poor extended families through schooling and vocational training.
Amidst the mockery of hunger, begging, financial constraints and discouragement, she managed to build a new house in the year 2013 with the little donations from her family, individuals and organizations. Her motivation stems from the joy she is overwhelmed with when she treats these children from poor homes with love and respect.
Her vision is to start a basic school with vocational training to develop children from poor homes since the rate of teenage pregnancy is becoming rampant. Indeed, her determination demonstrates the motto of Patmos Children’s home that no child should be left behind.
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