The Hands Across Africa team from the Caribbean’s has paid a courtesy call on the Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, Mr. Akwasi Awuah Ababio.
The visit was to inform the Director about the arrival of the team in Ghana, their impending Musical Concert and Expo, dubbed “THEY OFTEN CRY OUTREACH (TOCO)”, and to discuss the seven pillars of the ‘Beyond the Return’ Initiative, specifically the “Give Back to Ghana” pillar.
Mr Taj Weekes, the Founder and Executive Director, TOCO, said the Concert and Expo scheduled for July 23, at the Accra Sports Stadium, on the theme: “Re-igniting the Spirit of Emancipation”, would be held in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Diaspora Affairs– Office of the President, Beyond the Return Secretariat (BRT) and Yoks Investment Ltd.
He said the Concert and Expo had an overarching philosophy that children were their collective heritage, once they could be safeguarded with inclusion and affirmation strategies.
He said the TOCO was conceptualized as a cross- continent initiative starting in Ghana and was aimed at establishing entertainment, youth and sports development programmes and to support in providing funded international football scholarship programmes.
Mr Weekes, who is also the Goodwill Ambassador of St. Lucia, said the TOCO leverages its platform to help the youth to expand their network, and through this exposure, imagine new possibilities, which could create a shift in the trajectory of their lives.
He said the team also focused on cultural exchange and social intervention and programmes to raise funds in supporting society to reduce socio-economic gaps related to needs such as Education, under privileged children, young persons with disabilities and public health concerns, saying “proceeds from the upcoming Concert and Expo will go into charity.”
He confirmed that the charity initiative had provided 76 football scholarships to children in the Caribbean, and they were in Ghana to replicate the charitable work that they were doing there.
He said some International and local artistes, including Eric Donaldson, Mzvee, Brinsley Forde (ASWAD), Okyeame Kwame, Blakk Rasta, DSP Kofi Sarpong, Roc Riva and Taj Weekes, would perform at the event.
Mr Awuah Ababio commended the team for their philanthropic works undertaken across the Caribbean and part of Africa, particularly, Ghana, and assured them of the maximum support of his Office to achieve their stated objectives and vision for Ghana and the rest of Africa.
He was emphasised the President’s call for Africans in the Diaspora to come home and help shape the continent and welcomed the team to enjoy their stay in Ghana while experiencing Ghana’s rich tourism, arts, culture and hospitality industry.