Gold Fields Ghana Foundation (GFGF) have sponsored four visually impaired children to study at the Akropong School for the Blind in the Eastern Region.
Mr Abdel-Razak Yakubu, Executive Secretary of the Foundation, revealed this at Damang during the first quater of the Damang Mine Community Consultative Committee meeting organized by the Community Affairs Department.
“We are happy to announce that one of the children was recently selected as part of the best readers in the Eastern Region. We are proud to share this information with our stakeholders” he stated
He applauded Mr Joseph Ampong, the unit committee chairman of Huni-Valley and representative of Persons With Disability (PWD) in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipal Assembly for consistently pushing the agenda of PWD’s, added that, “It was through his efforts we now have these children”.
Again, Mr Ampong has introduced two hearing impaired children from the Mines host communities to them and they have been admitted on to their scholarship programme.
They would be enrolled in basic schools to prepare them adequately so they could take up important positions in their community in future.
Touching on the Foundation’s programme, he explained that this year, the GFGF was experiencing some financial difficulties.
“The foundation is funded through a formula of production by the mining company, and Damang’s production this year is less than what we are used to and because of that proceeds that come to the foundation will also reduce”.
As a result of these constraints the foundation has decided to limit some of its programmes of which they have already discussed extensively with their stakeholders.
For instance, Mr Yakubu said with its cocoa support programme where they provided cocoa fertilizers and other inputs to 120 new farmers every year, as well as 240 continuing beneficiaries, there has been an amendment, hence those already on the programme would continue to benefit, but this year a new batch would not be enrolled as they have been doing over the past five years.
Again, on their Youth in Horticulture Production (YouHoP) initiative, for the past four years they have assisted farmers with inputs freely, and the agreement was that profits made by the beneficiaries would be saved at a credit union and in 2023 the support would end, and farmer would have to invest their own savings into the programme.
He stressed that “There was a roadmap to ensure that at least 70 per cent of the 262 farmers they supported last year will continue with their operations, but if we don’t get that mark, I don’t think anybody will be surprised if the foundation decides not to embark on similar programmes in future because whatever sustainability measures we needed to have put in place were done”.
Mr Yakubu was hopeful that the farmers would hold on to the series of training they have given them and continue with the programmes initiated by the foundation.