By Sunday Oyinloye
Following announcement by the government of Ghana which makes the wearing of face masks compulsory in public places from April 20, 2020, an NGO, Rebekah Awuah Foundation has joined hands with the government in the fight against the spread of coronavirus by providing free face masks to some street food vendors in the country.
Awuah Foundation which is the brain-child of one of the most brilliant Ghanaian Journalists, Rebekah Awuah even before the coronavirus pandemic had been impacting positively in many areas.
The organization which is passionate about giving back to the community has stepped up by providing protective garment to senior citizens and street food vendors.
This social intervention is dubbed ‘Mask-ing Out” to meet the needs of those who are among the most at-risk of becoming severely ill should they contract coronavirus.
The foundation has been committed to providing livelihoods for the less privileged and vulnerable in society, girl child empowerment, education, skills development and the health and wellbeing of the aged
According to Rebekah, “our thought was that we have a lot of seniors or elderly folks in the community, and I know a lot aren’t going out, but some are,”
Rebekah who is the President of the foundation explains to Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable further: “We have friends and families in Ghana and in various communities in the regions, so we know how bad this virus is and how important it is to have masks.We staying to our cause, that is, if you’re 60 years or over we want to give you masks, no caveats. Seniors who were unable to come out for the distribution received their masks through contact-less delivery.
‘’In Ghana like most African countries, the informal sector is huge and street food vending is one area that cannot be ignored. The team decided to include that bracket of people because they feed the masses particularly the working class who are the future of every country. A mask for them means protection for everyone”
The Rebekah Awuah foundation gave out roughly 100 masks during its first distribution at Nungua ,a suburb of Accra under the Krowor Municipal Assembly and plans to repeat the effort in the Okere District Assembly in the Eastern Region of Ghana and some mental health hospitals in Accra.
“We’re trying to keep our “mask-ing Out” intervention as close as possible, because we don’t want to be driving all over and potentially spread the virus,” she said.
Rebekah revealed that many beneficiaries complained of suffocation with some of the face masks they were using but embraced the ones provided by the foundations as according to them,” it was airy, comfortable and designed according to standard”.
Eunice Abena Amoabea, the Project Coordinator, her part said the foundation had been trying to find masks to hand out but couldn’t and almost gave up the idea during the four week lock-down in the Greater Accra and Kumasi areas of Ghana until Ashirifia wear, at a short notice came forward to assist provide home-made masks from authentic Ghanaian fabrics
According to her “the money for the protective masks came via fund raising efforts, and Ashirifia wear also provided some of these masks for free as a way of giving back to the community.
“Partnerships and collaborations are good especially around this time therefore,we call on other organizations, individuals and well -meaning Ghanaians who believe in the cause for humanity to come on board so that we can make the needed impact together.
“For the hundreds of masks we hope to be receiving through the benevolence and generosity of our partners and their donations, the Rebekah Awuah Foundation plans to pass them to the needy community members and organizations.
“We encourage the media to support this initiative and entreat Ghanaians to reach out via email email@example.com and follow the Rebekah Awuah Foundation on all their social media handles @rafghana and @RAFgh7 to know the next intervention, get involved and serve your community”