Women in the Port and Maritime industry are leading the charge to elevate the socio-economic status of deprived communities as much as they can within their capabilities.
The Port Ladies Association (PLASS), which is made up of all the dynamic female employees of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, have just given a meaning to giving back to support their society by reaching out to the less-privileged in some educational institutions.
The Port Ladies visited the Okuapeman Secondary School, and the Akropong School of the Blind, to inspire and offer support to the students, especially the visually impaired, who are also struggling financially to support their schooling.
At the Okuapeman Secondary School, the Headmaster said the institution has placed greater importance to the Visually Impaired Section of the school, and continually looking for ways to improve the learning conditions of the students of the section.
However, the school needs assistance to further that course which is why it calls upon corporate organisations and associations to come to their aid.
The Department Head outlined some of the specific challenges of the Visually Impaired School, which include, inadequate learning equipment as the population grows, electricity challenges, as well as the need for more dormitory facilities to house the students. He called for GPHA and other corporate organisations to help provide support in the area of infrastructure to grow the school.
“Whenever we are writing examination we have power interruptions. The school has only one big plant for the entire school community which consumes a lot of fuel, but we have to resort to it, and these students of this section use a lot of hours to write their tests. We need smaller and energy-efficient equipment to help during these outages. Also, if we could get a big bungalow for them, because they travel from far in the villages in taxis and it is costly. We plead that you engage with other stakeholders who can come to our aid to provide us with furniture as well,” he listed.
The President of the Port Ladies Association, Philippa Amanda Armah assured of continues support from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority in helping to meet the needs of the underprivileged.
“We actually publicize to our visit here very much, we are hopeful that we continue to receive support for this department that we have taken upon ourselves to support and we hope that we continue to receive more items to give from time to time,” she said.
Rachel Boakye Yiadom, a visually impaired public relations officer of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, whose service the company has benefitted from for more than a decade, and also happens to be an alumnus of the school, encouraged the young students to keep persevering to acquire a good education in order to improve upon their lives and that of their families.
“Some decades ago, I was a formal student of this school, little did I know that I would ever come here to stand and do such a thing. I took inspiration from a verse of the school anthem. So as I have returned to help I want to encourage you to do your best so you can come back and help the next generation as well” she said
At Akropong School for the Blind, the Headmaster, asked for more support from corporate organizations, to allocate some section of the Corporate Social Responsibility to helping deprived institutions such as the School for the blind, so that the visually impaired youth can be adequately trained to participate meaningfully in society.
“We need this kind of support and it’s the government support cannot do it alone. So we need the support of benevolent organizations or groups or individuals. Helping these children will make them be on their feet and become responsible citizens,” he appealed.
The Port Ladies donated to the two schools, bags of rice, oil, fish, mattresses, toiletries, sanitary pads, cleaning and washing detergents, some clothes, and mobile phones for teachers, as well special sponsorship to specific needy students.