If I were to eulogize the MTN Heroes of Change finalists

Georgina Asare9 Georgina Asare Fiagbenu

Wed, 23 May 2018 Source: Georgina Asare Fiagbenu

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride

To make it easier

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody’s searching for a hero

People need someone to look up to

I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs

A lonely place to be

And so I learned to depend on me

From Whitney Houston’s song: “Greatest love of all”

The words above can best describe the work of the MTN Heroes of Change finalists who were celebrated and honoured last Friday at the Accra International Conference Center.

They also best describe the story of the ultimate winner Naomi Esi Arku Amoah.

Her love for children got her to set up an orphanage that takes care of children, who have been abandoned or left to fend for themselves.

To the children she is the Hero they all look up to. The stories of the Heroes tell us that there are a lot of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Although it takes financial resources to do community work, it doesn’t just require funds. It all starts with a dream, a desire to right a wrong and to see a change in an unfavorable situation.

As Harriet Tubman puts it, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Tubman’s statement shows how dreamers are able to turn their dreams into reality by displaying a lot of strength and patience.

Very often the “helpers” have such a burning desire that if they don’t do anything they will not be able to sleep. That is called Passion.

The whole issue of social work begins with identifying a social problem, which demands an urgent action without which the affected people cannot have an enjoyable life.

The intervention of the helper may save someone from dying or will improve the person’s chances of living a better life.

It takes a lot of courage to step out and help people in need. There is always a fear that you will not be accepted. What if you fail? That is the question that prevents many people from taking an action.

There is a lot for us to learn from the MTN Heroes of Change. Like the young man Prince Oduro Williams, who mobilizes medical missions to villages in remote areas, it couldn’t have been more difficult.

Identifying people who need help, looking for funding, mobilizing resources, crossing rivers to provide that crucial live-saving interventions and sustaining the support doesn’t just happen.

It takes a lot of passion, compassion and patience to achieve that.

The work of the Heroes is diverse, rich and covers many areas of need.

The issue of street kids who need help, the plight of teenage mothers who need counselling, the unemployed mothers who need a source of livelihood and the young school leavers who lack employable skills are all areas that need intervention.

That is what Linat Kundaribuo, Ayesha Fuseini, Josephine Nettey and Rev Sanatu Nantogma did to help their communities.

Emmanuel Annobil decided to help people with mental illness, whilst Dr Attipoe provided an ICT center for his village.

Dr Dzifa Dey used her medical practice to form a support group for her patients whilst giving them an opportunity to network and find solace in each other’s friendship.

In life nothing gets done until you take a step.

There are many people who have a desire to do something but never get to do it.

They need to go beyond talking about it and move into taking action. Instead of spending time on things that do not count we can invest in meaningful initiatives that can turn some people’s situations around.

The story of some of the Heroes also gives credence to the belief some people have that adversity has advantages. This speaks to the story of Madam Serwaa Quaynor who formed the Autism Awareness Center when she realized she had an autistic child. Today she is helping many parents who are in similar situations.

So how can you also become a Hero? You can do that by helping solve a problem. For example we are all talking about the fact that reading is becoming an issue and both children and adults are not reading as much as they should. If you have so much passion for reading, you can turn that into a project.

You can start by reading to your own children and upscale it to reading to children in your community. Instead of throwing a party for your child you can choose to organize or sponsor a reading or spelling contest and donate prizes to winners.

So the spirit of heroism starts with a desire to helping people and to serve. Helping people is good but service goes beyond that.

But why are we not able to take action or do the things we have to do? Procrastination!

The only way of overcoming procrastination is taking immediate actions.

So to all those who are sitting back and saying “I wish I had taken this initiative” let’s just start it anyway because everything big you see today started very small.

So to all the 10 finalists of the MTN Heroes of Change, we applaud you for taking those initiatives you are championing today.

Because of your dedication, today we will not only say that your reward is in heaven. Fortunately, we are happy to see you receive your reward at the Conference Center by courtesy of the MTN Ghana Foundation.

Columnist: Georgina Asare Fiagbenu