Before the novel COVID-19 virus hit the shores of Ghana, United Way Ghana was already collaborating with Standard Chartered Bank Ghana under our overarching program, Improving Basic Education (IBE). This partnership was initiated to improve the teaching and learning engagements of teachers and young learners while providing parents and caregivers the necessary tools to make them financially literate and self-reliant.
When the shutdown of schools made it impossible to go through with the IBE program, our collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) evolved to support the vulnerable communities under our COVID-19 Response Initiative. Through our partnership with SCB, we will be supporting the parents and caregivers of the wards in the Kanda Cluster of schools by providing them with relief packages and engaging their young learners in a remote reading program for an entire month. These relief packages contain essential foodstuffs like rice, gari, beans, sugar, mackerel, soap, oil, and tin tomatoes and sanitary items for the household.
Soon after this agreement, SCB presented relief packages worth GHC85,000.00 for 300 households in Ruga, Kawukudi, and Maamobi with the promise of beginning remote literacy engagements in the coming weeks. Mr. Nimfah- Essuma, the Chief Financial Officer of Standard Chartered Ghana, commented during the presentation, “Having operated in Ghana for more than 120 years, we are committed to supporting our communities and the country at large during such dire times of need. Our immediate goal is to deliver relief measures to support the most vulnerable, and it is the reason we have partnered with United Way to address the needs of the most impacted. “We shall continue mobilizing our resources to support the most vulnerable,” he added.
Aside from having wards in Kanda Cluster of Schools, the beneficiaries receiving these packages are parents and caregivers who depend on the school feeding program to provide meals for their children.
To ensure the safety of all present we adopted the social distancing protocols recommended by the World Health Organization and the Ghana Ministry of Health. Before entering, beneficiaries had to wash their hands with soap and water. Then when called, enter into the building to show their coupon before receiving their package. The look of relief on faces humbled all present. It was obvious that for most, this was God sent. “I am very thankful to have known Standard Chartered Bank and United Way Ghana, this package is going to make my family very happy today”, commented one man after receiving his package. A young learner sent by his mother said, “When my mother asked me to come, I was anxious because I did not know what to expect. Now I am happy I came, my little brothers and sisters will have good food to eat. You have really helped us”.
Most of the volunteers teared up after his comment, “I am lucky I get to do this, it has been a very humbling experience for me. I am not going to forget this anytime soon. I appreciate my parents providing for me and my siblings” commented Mary-Anne, a volunteer with United Way Ghana. In attendance at the distribution centers were volunteers and staff from United Way Ghana, Mother of All Nations, Muslim Family Counselling Services, and Achievers Ghana.
There were solemn moments during the distribution when it became apparent that these beneficiaries were receiving what they felt was a lifeline. Louisa Mensah, Resource Mobilization and Donor Retention Lead commented, “It has been a fulfilling experience, the gratitude the beneficiaries showered on us makes me believe that these packages will go a long way to provide sustenance for their families”.
With schools still suspended, the staff of Standard Chartered Bank will be engaging young learners of these beneficiaries through our remote reading program. We expect the young learners will be ready to be engaged and eager to learn.
With each engagement, our goal to support underserved communities under our COVID-19 Response Initiative becomes a reality. We have a long way to go in reaching our overarching goals but we continue to press on and know that each donation makes a difference in the lives of many people.
You can join us by going to https://unitedwaygh.org/united-way-ghana-COVID-19.php to find out more information,