Akua Addae was on a lonely journey with eight children and no way to provide for them until she met workers from OM Ghana.
Acceptance, care and love are basic needs everyone should have fulfilled, but for Akua Addae from Ghana, they were never part of life.
Life was hard even with her own family. Her father died when she was young, and she was 18 when she got engaged. Though there was no support from her family and Akua didn’t attend school, she managed to learn sewing, but there was no one to help her after her apprenticeship.
Akua thought it was good news when she met her “husband”. He didn’t marry her but had six children with her, among them two sets of twins. He neglected his responsibilities towards her and their children and accused her often of cheating on him with other men. Any little provocation resulted in beatings.
“The man had no mercy,” Akua said. “He will beat me mercilessly and even the children. Sometimes he will walk me out of the house to the streets. I had to stay with friends.”
Life became worse for her and her six children when the man impregnated another woman and married her. The man vowed to mistreat Akua until she would leave the house. In this way, he would not be responsible to set her up in business, as the local custom demands.
Akua had to return home when she was unable to bear the hardship any longer. She stayed with her mother, who later died. No one took care of her, and her children had to drop out of school. Akua then became pregnant again from a man who promised to take care of her and the children. They had two children, but this man didn’t marry her either. By age 32, Akua had given birth to eight children.
The team in Ghana found her during a community awareness programme led by Grace Insaidoo, the wife of OM Ghana Field Leader Christopher Insaidoo. Team members decided to help, and now, six of the children are enrolled in school and participate in the educational sponsorship programme.
Akua was given a small financial gift to start a sewing business, which she manages from her home. She has not yet built a steady client base, so for the sake of Akua’s eight children, OM Ghana seeks to raise $1,300 US dollars to improve their living conditions.
To visit Akua now and see her children in school, you would witness something new that wasn’t there before: hope, joy, happiness and strength.
At one point, when the team visited, she asked them with tears of joy in her eyes, “Why me? What have I done to deserve such love from unknown people? My children are my only hope, and I looked at them suffering, walking around as their peers were going to school. But today, I have come to see them in school, something I never believed could have happened so soon.”