Children and carers of the Accra based Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre (AACT) have been given a new lease of life with the construction of an ultramodern building donated by My Sister’s Keeper Foundation, Ghana.
The new centre was put up by My Sister’s Keeper Ghana, a foundation run by three daughters of President Akufo-Addo, namely; Gyankroma Akufo-Addo, Valerie Obaze and Edwina Akufo-Addo.
It could be recalled that in June 2017, President Akufo-Addo’s daughters joined forces with Glam Africa Magazine, to hold a fundraising ball to raise 250,000 Ghana Cedis to put the spotlight on autism and support scores of children with the neurodevelopmental disorder.
President Nana Akufo-Addo and the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo graced the event to encourage their children, who were focused on creating an impact-driven organization to give back to society and to help to build a safer and happier Nation.
According to Gyankroma Akufo-Addo, “it was imperative for Ghanaians to be educated about ASD (Autism Developmental Disorder) to stop the stigmatization that is usually associated with autism. It is sad that in Ghana, people attribute autism to witchcraft or juju and in the process, ostracize the affected persons instead of providing an enabling environment for them to be able to gain crucial therapy which would give them the independence to assimilate into ‘conventional’ society.”
For 22 years, the AACT, run by Mrs Serwah Quainoo, had leased a facility, taking wonderful care of these children, however in 2017, the Centre partnered with My Sister’s Keeper, to improve the conditions of their existing facility and upon much deliberation, the Foundation decided that a new building was pertinent to the growth and stability of the AACT and set about going beyond their initial goal of 250,000 GHS to eventually raise over $150,000 USD to make a bigger impact on the lives of the children and their carers!
A few years down the line, the new building, a 3-classroom facility with a sensory room and an administration centre, located at Haatso, has been constructed by the three siblings to help in the care for autistic children. Beyond the edifice visible to the naked eye, the foundation and infrastructure of the building have however been thoughtfully constructed for future expansions including:
• A twin L Shaped slab ready for an identical building to go up adjacent to the completed one with minimal effort and funding
• Installed earthworks, water pump, tank and septic suitable for an expansion of four times its existing size
• 2nd floor slab for expansion to the next floor without disturbing everyday usage of the ground floor.
• An interior equipped with ceiling fans, air conditioning, flooring, electricity, running water and other essential items that would make it a comfortable home for these children.
The Chairman of the Board of the Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre (AACT), Mrs Serwa Quaynor was full of gratitude to My Sisters Keepers and thanked them for allowing God to use them to provide such a facility for developing the amazing potential in our children with autism.
The Leader of the AACT Family said the entire family is most grateful for My Sisters Keepers becoming part of the AACT Family and supporting the children so graciously.
He said the new centre makes it possible for AACT to admit more children, and train each of them better because it has more room and resources suitable for their special needs.