For many physically challenged, it is a daily struggle to even survive and fend for themselves, but for Louisa Enyonam Ansah, her survival is secondary to the survival and happiness of other physically challenged, especially children.
For more than two decades, Madam Enyonam, as she is usually referred to in the community of Nsawam-Otoase, has given hope and a future to many children who hitherto would have become beggars or society’s failures.
As a teacher and through her Enyonam Short Foundation, which is self-funded, Madam Enyonam has been accommodating children with disabilities, giving them an education and possibly helping them look at life in a positive light.
Asked why she decided to take up this mantle, she explained that as a physically challenged person, she did not go through life easily and so she figured out that almost all the people with disability will be in similar situations.
“When I got here, (Nsawam-Otoase) I told myself that I need a land to build a school and which people with disabilities will one day attend and feel at home. So that the way I went through school which was not easy for me, they will find it a little bit easy to access the school and get to whatever level they want to attain,” Madam Enyonam disclosed.
She continued, “Also, in Ghana, most schools are not disability-friendly, so if you are not determined to go to school no matter what, then you will hardly get education. With all these, I get motivated to build something and help people like myself. As you can already see, they are some kids here I have been staying with for years who are also disabled like myself.”
Madam Enyonam indicated that her project, which she funds from the little salary she earns as a professional teacher, is basically to help and support people living with disabilities like herself.
Currently, all the children in her care go to their various schools, even though they all stay with her. She is, therefore, working on building a school that would have classes from crèche to primary and even to the JHS level to help them.
Apart from helping people with disabilities, Madam Enyonam helps the entire community when the need arises. This led her to extend the source of water to the community. With her help, the community of Nsawam-Otoase now has water running constantly.
Currently, she is one of the persons being celebrated by MTN Heroes of Change, a project which seeks to unearth and celebrate the thousands of selfless people doing amazing things in communities across Ghana.