The Central Tongu District in the Volta Region of Ghana, like many other areas worldwide, has its share of challenges. Amidst these, some individuals continually inspire hope, bringing light during dark times.
One such individual is Evelyn Agbese, a beacon of hope for young Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs), women, children, and the vulnerable in her community.
The critical subject of dealing with Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) is often neglected in Ghana. UNICEF reports that over 5 million Ghanaians have a form of disability, with the majority being children and the youth. These PLWDs often face numerous challenges, including lack of access to quality healthcare, education, and facing social stigmatization and discrimination.
Evelyn Agbese, a resilient advocate for PLWDs, has centered her mission around changing this narrative. This dynamic woman is breathing new life of optimism into the lives of PLWDs, the vulnerable including women, and children in the Central Tongu District.
She established the non-governmental, non-partisan, and non-denominational Mama Lynn Charity Foundation in 2012 with the goal of giving children, adults, and people with disabilities (PLWDs), as well as the weak in the neighbourhood and beyond, a new sense of hope.
The organization seeks to empower women, children, and the vulnerable in an inclusive participation in development through training and promoting guidance and counseling, psychosocial counseling, women’s advocacy, pre- and post-marital counseling, community development programs, as well as clinical and drug counseling in the community and beyond.
Prior to establishing Mama Lynn Foundation, Evelyn has volunteered with a number of leading women’s and girls’ rights advocacy organizations, including the Women in Law and Development for Africa (WiLDAF) Ghana and the Planned Parenthood Association (PPAG), including serving as the Coordinator of Global Women Development Promoters (GLOWDEP).
She is a marriage and psychosocial counselor and an early childhood teacher in the Central Tongu District. Aside from that, she works as an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADRS) practitioner and an educator.
Over the past decade, she has relentlessly worked on programs that assist PLWDs, women, children, and the vulnerable in society. Evelyn’s initiatives extend to support education programs, livelihood enhancement projects, and initiatives to check gender-based violence.
She has launched several community projects to support the marginalized, with remarkable success.
One of her initiatives, ‘Hope For The People’ – has brought hope and confidence back to 150 orphans, including victims of adolescent pregnancy, rape, the hopeless, and the stigmatized in the Central Tongu District and beyond, just to mention a few.
Through her tireless advocacy work, support came through for a 6-year-old girl child (PLWD) to access an orthopaedic medical surgery to correct a deformity with her legs, one of her key achievements that she prides herself on. This intervention became a reality with the support of Sustainable Development Alliance (SusDa-gh), an NGO backed by the Central Tongu District Assembly.
Acknowledging the hardships PLWDs often encounter in getting access to wheelchairs, she assisted by mobilizing support for twenty (20) persons living with disabilities in the community to be provided with wheel chairs to aid their easy locomotion and convenience.
This gesture became possible through the support of three NGOs, including the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation-Accra, SusDa-gh and Global Women Development Promoters (GLOWDEP), with the support of the Central Tongu District.
Under the messiah’s ‘ Hope For The People’, Evelyn and her able team of volunteers embarked on monitoring activities and conducted engagements, including sensitizing various schools in the Central Tongu District on issues relating to human rights, gender, sexual, and reproductive health rights.
Beyond empowering PLWDs, Evelyn is strongly committed to promoting women’s rights and championing the cause to end violence against women and children. She has also been instrumental as a staunch advocate for women’s and girls’ rights in providing counseling and psychosocial support to victims of teenage pregnancy and raped girls in the community and beyond with the support of WiLDAF Ghana and GLOWDEP among others.
She established the Women’s Empowerment Program, which offers food and clothing to 20 widows and six visually challenged children (orphans) in the Central, South, and North Tongu Districts, respectively. By enhancing their means of subsistence through microcredit programs and business training, it further empowers women.
Utilizing local radio to educate the public, especially women and young girls, about their rights and responsibilities with regard to their sexual and reproductive health, family laws, and marriage is another crucial strategy used by the Mama Lynn Foundation to change minds and transform Central Tongu.
The Foundation currently intends to carry out the following actions in the course of its responsibilities in order to effect the necessary change:
- Organize sensitization programs both at a venue and on radio in the three Tongu Districts and parts of the Volta Region.
- Support some young ones with school uniforms in most of the schools within the Central Tongu District.
- Organize talk shows to sensitize the community folks particularly the youth on violence, drug abuse, discrimination etc. in the communities and…
- Engage in a charity drive to raise funds and donate some items to support widows, orphans and some other vulnerable persons within the district.
Evelyn Agbese, the founder and CEO of the Mama Lynn Foundation, is pleading for help on the grounds that achieving the aforementioned objectives would require aid from donors, well-meaning individuals, charitable organizations, institutions, NGOs, and CSOs, as well as the government. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call:+233(0)548665114/+233(0) 246874033 to speak to her directly.
Evelyn’s efforts and dedication to improving the lives of PLWDs, women, and children are a monument to the incredible capacity of people to overcome hardship and inspire optimism.
Her commitment was recently recognized as a sign of excellence when the prestigious Central Tongu Excellence Awards named her as one of the five outstanding women of the Central Tongu District in honor of women’s virtue on this year’s International Women’s Day.
She never lets her physical constraints stand in the way of her pursuit of societal improvements, inspiring others with her evident spirit of perseverance.
In essence, Evelyn Agbese is a shining example of how individuals can ignite change despite life’s adversities. Her selfless service towards PLWDs, women, and children in the Central Tongu District brings a ray of hope. She turns the hardships and challenges she faces into a force of good, inspiring us all to play our part in creating a more inclusive society.
We can all learn from Evelyn’s determination, resilience, and her desire to bring change in society. If hope truly resides in the human spirit, Evelyn Agbese’s story is surely proof that the flame of hope burns bright, even in the darkest corners.
Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor