Each day, 77-year-old Lawrence Lotsu rides almost 30 miles on his bicycle from his home in Dodowa in Ghana’s Eastern Region to Osu in the Greater Accra Region. There, he makes his way to HelpAge Ghana to join his friends, 75-year-old Eleanor and 69-year-old Quarcoo, for a day of conversation and laughter.
HelpAge Ghana is an advocacy organization that supports senior citizens through income-generating projects, training programs, and health services. It also enhances the quality of life of its patrons by providing a new sense of purpose and companionship.
“I certainly get lonely and I know a lot of older people feel lonely too,” Lawrence says.
“It helps to have somewhere to go every day. I feel like a part of society when I set out on my bike to meet with my friends and other pensioners at HelpAge. As a retired electrical technician and IT fanatic, I enjoy showing people my age how to use cell phones and computers.”
Thanks to Newmont Ghana, the organization is now able to help even more people like Lawrence through its recently established recreational center. Newmont donated several items, including furniture, household electrical appliances, carpets and curtains, to furnish HelpAge Ghana’s new multi-purpose day centre at Teshie, which provides the elderly a comfortable environment to socialize, volunteer, and receive services.
The donation was facilitated by United Way Ghana (UWG) through its Gifts in Kind Program, which connects corporations with non-profit organizations to help communities. Two other non-profits, Share Care Ghana and Street Girls Aid, also benefited from Newmont Ghana’s philanthropy.
In addition to helping the elderly, through Newmont’s donation to Share Care Ghana, children with physical disabilities now have a refurbished physiotherapy facility. Also, girls and young mothers who are living on the streets in Accra are now in a better position to improve their lives, thanks to the catering equipment donated to Street Girls Aid for training purposes.
Long-time collaborators Newmont Ghana and UWG have worked together since 2006 on various community service initiatives, including United Way’s Day of Caring and Newmont Ghana’s Workplace Giving Program, where employees give their time and a portion of their salaries to worthy causes.
Lawrence and the other HelpAge Ghana patrons now have a lot to look forward to when next they regroup at their recreational facility.