Tag: GUBA Foundation


ABN TV honours Dentaa Amoateng MBE

Glowing tributes poured in from stars, family and friends at an intimate event organised by ABN TV, ABN Radio, Shipley Global Services and Christian Gottfried & Co Solicitors, for GUBA CEO – Dentaa Amoateng MBE on Thursday, 14th July 2016 in London. The event was in celebration of her appointment by Her Majesty the Queen as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Kofi Addo and Damptey Asare from the GHC with Dentaa

Kofi Addo and Damptey Asare from the GHC with Dentaa

The founder of GUBA Awards was among a privileged group of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom, whose achievements in diverse fields were celebrated in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2016. The award recognised her work in advancing relations between the United Kingdom and the African diaspora through her GUBA Enterprise that comprises of the GUBA Awards, the GUBA Foundation, GUBA Expo and the GUBA Careers Fair.

In her speech, Dentaa said the award is a reminder of the importance of following one’s dream and working hard to execute it daily.

“I am very delighted to be here in front of you all today. You all represent the reason why I am who I am and why GUBA has become a household name. The continued support and love that you continue to show me, my organisation and my family is beyond measure. I take this moment to say thank you! Thank you for the continuous encouragement, the business opportunities, the partnerships and most of all, for believing in me and in the dream. This MBE is an accolade I could have never imagined and I vow to work even harder towards the advancement of our people. I cannot thank my awesome team and family enough.”, she added.

Mr Damptey Asare, Head of Chancery at the Ghana High Commissioner to the UK acknowledged

Sponsors at the event

Sponsors at the event

“By this award you have brought honour to Ghana, you have brought honour to your family, friends, as well as the black community in the UK. I can say with confidence that you have been a source of inspiration to many young men and women in this community, and this award can only spur them on to aspire for something greater in their own lives. This award, Dentaa, is a recognition of your hard work, commitment and dedication to the UK Diaspora community. I therefore wish to say on behalf of His Excellency Mr. Victor Smith, the High Commissioner that the Ghana High Commission and the people of Ghana we are proud of your achievements.”

Hosts of the event ABN TV, Christian Gottfried and Shipley Global Services also shared their sentiments:

It is our pleasure to host this event in celebration of our friend and supporter Dentaa Amoateng. She is an inspirational woman and her organisation the GUBA Enterprise much like our company, is an excellent unifier of the African community in the UK. We look forward to many more achievements and to work towards our goal of improving our continent – Genevieve Awuku-Boateng, Head of Marketing ABN TV.

Team Behind Dentaa

Team Behind Dentaa

Dentaa Amoateng is a remarkable woman and we are honoured to sponsor this celebration of her MBE. She is an astounding individual tirelessly working to inspire and improve the African community in the UK. We know that there are greater accolades in store and we look forward to more partnerships. – Christian Gottfried Solicitors.

We are proud to be one of the partner sponsors of this evening in honour of Dentaa, she represents everything we stand for. We have watched with great admiration how Dentaa has grown professionally over the years. She is not just an example to the growth of the Ghanaian community but to me and women all over the world. – Shipley Global Services.

In her tribute, Paulette Simpson, Executive Director, The Voice Newspaper, called Mrs Amoateng a positive black female role model.

“Dentaa is not only for Africa but for the Caribbean too. She had a vision and followed it with passion and continues to achieve regardless of the barriers”, she said.

Councillor Olu Babatola, Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, who is the first

Cllr. Olu Babatola

Cllr. Olu Babatola

African Mayor of the Borough, said: “On behalf of Royal Greenwich I congratulate Dentaa on being recognised for an MBE. It is a wonderful achievement to receive such a prestigious award and well deserved for her work both locally and further afield.”

Statements were also read out on behalf of  the captain of Ghana National Football team, Asamoah Gyan and his wife Gifty, former First Lady, Mrs Cherie Blair, GUBA Patron Hugh Quarshie, celeb June Sarpong, Mrs Regina Sintim, the Ghana High Commission and the Trade Envoy to Ghana, MP Adam Afriyie.
The event was hosted by Comedian Eddie Kadi and it was an evening of celebration of African accomplishments and aspirations.

Gospel’s finest to determine the UK’s top youth choir

Sonnie Badu - Singspiration Judge

Sonnie Badu – Singspiration Judge

Renowned award-winning gospel artists Sonnie Badu and Guvna B have been announced as judges for the GUBA Foundation’s ‘SING OUT!: SINGSPIRATION’ – a brand new youth choir/gospel singing group competition held in aid of raising funds for the charity’s campaign to reduce infant mortality. Other confirmed judges for the competition include gospel artists Rebecca Amissah and Reverend Emmanuel Osei-Kofi. This premier event will see youth singing groups under the age of 35 competing for the crown of the UK’s best youth choir. 

 

Taking place on Saturday 19th December at the Greenwich Town Hall in Woolwich London, this televised event will see young choirs from across the UK battle it out in front of the judges and a capacity crowd to win the inaugural SINGSPIRATION Winner’s Trophy and the opportunity to perform at the next iteration of the GUBA family’s flagship event

Guvna B - Singspiration Judge

Guvna B – Singspiration Judge

– the GUBA Awards!  The competition promises to be emotive and enlightening, as efforts will be made throughout the evening

to highlight the issue of infant mortality and the importance of raising funds to provide lifesaving equipment to healthcare facilities in Ghana. 

Guvna B said, “I am thrilled to be part of an incredible judging team at what will be a phenomenal event, supporting the GUBA Foundation’s ground-breaking mission towards giving Ghana’s babies a better fighting chance at survival.”

The GUBA Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that has been active since 2012. Birthed from the success of the Ghana UK Based Achievement (GUBA) Awards, the charity was created to address the needs of the black and minority ethnic community in areas such as health, disability, education and poverty.  

 

Banner for GUBA Foundation Closing The Gap CampaignIn March 2015, the foundation embarked on a new mission, launching a project themed ’Closing the Gap’ to help reduce the

infant mortality rate in Africa. Ghana was chosen as the beneficiary country for this project as it has some of the most alarming infant mortality rates in the world. In 2014, there were a shocking 38.5 deaths of babies under the age of 1 per 1000 live births (Source: CIA World Factbook). Another horrifying depiction of the infant mortality rate of Ghana notes that close to 90 babies under the age of one month dies in Ghana each day, with one child under the age of one dying every 15 minutes. The majority of these deaths are preventable. As well as the contribution of disease, many deaths are due to inadequate availability of lifesaving equipment such as incubators in healthcare facilities.

Rebecca Amissah - Singspiration Judge

Rebecca Amissah – Singspiration Judge

Founder of the GUBA Foundation Dentaa Amoateng stressed the importance of the project stating, “It is an unspeakable tragedy that the majority of infant deaths are preventable,and are a result of system failures and inadequacies. No child should die because institutions in society, and its citizens, are not doing more to grant these babies their ultimate right of life. Therefore we must endeavour to fight to help save our babies.”  

All proceeds from the competition will help the Foundation purchase incubator systems, delivering them to various maternity facilities in Ghana and helping to assist in saving the lives of at-risk infants.  

 

To take part in ‘SING OUT!: SINGSPIRATION’ choirs with members under the age of 35 must send a short clip performing their favourite chorus to barbara@gubafoundation.org by Friday 30 October 2015.    

If you would like to donate to the ‘Closing the Gap’ campaign and help raise money for infant mortality in Ghana, please contact amma@gubafoundation.org or visit www.gubafoundation.org

 

By Barbara Baidoo & Dr. Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

Helping Them Win The First Fight Of Their Lives

The most dangerous day in a child’s life is the day that they are born.

Each year, more than one million babies die on the day of their birth. 98% of these deaths occur in the developing world.

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With stats like that, you can understand that babies are fighting against the tide from the minute they emerge into the word. Kicking, screaming, they put everything they have into taking that first gasp of air and inflating those preciously vulnerable lungs. Their senses are wildly overwhelmed by the symphony of bright lights  and dazzling sounds of the outer world for the first time. Their skin crackles against the bite of cold which makes a change from the months they spent in their mother’s warmth. They are outside the protection of their mother.

 

The survival cord broken.

The battle has begun.

 

This is not an easy process, regardless of where a baby is born. This makes it even more crucial that babies are given the tools they need, and the environment they require, to survive. For an unfortunate reality is that in Ghana and many other countries in the world, some babies need more of a helping hand in those first few minutes, hours, days and weeks…just to come out of that fight alive.

Infant mortality is the number of deaths between birth and babies exactly 1 year of age, expressed per 1000 live births. The Ghana infant mortality rate in 2014 according to the CIA World Factbook was 38.5. That works out at approximately one death of a baby in Ghana under the age of one every 15 minutes.

 

Infant-Mortality-6-300x300Every. 15. Minutes.

 

To give babies a fighting chance at life, they need expertise in their corner. Expertise which may be lacking due to lack of appropriately-trained healthcare workers or expertise which may be too far away for them to reach in time. They need technology and equipment; conditions such as hypothermia, respiratory distress and hypoxia require adequate treatment with medical devices such as incubators – but for many babies in Ghana, even these options are unavailable.

It is unfortunate that in many areas in Ghana, relatively simple interventions for conditions which are highly-treatable may not be available. It becomes more critical when you appreciate that the majority of neonatal deaths are due to preventable causes, such as infectious diseases which could be immunised against.

 

Disparities don’t stop with Ghana/Sub-Saharan Africa and the majority of the Western World however. You would be surprised to find that there is a chapter being written on the shores of the UK as well. According to ‘Facts and Figures on Infant Mortality & Stillbirths’ by Public Health England, ‘non-white ethnicity’ is independently associated with increased UK infant mortality.

The London Health Observatory found that one of the five most important factors associated with infant death in London is being borne of Afro-Caribbean heritage. Mothers of Black origin are TWICE as likely to have their baby die before their first birthday as their white counterparts. So even when black babies have access to better sanitation and healthcare, noticeable disparity remains in infant mortality amongst our babies compared to Caucasian babies here in the UK! Many reasons have been given to try and rationalise this: increased teenage pregnancy rates in black communities, a mistrust of healthcare and an unwillingness to present to clinic, etc. But the fact remains, that there is a gap.

 

A gap which the GUBA Foundation aims to address and is desperate to close.

 

However in order to close the gap, the Foundation needs your help. This is a momentous project, with the potential to change the landscape of healthcare in Ghana and amongst the BME in the UK forever. It’s going to take more than wordplay. Ideas are needed, as well as innovation, support, energy, and resources.

For the GUBA Foundation passionately remembers babies of Ghanaian and UK BME heritage. They remember those babies who were carried but never met. They remember those held but not taken home; those who came home but could not stay. They take up this fight in their memory, to safeguard future generations. Their memory puts fire in their bellies, intensifying our sense of responsibility. Because the GUBA Foundation fervently believes every baby deserves an equal shot at life, regardless of where Infant-Mortality-2-300x214they’re born and to whom they are born.

Help spare women from the most unimaginable pain a mother can bear. Help aid babies in need. Help remove the danger. Help make that first birthday a day of celebration to many more, and help make that first day the best day. Help make sure that many more babies come out of that first fight of their lives victorious, having been born with a winning corner.

Help Close the Gap on Infant Mortality.

You can support the GUBA Foundation’s ‘Closing The Gap’ project by kindly donating via justgiving.com/gubafoundation, or send a cheque made payable to GUBA Foundation, 19 John St. London WC1N 2DL (including a letter with your cheque stating your name and address). You can also donate up to £10 by texting GUBA00 followed by the amount donated to 70070 (e.g. GUBA00 £10).


By Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

Home Truths for the Homeland

Accra-floods

Accra Floods

Watching the Accra floods unfold across my TV and across social media timelines, a sadness and anger triggered within me. And frustration. And a realisation. As much as we love Ghana and for all we have achieved in recent years, there are home truths we’ve not been paying enough attention to. The cedi’s value has become a shambolic mess. Oil we apparently struck a few years back – what happened to the money? Infant/maternal mortality is another simmering issue which charities such as the GUBA Foundation are helping bring to the spotlight. The quality of schooling is poor, as has been recently publicised.

And don’t get me started on dumsor, an issue which is proving to be a terminal illness to business around the country and is as tiresome as the daily debate around it and the attempts to resolve it.

 

In June 2015, The Wall Street Journal noted the following – ‘[Accra is] perhaps the continent’s best example of an urban middle class. In 2011 it was the 2nd-fastest growing economy on EARTH…but [even then] below the city, its infrastructure was crumbling. Power has been off TWO-THIRDS of the time since January, because until recently Accra received almost all of its electricity from a 49-year old hydrodam that hadn’t been getting enough rain. Stop lights are frequently out, jamming up roads that haven’t been broadened. Ports are perpetually backlogged. And the city sewers are especially old…many of them dating back to the British colonial rule.’

 

That excerpt illuminates the fact that the floods in Accra, which produced images akin to a Hollywood disaster film, was a disaster waiting to happen – a landmine lying in wait beneath our foundations, for the right amount of pressure to trigger things to explode and implode.

IMG_5139And this is the crux of the problem. There are issues in Ghana that have been there from the days of Kwame Nkrumah. That’s not good enough. Nkrumah planned to get the Akosombo dam built to match demand at the time; not to meet demand in the future! The dam wasn’t *the* dream; it was the *beginnings* of a dream, for Ghana to start being more self-sufficient, stable and increasingly productive. The issue is we’ve accepted that standard as our ceiling. That standard was set 60 years ago you know. 60 years…

You see, my issue is that it’s not every day ‘build a Trasacco Valley’ or West Hills Mall to act like Ghana is ‘ballin’’, thinking that’s indicative of success. It’s not. Ghana rather needs to prioritise and concentrate on things which may seem simple, but as these floods have shown, are vital. We need to focus on investing and developing the fundamentals.

Things like electricity, water, roads and transport, education, hospitals and healthcare services

…but no. We want to make ourselves look better than we are by building residential areas where only the rich & powerful can afford to live, and building malls where only the rich can afford to shop.

 

Ghana is focused on building its roof when we haven’t even finished laying the foundations –  and that’s a crying shame. That’s why we have cholera outbreaks in Accra, by-the-renewing-of-your-mind-how-to-have-a-strong-foundation-1200x1161why large swathes of the country go without power for days. And that’s why we had a situation like the flood crisis – it was a system failure more than a natural disaster, exposing the fact that despite the energy and resources we’ve put into paving our roof, our house is infested and the foundations aren’t sound.

Our priorities need to change. For we need to realise the truths and stop the cyclical behaviours which fail to demand accountability from those in power and allow us to become complacent and accept inefficiencies as the status quo. Only then, will we finally be set free and realise the perfectness of the Independence dream.

 

By Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

GUBA FOUNDATION EMBARKS ON CAMPAIGN TO SAVE BABIES

The GUBA Foundation, an African charity organization based in the United Kingdom has launched a campaign to raise funds to purchase incubators for deprived hospitals in Ghana.

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The campaign dubbed “Closing the Gap- Infant Mortality” is aiming at acquiring incubators to distribute to hospitals in Ghana to reduce the number of babies who die within a few days of birth due to inadequate equipment.

Out of a 1000 babies born each year in Ghana, 29 die within the first month of birth and 38 of those that survive the first month do not live to see their first birthday.

 

About 166 infants die each year before the age of one in deprived communities in the Brong Ahafo, Northern and Upper West regions of Ghana.

According to a report by Joy FM, an Accra-based radio station, 19 babies died at the Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital in Ghana from January to April of this year because the only incubator in the hospital broke down last year and has not been replaced.

The report said hospital officials are using surrogate wooden incubators fitted with bulbs to preserve the lives of new born babies. A situation which beggars believe in this day and age of technology and more especially in a country like Ghana.

The Chief Executive Officer and Founder of GUBA Foundation, Dentaa, said; “it would be an unprecedented form of inhumanity if citizens of this world do not react to this catastrophe.

No child should die because institutions in society, and its citizens consciously denied them their ultimate right of life. We must do the little we can to help save these children”.

GUBA Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to address problems and issues relating to poverty, disability and health in Ghanaian and African communities in the United Kingdom and Ghana. The Foundation’s vision is to provide awareness, support, and guidance to the families, encourage strong community cohesion and ensure that communities have access to the services that they require.

 Through its mother organization-GUBA (Ghana UK Based Achievement) Awards and its successful non-profit business and innovation awards, the charity has developed a reputation for transforming ideas into reality and embracing new challenges. The foundation has previously supported children and families living with Autism.

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 We are appealing to all communities worldwide to help the foundation achieve its goal of reducing infant mortality by donating incubators or any amount in the three ways outlined below:

  1. Please donate a maximum of £10 by simply texting the word GUBA00 followed by the amount to 70070 e.g. GUBA00 £10
  2. Visit our fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/gubafoundation/
  3. You can also send a cheque, made payable to GUBA Foundation, to 459 Prince Regents Lane, London E16 3HX. Please include a letter with your cheque stating your name and address.

 

Media Contacts:

George Ameyaw

GUBA Awards

Head of PR/ Marketing/ Sponsorship

Email: George@gubaawards.co.uk

Mobile: 00447956945360

 

Reginald Ofori Kyere

Email: reggie@gubafoundation.org

Mobile: (+233) 0546093969

 

Website: www.gubafoundation.org

Twitter: @GUBAFOUNDATION

 

 

Infant Mortality

Infant Mortality is the death of children less than one year of age. Infant Mortality Rate is the probability of a child dying between birth and exactly one year of age, expressed by 1000 live births. Infant Mortality Rate in Africa is 60 deaths per 1000 live births, five times higher than Europe where just 11 infants die out of a 1000 births. Ghana`s Infant Mortality rate stands at 38 deaths per 1000 live births. Overall, Ghana`s Child Mortality Rate(  Children who die before the age of five) is 78 deaths per 1000 live birth, far from its Millennium Development Goal Target of 43 deaths per 1000 live births as at 2015.

 

 About GUBA Foundation

GUBA Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to address problems and issues relating to poverty, disability and health in Ghanaian and African communities in the United Kingdom and Ghana. The Foundation’s vision is to provide awareness, support, and guidance to the families, encourage strong community cohesion and ensure that communities have access to the services that they require.

 

 Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_GHANA)

GUBA Foundation Autism Awareness Seminar 17/05/2014

GUBA Foundation Supporting the community!

With three successful events already in pocket, the GUBA Foundation has responded to high demand from those living with autism for more opportunities to spread awareness. On Saturday 17th May, the GUBA Foundation will hold its fourth awareness event – a forum where specialists in child behaviour and development will engage with families living with autism.

Autism affects one in every 100 people in the UK, with over 100,000 people living with the condition come from black or ethnic minority (BME) communities. Despite this substantial figure, people from the BME community are typically diagnosed later than their Caucasian counterparts, and face an increased uphill struggle trying to seek support.

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The aforementioned awareness event will connect those affected to specialists and service providers, allowing families and loved ones to share their experiences with experts in the field, share inspirational and motivational testimonials with an attentive crowd, and also help throw more light on the developmental condition. This is something that is especially required in a BME community rife with stigma and misconceptions about Autism – misconceptions which hinder efforts to manage autistic people effectively in the community.

The GUBA Foundation stands upon four defining objectives:

To connect families living with autism within the community to each other, encouraging networks of support.

To provide support and guidance to parents and carers, connecting them to services that can help.

To deliver culturally sensitive Autism training and provide awareness to the specified community

To highlight the achievements, gifts and unknown talents of people with Autism

Events such as this fourth awareness event bring the foundation even closer to achieving these goals.

While all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. And events like this aim to dispel harmful ideologies by showing as Dentaa proclaimed after the successful previous event that ‘having autism is not the end of the world, but just the beginning…and the inspirational testimonials from our speakers are living proof of that!’ Every autistic child is unique with a wealth of talent that needs to be identified and supported. With good coordinated support between education, family and supporting agencies, fostered by events such as this one, autistic children can thrive and achieve excellence.

This new instalment of what has historically proved to be a fascinating and engaging event will take place at the Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA, with proceedings starting at midday on Saturday 17th May. Entry to the event will be FREE.

So if you or someone you know lives with autism, please don’t miss this opportunity to attend what will be a fulfilling and extraordinary event. Visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/guba-foundation-seminar-for-parents-and-carers-affected-by-autism-tickets-11064246459 to book tickets, and please patronise the opportunity to spread awareness of the event amongst friends and family members.

www.gubafoundation.org

Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

From the UK to Ghana: Bridging The Gap – Managing Autism

AACT and GUBA Foundation striving to manage Autism for the Better

Mrs Serwah Quaynor noticed something.

autism 2

She had been struggling to cope with raising a child with Autism: a developmental impairment of communication, socialisation and creative play. It is a spectrum disorder of many different subsets, which presents at childhood – a lifelong impairment of development which can only be managed, not cured. The condition affects one in every 100 people in the UK, which means that over 100,000 people living with the condition come from black or ethnic minority (BME) communities.

Autism presents many difficulties in a social context, where it is common to find autistic people display difficulty in forming friendships or even displaying affection. Autism, along with its pitfalls and difficulties, can also present with amazing nuances, with approximately 10% of autistic people excelling in a specific skill set at a level far above average e.g. calendar calculation, photographic memory or the ability to disassemble/reassemble complex constructs.

Autism is an extremely complex spectrum disorder, with an incredible amount of variation observable from patient-to-patient. This makes it a condition where a great deal of intricate specialist need is required to manage it adequately. Mrs Quaynor had become all too aware of the difficulties in managing a child with Autism; the nuances of dealing with a child with Autism; the specialist support her child needed.

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Specialist support, which she noticed was few and far between in Ghana

Many would have remained sitting down, bemoaning the deficiencies in the world around them. But like all great people, Mrs Quaynor decided that if there was a lack in the system, she would take the initiative to resolve it. To make life easier for herself, and the many families struggling with Autism.

Enter the Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre, set up by Mrs Quaynor in 1998 to cater to the needs of Autistic children/young adults and their families. She utilised her own need as a platform to reach down and help those in similar need. This organisation has done incredible work over the years to make autistic everyday life a little easier to manage. And such organisations are ably supported by ventures such as the GUBA Foundation, the not-for-profit gorgeous creation of the much-renowned and multitalented Dentaa Amoateng, who has been featured here on the Me Firi Ghana Blog.

Based in the UK, GUBA Foundation has done tremendous work in bridging the gap of autism awareness in the UK and in Ghana. GUBA Foundation’s 2014 mission is clear. It’s time for Ghana to be dragged kicking and screaming into the upper echelons of autism awareness, to create better lives and better opportunities for autism families and patients. As Dentaa points out “Attitudes to autism in Ghana remain an obstacle against empowering communities. People still have no idea what Autism is and those that do know still believe that it is linked to curses. Stigmatisation is such a problem that some parents would rather prefer to hide these special children than have them live freely within their community. It’s a really worrying situation and the main reason why the GUBA Foundation is taking the autism awareness session we have been doing in the UK to Ghana in 2014

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Dentaa makes a great point, and it’s a point I have made in the past. Education is the key to change. The drive to make things better and make things happen is non-existent if people are not aware that such a need exists. The GUBA Foundation is planning to take its autism message to Ghana in a week-long campaign which will include bringing autism experts to Ghana, visiting autism schools and churches, and training workshops for parents to boost their understanding of the condition.

The AACT and the GUBA Foundation are putting in hard work to help drive out misconceptions and create a better and more tolerable lifestyle for those who deal with Autism every day. We also must strive to knock down the misconceptions about the condition which are rife in our community. We all have work to do, to bridge the gap, and help manage autism better

Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

For more information about autism, symptoms and causes, as well as initiatives you can take part in to support increased awareness and help out those with autism and their families, please visit http://www.gubafoundation.org/ & http://www.aact.org.gh/ #BridgeTheGap.