German-based philanthropists donate to Sawla SHS fire victims
Some German-based Philanthropists, Doctor Marita and Friends have responded to appeals from Ghana for support by donating relief items worth €2,500 to the victims in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District of the Savannah Region.
It would be recalled that on Wednesday, 26th October and Wednesday 2nd November, last year, two separate fire incidents gutted two dormitories of the Sawla SHS girl’s hostel and destroyed a number of items that belonged to the students and the school.
The damage, which involved infrastructure, learning materials, clothing, beds and fans among others, is said to cost several thousands of cedis.
The package which covers all 32 victims includes; two sets of school uniforms, two sewing machines, a set of underwear, a pair of footwear, six cakes of toilet soap and three sanitary pads each.
The rest are; a customised suitcase, core textbooks, bed spreadsheets, mathematical set, pens, and deodorants and toilet soaps.
The move was first initiated by a former headmistress of the school, Evelyn Nabiah, who after learning about the school’s difficulties, appealed to the public for assistance by posting pictures of the catastrophe on her Whatsapp status.
During her presentation, Evelyn Nabiah said that “Doctor Marita and Friends from Germany by this gesture, encourage you (students) not to give up as life is more precious than anything that you can think of and I need you to be consoled,” she stated.
She added that moments after her attention was drawn to the fate of the students, “I asked for the pictures and when I saw the disaster, I felt very bad. And the question is, how were we going to survive it?
So, I posted the pictures on my WhatsApp status appealing to people to come to the aid of Sawla SHS and help them. Dr Marita then picked it up and started raising funds among her friends.
“So, all these things you see here they are from the donors from Germany,” she indicated.
Madam Nabiah also explained that an amount of €2,500 was raised by the group from Germany and sent to Ghana for the items to be purchased and customised.
As part of the arrangements, a seamstress was dispatched from Bole to the school for measurements of the victims for their uniforms and sandals. All 32 suitcases came with all the necessary initials of the beneficiaries.
Receiving the items on behalf of Ghana Education Service, the headmaster of the school, Issahaku A. Janhafu expressed gratitude to the donors and Evelyn Nabiah for lifting what he described as part of a heavy burden off the shoulders of Management and prayed to the public for more support.
He bemoaned that, “the students in the affected block could only survive with only the uniforms they were wearing. We were still working on this first problem (first incident), counseling them and a week later, there was a second fire outbreak in the same hostel and this time the other side of the block and all the items of 14 students were completely burnt,” he explained.
Touching on the possible cause of the fire, Janhafu said personnel from Ghana National Fire Service visited the scene and after their research, attributed the cause of the fire to an electrical fault, ” and for the second fire outbreak, they (GNFS)noted that somebody might have intentionally set the building ablaze”, he said.
“GHC72,360.00, that’s the students’ belongings, our beds and few fans that were there. However, if you add the cost of the destroyed building, fire service came out with GHC2,222,360.00 , “he explained.
The Headmaster further stated that as part of the disaster, all 32 girls have been relocated to the vacant boy’s dormitories, adding that “We are still battling with our issues. Stakeholders have visited us and made a lot of promises that are yet to come”.
The Parish Priest of Sawla, Father Martin Mousangnayir urged the victims to back the donors with prayers for the gesture. He appealed to the public to stop speculating and tagging others as those behind the disaster at the school.
“I heard somebody saying that it was madam headmistress (former headmistress of Sawla SHS) who caused the fire outbreak. Can you imagine this? Is it not a wicked saying and I think that in society if we behave like this it’s not right.
If she would cause that, would she take the task of bringing it back to you again”, Fr. Martin inquired.
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