A final year law student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology who is also the Judicial Committee Chairperson of NUGS- KNUST, Gifty Aku Hlordjie is calling on all Ghanaian to dedicate special attention to intellectually challenged persons.
According to her, based on her recent experience traveling with the KNUST chapter of National Union of Ghana Students to visit intellectually challenged persons at the Garden City Special School at Asokore Mampong, she has been exposed to some unfavourable conditions that they lived in.
Aku is therefore entreating policy makers, family members and the general public to show much commitment in the upbringing of persons with similar conditions.
As part of her series of write ups, she has dedicated one of her recent articles to sensitize Ghanaians on showing much concern towards persons with various forms of intellectual disabilities.
Below is the full article released by Gifty Aku Hlordjie:
*Special Dedication:* _All Intellectually Challenged Persons_
*Subject:* _Bigger Than Your Conditions_
By kind courtesy of KNUST NUGS Local, under the leadership of His Excellency Derek Okyere Antwi aka Compton, I had the privilege to visit a special school in Kumasi.
Hearing the name of the school, I assumed it was a private school, but were we really going to donate to a private school? No! It was a government institution. You’d soon understand why I call it “institution” as if it’s tertiary.
So, I arrived at this institution and nature intimidated me – I became very uncomfortable.
Whenever I remembered or thought of stories I heard of people killing themselves because of love, I felt intimidated by the reality nature exposed to my “naked” eyes.
I am the type of person who loves attention very much, from the people I love and care about, but suddenly, this special school told me that I had been asking for too much.
At this place, I met people who were born with conditions. I mean, I’ve heard a lot but none has ever happened before my very eyes. I watched fellow humans and a strong girl as me, I felt my heart so fragile. Like, I felt tears in my mind but none I could shed, the tears were too expensive and I couldn’t even afford it then, yes that’s how much nature intimidated me.
She run up to me, held my arm with so much possession, she said she’s called Catherine and I said I’m Aku. Then she said “me sister nso w)fr3 no Aku” (my sister too is called Aku). I wondered, this is a girl among others who’ll be caged for the next 16 years of her life, being isolated from her family. She tells me she has a sister and she could tell that my name is her sister’s name? I mean, she has a sense of belonginess but this is still a girl whose family had taken her out of sight because they’re embarrassed by her condition.
I can’t be such a hypocrite so I’m asking myself now, if nature gives me a child that is deformed, will I call it a blessing or a curse? Don’t we say children are gifts?
When the humanitarians there explained some conditions, the worst I recall now is the one about the child having all senses operate at once. How many sense organs do we have? Have you ever pictured how it’ll be if you can feel someone touch you, someone whisper to you, your eyes seeing things, and your nose smelling something all at once? This is something that should remain only an imagination but unfortunately, there’s someone born with that very condition – yes, their senses operate at once.
I’m sure my science students can relate. Talk of science students, reportedly, a doctor and his wife a practicing nurse, dumped their ward under this refuge because they too were ashamed. One would think medical practitioners would be more compassionate and understanding toward such people but I can’t take that stance any longer.
They narrated that such an institution thrives on sponsorship and the government only caters for Gh¢3.30 per day for each child. We all know that even one ball of kenkey and a fish, costs not less than Gh¢2.00, and for a child to thrive on Gh¢3.30 for a day’s meal?
People are suffering in the world more than you think. In fact, I saw joy in the eyes of not only the children but the tutors who seemed to heave some financial relief. If you can, donation is about giving support to the less privileged. These are people who need love and attention because apparently, society has rejected them. Visit *GARDEN CITY SPECIAL SCHOOL*, Kumasi and show some love to these lovely children.
*Lesson:* I learnt something, the tutors there said there’s nothing like “normal” because even in our right minds, today, you can appear very normal but before you know it you are misbehaving so it’s normal to be abnormal. That’s why they don’t know ‘normal’. Churches, philanthropists, cheerful givers, these are people in need. And most importantly, be bigger than your circumstances.
Your favorite writer,
Gifty Aku Hlordjie
Tell Garden City Special School that *🌞The Sun Shall Soon Shine🌞*
I’m the Vice President of the KNUST Writers’ Association. Today, I couldn’t help but say it all.