Agnes and Oliver, Health Beneficiaries
Agnes Tawieh is a Ghanaian woman living in the Central Region in a very small village called Bentum. Agnes is a mother of five children, three boys and two girls, although her 25-year-old daughter passed away from unknown causes this past year, sadly right after she married. Agnes has lived all of her 47 years in Ghana. A little over two years ago, Point Hope Ghana began a project of Nutrition-Based Community Outreach. During the course of the outreach, the small children in the village of Bentum were screened for malnourishment. Agnes brought her two youngest children to be evaluated. This is when she met the people she believes God is working through.
Through Point Hope’s intervention (and the wisdom of Ida, our Beneficiary Coordinator), Agnes and her family received the help that they badly needed.
Agnes' one-and-a-half-year-old son Oliver, although born with sight, had developed "shiny" eyes and had lost the ability to see. Due to her son’s loss of eyesight and the absence of his father since Oliver’s birth, Agnes was not able to work—all her time and money was going to feed and provide for her children and her business selling a local food called “kenke” collapsed. Point Hope paid for Agnes to take Oliver to a reputable teaching hospital where is was discovered he had cancer in both eyes with a type very uncommon for a young child anywhere in the world. Point Hope connected with the children’s father and two of the boys, aged six and eight, went to live with him. Oliver had the surgery to remove both eyes and his mother, his older sister, 5-year-old Konadu, and he were all able to move into the new two-roomed concrete house with glass windows Point Hope built for them (their former house was much smaller, made of adobe clay and didn’t have windows to protect them from mosquitos). Oliver is now healthy and can attend Point Hope’s School for Children with Special Needs, which will give Agnes the time to work and earn money for her family.
Here’s part of an interview with Agnes:
Q: How did you first notice Oliver was losing his eyesight?
A: I noticed he was running into trees or other objects that were right in front of him. His eyes also became shiny.
Q: Had you taken Oliver to a hospital to check his eyes previous to Point Hope coming to your village?
A: No, Point Hope arrived in the village around the same time that it started happening. At first, I understood they said they usually didn't cover vision problems. Later they realized it may be more than vision problems and took him to a hospital that specializes in eyes.
Q: What was Oliver diagnosed with after the Doctor examined him?
A: Cancer. I was told he needed to have his eyes removed for him to keep his life.
Q: After Oliver’s operation to remove his eyes was it hard for him to learn to get around by himself?
A: No. Oliver already knew where everything was. He had learned where and where not to walk. He loves playing outside with other children and the sun no longer bothers his eyes.
Q: Other than Oliver’s operation how has Point Hope helped you?
A: In an abundance of ways.
Q: If you had to name some of the ways in which they have helped what would they be?
A: The house they built for me around ten months ago, the food they provide including Oliver’s favorite food of rice, along with money they have provided for various items.
Q: What would you like to see in your future for yourself and your children?
A: I want to see my kids grow up with good attitudes and lives.
Q: If there was something you could say to the Point Hope organization and its donors what would it be?
A: I would give my thanks to Point Hope for all the ways they have helped my children and me. I don't know where my life would be without them, but I believe it would be miserable due to not being blessed with the help I have gotten from them.