During the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana, Abeiku Aggrey Santana and his partner Derrick Cobbinah, Africa’s Project Officer for the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League and CEO of Forces Help Africa and GUBA Foundation, supported and brought to light the activities of WWII veteran Joseph Hammond – who recorded a walk of 14 miles in a week as part of a fundraiser to support Africa’s front-line workers.
The 95-year-old Ghanaian World War II veteran walked 3.2 kilometres (two miles) each day to reach his target on Africa Day in Accra, and raised almost £43,000.
The gesture by this noble man went viral in the international media – including Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, DW, France 24 and the Washington Post.
It also attracted a number of corporations and individuals to reciprocate the goodwill and stretch their arms of support to the veteran.
Today, the First National Bank that launched ASPIRE (Accelerated Support for Pandemic Intervention and Relief Effort) a few months ago to assist government and its stakeholders in mitigating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has donated an amount of GH¢12,000 (Twelve Thousand Ghana Cedis) to Mr. Hammond.
Speaking to a section of the media, Mr. Dominic Adu – the bank’s first Ghanaian CEO, said they were proud to be a part of his last walk and to share in his story.
It is their fervent hope and prayer that First National Bank will look back in the future and tell their story as the best bank that ever existed in Ghana.
Consequently, Ghanaian billionaire, philanthropist and prince of Africa, Nana Kwame Bediako – proudly known as Freedom Jacob Caesar, and his New Africa Foundation which has been showing a greater level of generosity amid the COVID-19 pandemic – also donated a fully furnished house for Veteran Joseph Hammond, who lived 75 years of his life at his family home in Accra, to support him.
WO1 Joseph Hammond was inspired by the story of Captain Tom Moore becoming a national hero in the United Kingdom for raising £33million (US$40m) to help the NHS before turning 100, and was full of praise to the philanthropist and First National Bank – thanking them for leading the path.
He admonished selfishness in the Ghanaian populace, and urged us to continue supporting the less privileged in any way we can.
Other veterans – including Russia’s Zinaida Korneva (97) and Britain’s Dabirul Choudhury (100) – also has bagged similar stories of success for their yeoman’s job.