She was not born deaf and dumb but due to an accident at an early age, she lost her ability to hear and speak.
Despite these challenges, Genevieve Basigha, the Founder of ‘Research Utilization School for the Deaf (RUSFORD)’ at Obuasi, never resorts to begging or living on the street like others do. She instead took up the extraordinary challenge of helping others, especially, children facing the same disabilities.
Last Friday, at the National Theatre, Accra, Ms. Basigha, beat nine other heroes to the top prize of GH¢100,000 as the grand winner of the third season of MTN Heroes of Change, a programme that seeks to highlight the works of selfless Ghanaians who are transforming the communities in which they live.
There was a spontaneous standing ovation and wild jubilation among the audience when she was announced as the winner of the ultimate prize; an indication that she deserve the honour more than any of the other nine heroes.
A highly elated Ms. Basigha, speaking through a translator, was full of praise to God for doing her the honour as well as her dedicated staff who continue to support her even under very uncomfortable conditions.
She recounted the challenges she had endured as a result of her disability and during her effort to support children with speaking and hearing impairment.
“I have suffered but with God everything is possible. I thank my staff for working with me despite the hardship and I also thank MTN Ghana Foundation for giving me this award.”
Cynthia Lumor, Executive Director, MTN Ghana Foundation, in announcing the winner espoused Ms. Basingha’s virtuousness and praised her determination to assist children whose plights are similar to her own to seek education so they can be more useful to society while enjoying a fulfilled life.
She also touched on how through the three seasons, MTN has been blessed to meet some of the most amazing people, working hard to transform their communities with little or no help whatsoever.
“Through the MTN Heroes of Change programme, we have met many amazing people who have overcome odds to achieve great results by helping strangers. MTN is happy to invest in these change agents and their projects because we believe their contributions are critical to building human capital and driving national development.
We are truly motivated by them, and we hope that each of us, in hearing their stories and seeing the impact of their selfless interventions, will be encouraged to give back in similar ways,” she added.
Reverend Father Moses Asaah Awinongya of Regentropfen Education Foundation won the award for the Education category whilst Monsignor Alex Bobby Benson won the award for the Health category.
Jack James Dawson of Apple Foundation won the Economic Empowerment category award. Winners of the category awards received a plaque, a citation and GH?30,000 each to support their work in the communities. Each of the remaining six finalists received GH?10,000cash and a citation.
The other finalists include Joseph Asakibeem, Dr. Michael Adusei-Nsowah, Ibrahim Bafara Alhassan, John Amankrah-Essel, Joana Mansah Deegbe, and Nana Prof. Osei Kofi Darkwa III.
MTN Heroes of Change was first launched in July 2013 with the aim of identifying and recognizing selfless people who continue to sacrifice their time and resources to improve their communities and brighten lives.
Dr. Abrokwa-Yenkyera, a plastic surgeon and Founder of Grafts Foundation, emerged the ultimate winner for the maiden edition of MTN Heroes of Change in 2014. Madam Paulina Opei, founder of the Save Our Lives Orphanage, emerged the Hero of Change for Season II.
Guests at the awards event were entertained by OJ, Osei Korankye, Nana Ampadu and Kofi Kinaata.