How a waiter is changing the lives of school children

Samuel Quansah Quarcoo
Mr. Quarcoo, distributing school bags to pupils of Emmaus Methodist Basic School.

Mr. Samuel Quansah Quarcoo, a retired Mathematics Teacher, left Ghana in 1974 for the United States of America where he has since 1975 been working as a waiter at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland.

He has come to believe from personal experience that opportunities for underprivileged children to a great future are not easy to come by, as compared to their counterparts who have the networks and support to effect changes.

He thinks young people cannot achieve a better life if they do not get access to the right relationships and people to help them.

Mr. Quarcoo makes the case that for those young people with parents that have high social capital, they have one key thing – access. Access to opportunities, travel and networks which allow them to make positive choices based on their extensive experiences. These opportunities are simply not available to their poorer and less connected counterparts.

It is that conviction that made Mr. Quansah return home and fill in the gap to provide social support to as many school children as his means can support.

To that end, he has made 24 separate donations made up of shoes, school bags, books, projectors, computers, tents and canopies, WCs, tables and chairs, public address systems, scholarships, mathematical sets, pens and pencils, school health centre, among other interventions.

After making one of such donations at Bishop John Daly Basic School at Dansoman in Accra in 2019, Mr. Quarcoo was touched by the story of 7-year-old twin boys of the school who lost their mother four months after their birth, and whose father was said to have neglected them. Their struggling grandmother, who was a cleaner at the school, locked them up every time she was leaving for work until the headmistress of the school found out and asked her to bring them to the school. Mr. Quarcoo offered them a scholarship scheme.

Twice every year – July and December –, Mr Quarcoo comes down to Ghana to make donations to a number of schools. Since 2019, he has donated items worth close to US$150,000 to support the education of less privileged school children.

This July, the serial philanthropic presented US$32,000 worth of assorted items to four schools and an orphanage. The beneficiary schools were Emmaus Methodist Basic School, Awoshie – Accra; Westside Basic School, a private school at Agape near Ablekuma in Accra; O’Reilly Senior High School at Teshie in Accra, and Bishop Girls’ Basic School, High Street – Accra. They received school bags, shoes, dental cares, pen and pencils, liquid soaps, books and other stationeries for the schools.

Mr. Quarcoo has also fully paid for the completion and furnishing of a health centre for O’Reilly SHS.

Ghana Make a Difference, an orphanage near Kasoa in the Central Region, received food items including rice and cooking oils from the benevolence of Mr. Quarcoo.

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