Managers of the COVID-19 Private Sector Fund who are embarking on the ‘Feed a Kayayei’ Project at all vantage points of the partial lockdown, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, have as of Friday, April 3, 2020 fed more than Twenty Six Thousand (26,000) head-porters and homeless persons in Accra and Kumasi.
Ms. Julie Essiam, initiator of the project, who also doubles as the Commissioner of Support Services at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says the project which initially targeted only head-porters, known in the local parlance as kayayei, has been expanded to cover homeless people.
Speaking in an interview with BestNewsGH.com on day 3 of the ‘Feed a Kayayei’ Project, Ms. Essiam opined that Six Thousand (6,000) people were fed on the first day of the exercise, which was on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and scaled up to Nine Thousand, Five Hundred (9,500) on day two (6,000 in Accra and 3,500 in Kumasi) on Thursday and further increased to Ten Thousand, Five Hundred (10,500) on day 3, Friday, April 3, 2020.
According to her, the decision to embark in the project is premised on the fact that those who earn daily wages are the most affected by the lockdown, as they cannot go about their work during the period.
‘’We stand behind what the president and government are doing in terms of making sure that this disease doesn’t spread and that we must stay at home. Every body must stay at home otherwise we will have what is happening in Italy in Ghana today. But how do we support our fellow sisters and brothers who are on a daily wage and that is how they eat. How do we support them?’’ she quizzed.
Mr. Sammi Awuku serving some of the beneficiaries
Ms. Essiam averred that the exercise will be sustained until the lockdown is over, explaining that the out-pour of love and support, evidenced in the donations by various groups and individuals, gives her confidence and hope that the project will succeed.
‘’We intend to mobilise this until whenever the lockdown is lifted. We’re confident the money will keep flowing in. We have people who have promised that they’re on standby to help if the lockdown goes beyond a certain period’’ he posited further.
She listed an anonymous private entity, Ecobank, Devtraco, Glico Insurance Company some friends in Kenya among others as some of the institutions and individuals who have contributed to the fund.
Again, she said the project realized some Forty Thousand (40,000) Ghana Cedis from donations of GHC5 and GHC10 from ordinary Ghanaians.
Ms. Julie Essiam third from left with Mr. Sammi Awuku and other volunteers of the project
She entreated all public spirited individuals and organisations to lend their support in these critical moments of the Country’s life, to ensure that the less privileged and vulnerable are catered for.
On his part, the iconic and charismatic National Organiser of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Sammi Awuku who has been an integral part of the ‘Feed a Kayayei’ campaign said it was the responsibility of the the generality of the Ghanaian people to support the poor, vulnerable and less privileged in society.
Ms. Julie Essiam serving some of the beneficiaries
‘’I have been so actively involved to the extent of accompanying and helping them distribute the food and helping to also coordinate things for them on the ground. This is non-partisan, it is not political and we’re determined to help touch as many lives as possible.’’ Mr. Awuku pointed out.
Mr. Awuku expressed gratitude to all who have generously donated to the course and implored on others to emulate them in order to bring relief to the needy while helping to overcome the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Interested organisations and individuals who want to donate or contribute to the COVID-19 Private Sector Fund are advised to pay into Ecobank Account Number 1441002291221 under the account name : Feed a Kayayo.