URBAN HERO: Martha Nyame gives poor children in Ghana a better future

Community Sep 16, 2017 Etobicoke Guardian

It was as if God spoke to her.

Martha Nyame was back in Abosamso, a village in Ghana’s Ashanti Region, building her family a house.

As the roof was being attached, Nyame, who had left for Canada eight years before, decided she would give the house to poor children she didn’t know.

Her parents were farmers, and poor, so Nyame, a 2017 winner of Metroland Media’s Urban Hero Award in the Good Neighbour category, never attended school.

One of eight children, she grew up “sad”, she remembers, “because my mom don’t [sic] have money”.

Returning to Ghana in 1994, she saw many children who faced a childhood like hers. They were “outside, crying and hungry,” she says.

In those moments, “I feel pain. Something happens to me.”

The following year, she opened the Abosamso Charity and Orphanage International, a free school and an orphanage which originally welcomed 75 children. Some arrived there as infants.

There’s a government school in Abosamso where most local children go, but like Nyame’s parents, many families can’t afford the fees or the costs of uniforms, books, and stationary.

During her first years in Canada, says the Rexdale resident, she felt just going outside was difficult, because she couldn’t speak or count in English.

“I didn’t know my left from my right,” she says.

The school kept expanding. Nyame hired qualified teachers and a cook. Meanwhile, in Canada, she did factory jobs and earned extra money sorting mail for a courier company.

Always, she sent whatever she could to Abosamso, but in 2003, Nyame was told she had fibromyalgia. The condition has worsened, and now she has arthritis too.

Since 2013, she hasn’t been able to work. Children with parents at the school had to go home; now only 18 remain, all orphans or abandoned.

Nyame still sends them whatever she can, but worries it’s not enough. She is disbanding the school, because she can't pay its teachers their wages.

Her charity (www.abosamso.com) can still use any form of support for the orphans which remain in her care, including gifts of clothing and other items, or donations as small as $5.

URBAN HERO: Martha Nyame gives poor children in Ghana a better future

2017 Urban Hero winner – Good Neighbour, People's Choice

Community Sep 16, 2017 Etobicoke Guardian

It was as if God spoke to her.

Martha Nyame was back in Abosamso, a village in Ghana’s Ashanti Region, building her family a house.

As the roof was being attached, Nyame, who had left for Canada eight years before, decided she would give the house to poor children she didn’t know.

Her parents were farmers, and poor, so Nyame, a 2017 winner of Metroland Media’s Urban Hero Award in the Good Neighbour category, never attended school.

One of eight children, she grew up “sad”, she remembers, “because my mom don’t [sic] have money”.

Returning to Ghana in 1994, she saw many children who faced a childhood like hers. They were “outside, crying and hungry,” she says.

In those moments, “I feel pain. Something happens to me.”

The following year, she opened the Abosamso Charity and Orphanage International, a free school and an orphanage which originally welcomed 75 children. Some arrived there as infants.

There’s a government school in Abosamso where most local children go, but like Nyame’s parents, many families can’t afford the fees or the costs of uniforms, books, and stationary.

During her first years in Canada, says the Rexdale resident, she felt just going outside was difficult, because she couldn’t speak or count in English.

“I didn’t know my left from my right,” she says.

The school kept expanding. Nyame hired qualified teachers and a cook. Meanwhile, in Canada, she did factory jobs and earned extra money sorting mail for a courier company.

Always, she sent whatever she could to Abosamso, but in 2003, Nyame was told she had fibromyalgia. The condition has worsened, and now she has arthritis too.

Since 2013, she hasn’t been able to work. Children with parents at the school had to go home; now only 18 remain, all orphans or abandoned.

Nyame still sends them whatever she can, but worries it’s not enough. She is disbanding the school, because she can't pay its teachers their wages.

Her charity (www.abosamso.com) can still use any form of support for the orphans which remain in her care, including gifts of clothing and other items, or donations as small as $5.

URBAN HERO: Martha Nyame gives poor children in Ghana a better future

2017 Urban Hero winner – Good Neighbour, People's Choice

Community Sep 16, 2017 Etobicoke Guardian

It was as if God spoke to her.

Martha Nyame was back in Abosamso, a village in Ghana’s Ashanti Region, building her family a house.

As the roof was being attached, Nyame, who had left for Canada eight years before, decided she would give the house to poor children she didn’t know.

Her parents were farmers, and poor, so Nyame, a 2017 winner of Metroland Media’s Urban Hero Award in the Good Neighbour category, never attended school.

One of eight children, she grew up “sad”, she remembers, “because my mom don’t [sic] have money”.

Returning to Ghana in 1994, she saw many children who faced a childhood like hers. They were “outside, crying and hungry,” she says.

In those moments, “I feel pain. Something happens to me.”

The following year, she opened the Abosamso Charity and Orphanage International, a free school and an orphanage which originally welcomed 75 children. Some arrived there as infants.

There’s a government school in Abosamso where most local children go, but like Nyame’s parents, many families can’t afford the fees or the costs of uniforms, books, and stationary.

During her first years in Canada, says the Rexdale resident, she felt just going outside was difficult, because she couldn’t speak or count in English.

“I didn’t know my left from my right,” she says.

The school kept expanding. Nyame hired qualified teachers and a cook. Meanwhile, in Canada, she did factory jobs and earned extra money sorting mail for a courier company.

Always, she sent whatever she could to Abosamso, but in 2003, Nyame was told she had fibromyalgia. The condition has worsened, and now she has arthritis too.

Since 2013, she hasn’t been able to work. Children with parents at the school had to go home; now only 18 remain, all orphans or abandoned.

Nyame still sends them whatever she can, but worries it’s not enough. She is disbanding the school, because she can't pay its teachers their wages.

Her charity (www.abosamso.com) can still use any form of support for the orphans which remain in her care, including gifts of clothing and other items, or donations as small as $5.