Genevieve Basigha, a speech and hearing impaired lady and Founder of Research Utilization School for the Deaf (RUSFORD) at Obuasi, has been crowned the overall winner of MTN Heroes of Change Season III at the National Theatre.
Genevieve Basigha was announced overall winner. She received spontaneous standing ovation amidst wild jubilation from the audience when she walked on stage to receive her prize.
Speaking through a translator, an excited Genevieve expressed her gratitude to God, her staff and MTN Ghana Foundation for the honour and recognition accorded her.
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. She said,
“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.”
For her prize, she received GH¢100,000, a plaque and a citation. The prize money is to support her work and enable her expand the project to impact more beneficiaries.
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. Mr. Jack James Dawson of Apple Foundation won the Economic Empowerment category award. Winners of the category awards received a plaque, a citation and GHc30,000 each to support their work in the communities. Each of the remaining six finalists received GHc10, 000.00 cash and a citation.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of MTN Ghana Foundation, Mrs. Cynthia Lumor, said,“ 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.”
Guests at the awards event were entertained by OJ, Osei Korankye, Nana Ampadu and Kofi Kinaata.
In attendance were various dignitaries including the Deputy Minister of Communications, Hon George Andah, Former Deputy Minister of Tourism Hon Dzifa Gomashie, Bishop Afrifah-Agyekum,Catholic Bishop of Koforidua, MTN Executives, Representatives of Osu Traditional Council, amongst others.
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.
The selection of winners’ projects is done by an independent panel of judges composed of Rev. Albert Ocran (Motivational Speaker), Dr. Doris Dartey (Communications Consultant) and Mr. Sidney Casely-Hayford (Economist).
MTN Heroes of Change has won several awards. The project was adjudged 2016 IPR Best Community Relations Programme of the Year and was also awarded CSR Program of the Year 2015 by the Head of State Awards (HoSA) Scheme.