On March 19 we said a final farewell to Yaw. His family, NGO colleagues, church members, Light for Children staff and volunteers, and many of the children he helped through his work gathered to honour him at his funeral. As we grieve and prepare to go forward without him, it’s moving to see how many lives Yaw touched.
Many of our past volunteers sent pictures and memories of Yaw, and we would like to share them with you:
"I remember meeting Yaw in late 2006, shortly after arriving from Canada. I was staying with a family in his neighbourhood and I was invited to his home. There were a few other people there, Sebastian and Mike if I recall correctly, and like most Ghanaians I met, he welcomed me to his country and into his home. Under the mango tree we all sat and listened to the problems facing his country, but the tone in Yaw and Mike’s voice wasn’t of hopelessness, they were calm, passionate and optimistic. Because of people like Yaw, Ghana is a beacon of hope and opportunity in West Africa.
The world needs more people like Yaw."
Photo by Karim Iliya
"He was an island of calm in the hustle and bustle of chaotic Kumasi. He took time to carefully explain the nature of the problems facing people in his community and the social dynamics of Ghanaian society. He worked tirelessly supporting those with HIV aids and campaign to help prevent people contracting the disease. The thing I remember most about Yaw was his kindness and calmness and we all need a bit more of that in our lives."
Fav Yaw quote: "My dream is for every child to realize that he is an achiever"
Photo courtesy of Sebastian Lindstrom
"Yaw was such a kind man ... I remember him being quiet (especially compared to boisterous me) but his actions spoke more than his words ever could. He put his heart and soul into Light for Children and it was truly a pleasure to have been to work with him, live with him, learn from him and simply know him. My heart goes out to all his family and friends. His memory will always live on."
Photo courtesy of Sheila Shao
"Yaw was an exceptionally kind man, he received us with open arms to his home and heart. Can still remember the time we went to church together, it was an intense and loving experience that our whole group will remember forever. He was truly passionate about this beautiful cause, children are the future and it’s so important that we all are there to help out all children in need. My heart gives loving prayers to our dear Yaw. He is a man that resonates hope and kindness."
"Everybody who knew Yaw trusted him. They trusted his ethics, his advice, his knowledge, his experience and his belief in the goodness of mankind. Yaw changed so many people for the better; I'm one of them. The cycle of life and death can't be predicted or fully understood... Thank you, Yaw, for your service to your fellow humans. Here on Earth your legacy lives on. I miss you."
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!