Woodfield Manor Autism and Special Needs School has celebrated its 10th anniversary at a special programme at its premises at Frafraha in the Adentan Municipality of the Greater Accra region last Friday.
The event was under the chairmanship of the Omanhene of Assin Traditional Council, Nana Prah Agyensaim VI.
The special guests of honour was the founder of Lepers Aid Committee and Parish Priest of the Christ the King Catholic church, Andrew Campbell. It also brought together parents and loved ones of the children of autism and special needs .
As part of the event, special awards were presented to teachers, individuals and corporate bodies who had supported the Woodfield Manor autism and special needs home.
Representatives from the Movenpick Hotel also presented an undisclosed amount of money and soft drinks to refresh the children.
A visually impaired musical band, the Humble Band graced the occasion with melody to the admiration of the guests and the children with autism and special needs.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the school, Cornelia Boateng, recounted the difficulties of nurturing children with special needs adding; “From ground zero, this school, through its patron, Dr Sam Jonah, Ghacem and others, had increased their number from below 10 in the beginning to over 40 children.”
Mrs Boateng, however, expressed her deepest gratitude to all who had aided the school to reach the 10-year milestone.
“Children of this nature need water therapy most of the time. That’s why in most cases, they are referred to as ‘Nsuo ba”, when they are born. We are grateful for ERATA Hotel, in Accra, for providing the kids with swimming pool for water therapy,” she said.
With that support, she said, some of the children could represent the country in international competitions and called on the government and corporate bodies to support the children.
The CEO also noted that as part of the celebrations, the institution was establishing a branch in Kumasi.
“The school is ready and next week Friday, July 14, 2023, we will be in Kumasi to open a similar Woodfield Manor Autism and Special Needs School to serve the Ashanti region. Our patron, the wife of Asantehene, Lady Julia, will lead the team to open it,” she said.
Nana Prah Agyensaim VI, said because superstition was a part of the country’s culture, people with autism and special needs were often misconstrued in that light.
However, he said, children with special needs were not spiritual but rather suffering from a clear human defect that could be nurtured for them to become great personalities in the world, as seen in other parts of the world.
He, therefore, called on the relevant authorities to find innovative ways to create the right environment for every child, irrespective of their challenges.
“10 years ago, a vision took root. A vision to provide each child, irrespective of their circumstances, a fair chance to succeed. Woodfield Manor, established our relentless NGO, became the embodiment of that vision and has since then become a beacon of hope for countless families,” Nana Prah Agyensem said as he congratulated the CEO on her resilience.