The Lordina Foundation, established by a former First Lady, Lordina Mahama, during the Presidency of her husband, John Dramani Mahama has effectively reinvented the role of First Lady in the country.
But even more instructively, the Lordina Foundation has not only outlived her tenure as First Lady, its activities have grown tremendously since she left that position at the start of 2017.
Her foundation is now globally reputed as one of the most active and impactful non-governmental organisations in Ghana with its activities having positive impact on thousands of beneficiaries every year drawn from some of the most vulnerable segments of our society.
The Lordina Foundation is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the welfare of the underprivileged in Ghana, particularly Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) as well as women.
The foundation, previously known as Alternative Source of Income Programme (ASOIP), has over the years embarked on several activities geared towards poverty alleviation, women and youth empowerment, promotion of quality health care and support for education.
These activities include the donation of medical supplies and equipment to poorly resourced health facilities; offering free integrated health screening services in various communities; donating essentials to orphanages and to ostracised women (alleged witches) at “Witch Camps” for their upkeep; assisting brilliant, needy students with scholarships to enable them to pursue their academic dreams; providing destitute artisans with start-up kits to enable them to make meaningful livelihoods out of their acquired skills and providing Persons with Disabilities groups with targeted support.
Explaining the rationale for establishing the foundation, Lordina Mahama asserts that: “While the government is committed to improving the health and welfare of the people, it cannot achieve all that by itself.
The onus rests with individuals, non-governmental organisations and other charitable organisations to complement the efforts of the government to provide development-oriented support.”
To this end, the foundation’s mission is to contribute to the development of deprived children and women in both rural and urban areas by focusing on quality healthcare promotion, education and general well-being.
Its vision is to bridge the gap between the disadvantaged and privileged by providing marginalised groups and communities with equal opportunities
Underpinning these are several core institutional objectives.
These are to grant scholarships to the brilliant, needy and underprivileged children to further their education; to give charity to the poor and the needy and assist people irrespective of race, colour, tribe or social orientation; support orphanages, women and youth empowerment; and to provide vocational skills for the youth.
These are precisely what the Lordina Foundation has been doing over the past nearly one decade.
The most intriguing aspect of the Lordina Foundation was that even out of office, the foundation constructed a 45-bed maternity and children’s ward for the Bole government hospital, which was commissioned in July 2022.
Better described as “Alanfiyawurche’’ (Queen Mother of Health), she is a native of Bole by marriage, and she has impacted the lives of the most vulnerable in society, particularly children and women.
Over the past decade, ‘Alanfiyawurche’ and President Mahama have organised Christmas parties for children in Bole, and various Christmas donations are made across the entire Savannah Region to the less privileged in society.
Other interventions during the early years of the foundation included: a computer donation to commemorate Flair @ 50; a donation of medical equipment to Kumawu Polytechnic; the facilitation of accommodation for toddlers at Osu Children’s Home; the donation of a Siemens Acuson X150 Ultrasound scanner to the La General Hospital; the donation of buses to the Queenmothers Association; assistance to people with disabilities; various donations of medical equipment and supplies; and empowerment of artisans.
Over the past few years, the former First Lady, through the Lordina Foundation has stepped up its activities even further.
For instance in December 2019, among other things, the foundation, visited and donated assorted items to the Frank May and Bethesda Children’s Homes in Techiman, the Tamale and Anfaani Children’s Homes in Tamale and the Christ Faith Foster Home and the Osu Children’s Home in Accra.
In line with its commitment to the health of children, it supported the Anglican Diocese of Accra and Adoa Media Consult in its fund-raising efforts to provide immediate medical care to children diagnosed with hearing impairments.
In September 2019, 50 children from the Osu children’s Home and the Christ Faith Foster Home took part in another edition of the Lordina Foundation’s ‘Time with Young and Influential Personalities’ programme.
The programme provides an opportunity to bring together orphans from selected orphanages to interact among themselves, and also interact with professionals from diverse backgrounds.
It helps them draw from the knowledge and real-life experiences of the professionals.
In 2020, among other things, the foundation gave donations to Frank May and Bethesda Children’s Homes in Techiman, Christ Foster Home in Fafraha and the Osu Children’s Home in Accra.
In May 2020, as part of its round of support during the Covid-19 period, the foundation presented 40 food relief packages to the ShareCare Foundation.
That same month, the Paramount Queenmother, Manye Amponsah Dokua, with the support of the Lordina Foundation, donated some food items and medical supplies to health facilities and residents in Osudoku to alleviate the effects of COVID 19.
Alanfiyawurche is highly educated.
She holds a Master’s Degree in Governance and Leadership from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Accra and a Master of Laws Degree in Business Law from the De Montfort University in Leicester, United Kingdom.
The former First Lady is also a certified marriage counsellor and in 2019 completed a counselling skills programme at the International Centre for Training and Development (ICTD) in Abu Dhabi.
She also holds a degree in hospitality from GIMPA and a certificate in Catering from the Flair Catering Services.
Lordina Mahama is a great cook, loves cooking, has great passion and loves to encourage, motivate, inspire, help and counsel.
As part of her many recognisable achievements, Lordina Mahama is a former President of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA) and also a former Premier HIV Ambassador for the UNAIDS Global Plan to Eliminate Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (eMTCT) and Keep Mothers Alive.
Her biggest legacy, however, will be the Lordina Foundation, which has not only positively impacted thousands of lives all around Ghana but has redefined what the role of Ghana’s First Lady, both incumbent and former, should be.
In doing so, Ghana continues to benefit tremendously.
The writer is the former CEO- Venture Capital Trust fund (VCTF)