On the 14th of July at the grounds of the Orthopedic Training Centre (OTC), Vigilo foundation organized a massive program worth $10,000 to donate to OTC in support of mobility and generous work of the centre to the Ghanaian populace.
The occasion was the brainchild of one spectacular lady called Mrs. Jennifer Mensah-Bonzie who is the founder of Vigilo foundation. She worked alongside her Vigilo Ghanaian representative Madam Jemima Okantey
( her childhood friend) and Asante Kissi Eleazer Programs Organizer of OTC to make the occasion a success.
Jennifer was stricken with polio, she survived, but the disease left her with an underdeveloped right leg. For much of her childhood in Ghana, West Africa, she watched the world from the sidelines as her classmates soared on the swings or played games like Tumatu, the Ghanaian version of hopscotch.
She strived through different faces of life to become a successful wife and mother of three, living in the United states of America and working in the Human Resources department as a recruiter for a multinational banking and financial services JPMorgan Chase.
She was once a patient at the OTC where she received treatment to enable her become mobile on crutches from 1979 to 1996 then she relocated to the United states.
Visiting Ghana in 2018, Jennifer returned to OTC where she was fitted with her first crutches. Seeing people with disabilities far worse than her own, she reached a decision: It was time to start giving back to the community she came from.
Her solution: Create a non-governmental organization (NGO) to advocate for people with disabilities in Ghana her native country. She named it Vigilo, “a mash-up of the first two letters of each of her three daughters nicknames.”
Today, talking to people with disabilities in Ghana, Jennifer wants them to know that, like her, they can find a path to success. “I tell them, ‘Once upon a time I was like you, so I understand exactly how you feel,” she says now. “Don’t ever look down on yourself. Prove people wrong: Get an education and sell your brainpower. Let the world buy you at a cost”
“I’ve learned from experience that it can be done.”