Ama Serwaa [not her real name] is a twenty-four-year-old blind girl who lost her eyesight some four years ago and is one of the vulnerable in society who is finding difficulties surviving amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ama is an orphan and lives with her 70-year-old grandmother who sells sachet water in Accra. She sees herself as a burden.
Starr News got hold of information about her predicament and threw more light on her with Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Wednesday.
According to Ama, friends she assumed would help demand sex from her before rendering help. She also noted that she had at a point contemplated suicide.
The Minister for Gender Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison announced that about 400,000 vulnerable Ghanaians will receive free food amid the lockdown in Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi.
However, Ama says due to her condition, she cannot go to the collection point to take a share of the food packages.
Meanwhile, Local government Minister Hajia Alima Mahama has directed NADMO officials to take food aid to homes of the vulnerable instead of sharing them on streets.
The directive came on the back of the public anger at how food distribution to the vulnerable in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown has been done.
Ama Serwaa explained on the Morning Starr that “because of social distancing I cannot go with anybody since I can’t see properly, how can I go and do things for myself. I’m an orphan and its very hard for me, its not easy for me at all and I’m really suffering.”
Francis Abban asked; Because of this challenge have you had people who have offered to help you? She replied, “no sir, as I said when you go to someone for the person to help you, that person wants to sleep with you before helping you.”
Reiterating the question for clarity he asked “wait let me be sure I heard you right. You are saying that when you go to people to help you in giving you food, in giving you things to survive, they demand sex from you?” She replied ‘yes please.’ As a pre-condition”, “yes please.”
When asked whether these were people who live in her neighbourhood, she replied: “yes pls, some too are my friends when I was sighted.”
The host went on “I hope you are saying no to them. Ama responded “Yes I don’t. I always say I’ll not want my condition to be that people will help me because God has a purpose for everything. If God willing I’ll get it back, fine, so I don’t have to do anything like that.”
Ama Serwaa indicated that she sometimes cries a lot, but her friends don’t care. She was a beautician and became blind after graduating from the beauty school.
“When I think about it, I shed tears a lot,” she lamented.
“It even came to a time I wanted to take my life. Because being in this situation and all these things are happening then it will be better for me to end my life. I know that will be okay for me. I will not be a burden to anybody, to my friends or granny.”
When asked what she needed in terms of supplies to survive she stated: “I had a surgery and sometimes I do feel pains in the eyes and I don’t have money to buy drugs, eye drops to put in the eye.”
“I’m a woman, I may have my menses and all that. ‘I’ll need soap to bath. And also the food I’ll eat and all that. And some little money that I think ill need to take care of myself as well.”
She is currently a student at the Akropong School for the blind but is currently home because of the lockdown.