Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, the ATE team in Ghana are greeted by various children with their mothers and grandmothers- the occasion being our weekly SNAP PlayScheme. Children and their guardians will walk many miles often to make it to our 8.30am PlayScheme, where our amazing coordinator Ernestina will deliver engaging, exciting and fully inclusive educational play sessions for all.

For many of these mornings our team was often greeted by a smiley, bouncy and sweet young boy of the name Saviour. Aged approximately 6 years old with down’s syndrome and other medical issues, Saviour would make it to the Inclusion Centre long before his grandmother and burst into the Centre with light and love.

Often waving at everyone and walking to the activity of the day. Once he had finished his activity, Saviour would often tour around the office and visit us all in our offices, trying to see what we were doing and quite frequently sitting at my desk attempting to use the laptop. He very much felt like a member of the team for those short hours each week.

Saviour, due to his condition and the stigma that disabilities still hold in Upper West Ghana, lived with his grandparents and extended family, as both parents travelled down to the South, the father working and the mother remarrying. A burden of childcare that may older people in Lawra face, this didn’t stop the grandmother accessing our SNAP services to ensure Saviour had all the support he needed.

We learned this weekend that Saviour’s life was tragically lost on Friday, due to health complications. The family were lacking the transport to the main District hospital, which caused Savior to pass away that day. An immediate funeral was called and the surrounding areas mobilised to show support. Our ATE SNAP Team attended the funeral yesterday and ensured the grandparents and family know that the Inclusion Centre will always be a safe space for them all, in Saviours memory.

This is truly a loss to all and we will forever miss sweet Saviour.

By Jessica Cruse