Audience at the just-ended MTN Heroes of Change grand finale could not believe their ears of what they heard that severely malnourished children are killed in the Northern Ghana for rituals.
The event, which was its second edition by MTN, was held on Friday, February19, 2016 at the Accra International Conference Centre. And it rewarded hard working Ghanaians in various human endeavours.
This startling revelation came to the fore when the winner of the Economic Empowerment category of the MTN Ghana Heroes of Change, Mr. Nayina Karim, a social entrepreneur from Karaga District in the Northern region, mounted the podium to share chilling stories of the predicament of such victims to highlight the high incidence of child malnutrition in the district.
In a documentary, Mr. Karim revealed that the malnourished children were often sold to some spiritualists in villages including Teng and Gaa in the Karaga District to be “killed” for rituals.
According to him, these malnourished children were considered as “evil children” and parents of these children for whatever reasons sell them (malnourished children) for rituals.
“I went to Karaga community as a licenced chemical seller but for the past few years that l’ve been staying in the area, I realised that children with malnutrition cases were being sold to the popular spiritualists in Tang and Gaa in the Karaga District to be killed,” he narrated.
According to him, he tried to consult the traditional authorities as well as key stakeholders at the district health directorate to find out the causes of malnutrition amongst the children which was making skins of newly born-babies to flake off.
That, he said, encouraged him to set up a centre for malnourished children in Karaga community.
“And in two years of existence, I was able to rescue the lives of a total of 1,453 children who were severely malnourished,” Mr. Karim revealed.
A citation accompanying his award read in part: “Your motivation to act proactively to help your fellow human beings confirms this description.”
“When you noticed that the high incidence of malnutrition in your community, you chose to make it your business to find a solution. You did not allow the lack of knowledge to hamper you, but took proactive steps to obtain education in child rehabilitation and established a rehabilitation centre for malnourished children,” it continued.
Recognising the importance of education to economic empowerment, MTN Ghana said, Mr. Karim went further to set up a school for the children.
In order to ensure enough food for the malnourished children, it said, Mr. Karim went further to set up a poultry farm, vegetable and herb farms with plans to do even more.
“By providing food, shelter and education, you have given 453 children a new lease of life; and you have done this at a cost to the parents of these children. For your generosity of heart and your commitment to ensuring a better life for helping children, MTN recognises you, Mr. Nayina Karim, as a “Hero of Change” for Economics Empowerment,” the citation read in part.