They are rejected, stigmatised, abandoned and left to fend for themselves but very hardworking and full of life. They represent a bustling community of predominantly deaf and dumb farmers in the remote village of Adamorobe in the eastern region.
“Farmers for Peace”, an initiative of Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, General Manager of the the National Food and Agric Show Secretariat – FAGRO –, has in line with the mood of the nation, taken its peace campaign for the upcoming elections to farming communities to engage tillers of the earth and their allied dealers in constructive dialogue aimed at staying the nation’s peace as citizens ready themselves to elect national leaders in December.
The Adamorobe community – their first port of call – is 40 kilometres from Accra. The village is located in a bowl-shaped valley at the foot of the Akuapem hills in the eastern region of Ghana. Unfortunately, Adamorobe, has an unusually high incidence of hereditary deafness and hence appear neglected. But residents there have given meaning to their lives by engaging in the noblest profession on earth – agriculture – to survive.
Alberta and her team from the FAGRO secretariat together with members of the University of Ghana sign language club – who provided sign language services – visited Adamorobe to interact with residents and it turned out to be a mind blower. Though the residents can neither hear nor speak, they were over themselves with joy at the special attention they were receiving from the FAGRO secretariat through the peace campaign.
.She had this to tell the farmers; “You are the most important in every country so don’t allow your challenges and stigmatization to bring you down. Without you, we cannot have three square meals on our tables everyday. You are the developers of every nation and we are proud of you and will continue to find means to support you, after this event”.
Sarah Dede Agor, a 4th year sign language student of the university of Ghana, who has volunteered to be the lead interpreter for the Farmers for Peace campaign in all the deaf and dumb communities the team will visit, expressed her excitement on meeting the residents, and said they are important in nation building so they should exercise their right peacefully at the polling station on the day of voting and go back home.
Ghana goes to the polls on December 7 in a crucial national exercise that has upped the ante for peace promotion by well-meaning individuals and identifiable bodies to calm nerves as the jostling for positions gathers heat. Tension among competing political groupings is building and sending worrying signals across the country. The FAGRO secretariat chose to focus its peace campaign on their core stakeholders – Farmers.
Alberta admonished the residents to go about their activities in peace and called on them to exercise their franchise on Election Day as it is their civic responsibility as Ghanaians. “Vote in peace, come back home as one people so that our country will continue to prosper and lead as an example of a maturing democracy in Africa. Ghana is all we have, let’s work together as one people for our own benefit”.
Producer of Accra-based Class FM’s morning show, Kojo Appiah, who is one of the volunteers shared his excitement that even though they are deaf and dumb, they are not sitting idle but working hard to feed a whole nation. He encouraged them to live in peace and vote peacefully on election day.
Farmers for Peace campaign is touring selected – deaf and dumb – farming communities in remote areas across the country. “We chose to deal with farmers in the rural areas because most of them spend a great deal of their time on their farms and may miss similar outreaches while they are away. We have chosen to take the message of peace to them on their farms so that the whole Ghana will be on the same page. Peace is priceless, we can’t afford to toy with it at this crucial time”, Alberta explained.
With support from Keness Ventures, a company engaged in protective gears and agri-inputs, the team rounded off the eventful visit with donations of 30 Wellington boots, T-shirts and Caps to the Farmers, who demonstrated visible excitement and thanked the secretariat through their interpreter for the show of kindness and for remembering them.
Other deaf and dumb farmer communities in the Ashanti and Western regions will be visited by the Alberta and her team to talk about peace and donate various farming equipment to them. “Our focus is to preach the message of peace to the farmers and support them with agri-input materials, where we can