How the Amuna family is using their grief and loss to benefit society

Mrs Ceda Ankra

 When asked about the size of their nuclear family—or more precisely, the number of their children—William and Genevieve Amuna have yet to decide which tense to use.

They were accustomed to using the phrase "have three children" on their tongues. They said it without thinking about it because it was a fact that was easy to remember. The standard response was that. It was right.

And they didn't need any more explanation.

However, on July 24, 2021, this changed. The family was left in the most difficult of circumstances by one of the three handsome and exceptionally intelligent young men they had conceived and trained over the course of their three decades of marriage.

They say that time heals. A consensus on the amount of time required to heal will be difficult, if not impossible, despite the fact that this fact is universal.

Some losses are nearly irreversible. The healing balm of time might at best lessen their crushing effect. The constant reminders of the pain may be too glaring to ignore or forget, making total healing difficult in some cases.

This has been the family's struggle for the past 12 agonizing months. They are constantly reminded of the void that cannot be filled by time or anything else by the beautiful family portraits that adorn their walls.

Time cannot undo the thousands of precious memories that have been carved into their hearts like enormous monuments. In their lifetimes, no! No software can remove Andrew Mbabilla Amuna's eyes from those portraits, which show the family's fertile minds.

They referred to Andy as a star. He was a Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, to his friends and family. He emanated love and care and continually wore a grin that could eclipse the sun with its glow. He continued to accelerate at a rate that delighted and surprised his parents.

When Andy started school, his parents were concerned about how well he would do in school. They considered him to be a typical student. They thought he was too jovial and didn't believe what they told him until his final grades in elementary and secondary school told them to relax and enjoy the never-ending flow of excellence.

Andy had, without a doubt, been educated at Tema Parents' Association School and Achimota School, where he received his primary and secondary education.

Andy graduated that day with first-class honors in Electrical Engineering when William Amuna, an accomplished engineer who worked for the Volta River Authority and later became CEO of the Ghana Grid Company, was invited to be the commencement speaker at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

Andy completed his National Service following his KNUST graduation and briefly worked for Eni Ghana before moving to the United States to further his education.

He graduated first in his class in 2020 from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He was selected to speak at the virtual graduation ceremony on behalf of the graduate school.

WhatsApp Image: Andy at his graduation from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte on July 13, 2022, at 8.40 p.m.

From May 2020 to July 2021, he worked as an associate engineer at Scheweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), when he abruptly left the unpredictable life stage.

When Andy passed away, the tributes that came in from Ghana and the United States almost forgot about his achievements, both academic and professional. People who knew Andy emphasized a more prominent quality—his humanity. As inseparable from his personality as his perpetual smile was from his love for others, his selflessness, and his desire to inspire others.

The 80-bed Robert and Cecelia Amuna Children's Ward in the Bongo District Hospital in the Upper East Region is one of Andy's humane remembrances. Children and elderly women were crammed into the hospital's deteriorating 40-bed female ward prior to the construction of that ward.

During the busiest times of the year, the hospital, according to Dr. William Gudu, had to put up to three children in one bed. Because there was no other health facility in the district that had beds, they referred some children who required admission to the regional hospital when it was too crowded.

According to Dr. Gudu, there are parents who leave the facility but do not take their children to the referral facility for a variety of reasons, one of which is the cost. He stated, "You would be informed that the child is dead after a day or two."

Andy called his father to tell him that the children's condition was unacceptable and that something needed to be done about it after seeing my Joy FM news story about the situation. According to William Amuna, Andy kept increasing the pressure until he was forced to act. Together with the assistance of friends, he mobilized his siblings and constructed the 80-bed children's ward.

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The Youngsters' Ward was named after Andy's grandparents, Robert and Cecelia Amuna

Dr. Gudu says since the ward became functional in 2019 the clinic has never been constrained by space to allude a youngster to the local medical clinic. In addition, he asserts that the hospital is now able to admit children who are moderately ill and require admission but were previously asked to return home due to a lack of space.

He claims that as a result, the ward has prevented some preventable deaths among children who would have been turned away previously.

Friends of Andy say that even when he was away in the United States, he was always the first to give to any cause that would help others. He wanted to manage the charitable endeavors that he had encouraged his father to undertake and earn his own money. However, he stated in his commencement address that "life does not always go as planned."

The Amunas are still reeling from the loss, but they believe that carrying on Andy's legacy is the most fitting tribute. Because of this, the Andy Amuna Foundation promises to change the lives of thousands and hundreds of young people.

The donation made at Andy's funeral was undamaged by the family. The donation served as the foundation's initial funding source.

Andy's family, friends, and well-wishers will gather at the Achimota School tomorrow, July 30, 2022, at 4 p.m. to officially launch the Andy Amuna Foundation. The foundation will empower children whose bright futures are threatened by poverty through education.

Mrs. Monica N. A. Senanu, the board secretary of the Andy Amuna Foundation, states that opportunities will be available to all Ghanaian children, with an emphasis on the sciences. She says that the foundation will also try to solve the problems with education's infrastructure.

One of the initial steps will be the construction of a model elementary school in Andy's impoverished hometown of Dua in the Bongo District. The ICT center, library, and other facilities needed to improve instruction will all be present in that school.

Martin Luther Ruler Jr. once said, "It doesn't make any difference how long you live, yet the way in which well you make it happen."

Andrew Mbabilla Amuna died at the age of 27. However, society will benefit from his life even after he dies. Indeed, he lived a full life.

May the Andy Amuna Foundation, his legacy, be the seed from which hundreds of others will grow, flourish, and improve Ghana and humanity in the same way that Andy did.


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