Two entities distribute 5,000 shoes in Accra

BY: Donald Ato Dapatem
 Mr Taj Weekes assisting one of the children to wear his shoes
Mr Taj Weekes assisting one of the children to wear his shoes

Toco Charity, a US-based not-for-profit organisation, in collaboration with Mr Martin Zormelo, a Ghanaian philanthropist, has commenced the distribution of 5,000 pairs of brand new shoes to children in some communities in Accra.

For a start, over 100 children from the Chorkor Presbyterian Primary School have been given brand new pairs of shoes and socks which brought excitement to the children.

Explaining the rationale behind the donations, the Chief Executive of Toco, Mr Taj Weekes, told the Daily Graphic that it all started when Mr Zormelo decided to bring the band down to play as part of his (Mr Zormelo’s) 50th anniversary.

He said instead of throwing a lavish party, they decided to use the occasion to play music to raise some funds for the needy in society and distribute the shoes at the same time.

Come Back

Mr Weekes, who is also a Reggae musician, explained that the foundation would come back again to Ghana and in collaboration with Mr Zormelo replicate the work they had been undertaking in some of the Caribbean countries.

Those, he said, included bi-yearly dental clinics, domestic abuse awareness programme, distribution of bicycle and skateboards, diabetes clinics and scholarships for the children.

Second coming

He said discussions for the second coming had been concluded and that Toco would soon roll out the programme to help the poor and the underprivileged in Ghana and commended Mr Zormelo for his selfless love for the people.

“I am humbled that I can do something to help these kids. Looking at their faces, the excitement written on their faces tell me that they are grateful. For me, reggae, the music that I play, is a doing word. We don’t just talk the talk but we walk the talk,” Mr Weekes added.

Mr Zormelo, for his part, told the Daily Graphic that the 5,000 shoes would be distributed to people in about 10 communities.

He said he took the decision to raise funds to help the Ghanaian community that had supported and helped him to be what he was because that was the best way to celebrate his birthday and give back to society.

Music

He indicated that he and his friends decided to use music, arts and sports to do philanthropy, which they called the Ray of Hope, executed through music and art.

Mr Zormelo indicated that they brought musicians from legendary reggae bands such as Big Mountain, Kentey, Ras Bumba who performed two shows: one on September 23 and the second on September 25, 2021 at Plus 233 and My Place Even respectively.

He said the famous artist, Kwame Osa, sold some of his works to raise awareness and mobilise funds for charity.