Last week I had the pleasure of doing some charity work with MONO-UK (making our needs one). I went on one of their three maternity ward visits in Accra where they provided new mothers with basic tools, clothing and some with financial assistance to assist mothers in taking care of their new born babies. 

It isn't all fun and games here in Ghana.



There is serious work to be done and I'm so proud of the ladies of MONO UK  for doing their part. 
 While working with MONO I witnessed single mothers being held hostage by their hospital bills, unable to take their children home, unable to do things most new mothers take for granted like giving their newborn child a name, all while racking up new charges each day. This is a feeling equivalent to trying to find your footing in quick sand. A feeling of hopelessness, drawing you in deeper and pulling you in quicker than you can find steady ground to pull yourself out. 

On this day I also witnessed MONO become the miracle someone had been asking for, the personification of one woman's answered prayer. These ladies made what seemed impossible happen for a 20 year old single mother by taking care of her hospital bill after being held there since November. As a single mother she did what she had to in order save her life and the life of her baby. With the child's father no where to be found and very complicated pregnancy which required surgery, though she could not afford it, she made the tough decision to go to the hospital anyway. I used to think things like this did not happen in Ghana. Ghana of all places, a religious hub where 90% of all billboards were church related, men impregnating women and leaving them with no support leaving droves of abandoned children in their wake left me absolutely perplexed. I was baffled to find that this is a part of the reality here just as it is in my American community. 

Let me give you an idea of how disproportionate things are. 
In one of the biggest hospitals in Accra it cost 20 Ghana cedis per day ($5.20 ) to remain in the maternity ward after childbirth. 
The reality is that on any given night you can find Ghanaians patronizing of any one of the many posh clubs built by foreigners and expats where the price of one cocktail can pay for three days in a maternity ward. 

The reality is that at any given time we sadistically waste someone's monthly pay on food that may or may not give you diarrhea in the morning. I know many people's social media updates won't include this, only the air conditioned comforts and perks of the insane dollar to cedis exchange rates that afford us the pseudo-luxurious lifestyles of the 'just comes.'  The truth isn't always pretty but in the end it IS part of our reality. 

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