A reason to dance

“My community members referred to me as a mad woman because they found me dancing and singing at the water site.”

It’s no wonder. Kayampork’s year had been so hard. What could possibly bring her this much joy?

Kayampork is a widow and mother of four children from the Upper East Region of Ghana. In October 2019, torrential rains caused devastating flooding in the region. People lost their livelihoods because farms and houses were submerged in the floods and more than 26,000 people were displaced and living with relatives or in temporary shelters.

“I lost my husband in March 2019 after a short illness, and the little resources I had were used to settle medical bills. In October, the house collapsed,” she says.
Kayampork house before the storm

She and her children had to temporarily move into the small kitchen which was the only room left standing. This was particularly challenging during the heavy rains, when they would run to the local clinic for shelter.

A subsistence farmer, Kayampork also used to fry doughnuts for sale in the local market. She lost three bags of flour purchased on credit in the flooding, and had to sell her only surviving goat to offset part of her debt. Her husband’s family refused to support her because she was not ready to marry any of the man’s relatives as tradition demanded. Unable to provide a safe environment for her four children, she was forced to send three of them to stay with relatives, as she and one child moved in with a different family.

CARE Canada was working in the community, and with support from the Humanitarian Coalition and the government of Canada, selected some of the most vulnerable families to receive cash grants and personal care supplies.

Kayampork was chosen for the project, and with her initial funding she bought roofing sheets. She says, “in my state of dilemma, CARE appeared and provided me with support.”

But her troubles were not over yet.

Speaking of the water site incident, she says, “in the morning of that particular day, I had no ingredients nor foodstuffs to prepare food for my four children. Then suddenly I received a call from CARE that money had been deposited into my mobile money account. This was the reason for my dancing and singing.”

The total cash allocation, in three installments, allowed Kayampork to reconstruct her collapsed house and purchase seed for her farm. She also received bathing and laundry soap, and sanitary pads for herself and her 16-year-old daughter.

All of her children have returned to live with her in their new home.

It has indeed been a hard year, but a little help has made a world of difference for Kayampork and her family.

“I thank CARE for the wonderful support and the show of love,” she says.