ARK'S ​Foundation

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What is PCAF?

      There are an estimated 150 million disabled children throughout the world. Indicated in a report from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (2011), approximately 2.5 million people live with a disability in Ghana. Until somewhat recently, these people were socially isolated and discriminated against by many, including their own families in most cases. The struggle of these people extends far beyond the disability itself.

     In an attempt to destroy the many forms of discrimination, such as access to public accommodation, transportation, and free basic education, the Physically Challenged Action Foundation (PCAF) was formed to aid these people. The foundation contains programs encompassing rehabilitation, employment, vocational training, formal education, day care, and social services support. Founded by Barimah Antwi, or Ark, and formerly known as the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled, PCAF is undertaking the task of rehabilitation and vocational training for its members. To improve the possibilities of a career after the residents leave the foundation, it teaches its members simple yet important skills, such as shoe and leather work, along with tailoring and dressmaking. PCAF also provides its members with most or all of their medical needs, whether it is treatment from a doctor visiting from Europe, or simple tools like wheelchairs, braces, and crutches.

     Amazingly, Mr. Ark manages to provide all of this aid without a steady job. Ark and the members of PCAF sustain themselves with the plot of 50 acres of land that farms oranges, bananas, plantains, and maize. These crops are used to not only feed the members, but also to sell to the community in order to purchase other vitalities. Along with these fruits and vegetables, the land is home to animals including pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, and guinea fowl, which can all be sold eventually for a high profit or can be used directly for sustenance.  

     A few of the foundation’s major goals are to train and educate the members, to aid and improve their futures, to keep them from engaging in unnecessary social vices, such as smoking, drinking, gambling, and stealing, and to prevent members from leading secluded lives by involving them in social activities like sports, games, and excursions.

     Through support from individuals, organizations, and agencies in and outside of Ghana, the foundation has, so far, trained and rehabilitated over 900 physically challenged people of all ages. Who knows how high that number could climb if kind people are continuously willing to help and assist in the bettering of these people’s lives?

Who is Ark?

     Barimah Antwi, better known as Mr. 
Ark, is a native of Ghana. He lives in a simple home 

in the town of Maase, Offinso. Every day, he walks

through the cemetery to a cluster of buildings at the

edge of town. Here, the Physically Challenged

Action Foundation (PCAF) houses, clothes, and feeds

over 100 disabled children from around the region. It 

started with a soccer team, Ark Angels' Football

Club - though Mr. Ark never would have imagined that his dream to make a difference in the lives of children would lead to PCAF. 

     In 1973, Mr. Ark formed Ark Angels' in the hope that it would get children off the streets and give them something meaningful to do. The team did incredibly well and was even a part of the Ghana Football Association. Then, on Sunday, June 26, 1977, something happened that would change Mr. Ark’s life forever. He was driving with his football team when they were involved in a serious car accident that ultimately proved fatal after one of the player’s lost his life. As a result of the accident, Mr. Ark lost his right arm.

     For the next ten years, Mr. Ark was neglected by both friends and strangers; even his own parents and wife abandoned him. With the taboo of being disabled hanging over his head, Mr. Ark didn’t have anything left going for him - but he didn’t let that stop him.“Only five percent is missing from me,” Mr. Ark always says. “The other ninety five percent can still do something.” And do something he did.

     In 1988, he started the journey that brought him to Maase and PCAF. He began to go from house to house, inquiring, "Is there a disabled person living here? Do you know which families have disabled members?" Slowly, he began to draw the disabled Ghanaians out of their homes and into his own. Over the course of twenty five years, he developed his idea into what it is today.