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The NLA Good Causes Foundation: Igniting Hope And Optimism Through The Power Of Games

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich”, John F Kennedy, a conviction strongly shared by the Director-General of NLA, Mr. Samuel Awuku, who, upon taking office in August 2021, resolved to ensure that the Authority provides better care for the needy and underprivileged.

Having observed the positive impact and footprints of lottery in most communities during an official visit to the Ivorian lottery institution, Loterie Nationale de Cote d’Ivoire (LONACI), Mr. Awuku committed to replicate the same back home.

This motivation also stemmed from the enormous support member countries of the World Lottery Association (WLA), of which the NLA is a part, contributes to good causes in their respective countries.

Thus, on his return from Ivory Coast, Mr Awuku, together with his team, got to work, and on 20th October 2021, the NLA Good Causes Foundation, hitherto known as Special Projects, was launched with the support of the Chief of Staff, Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the NLA Governing Board, some distinguished guests, and stakeholders of the Authority.

With an initial funding of Sixty Thousand Dollars ($ 60,000.00) from LONACI, the NLA Good Causes Foundation has already made a significant difference. It has positively impacting over 400,000 lives and transformative changes in numerous communities and institutions nationwide.

PILLARS OF THE GOOD CAUSES FOUNDATION

The NLA Good Causes Foundation is not just a charitable initiative but also a pillar of the Authority’s National Lotto Act, 2006 (Act 722), Section 1 Clause 3, which states that “there shall be conducted as part of the operation of National Lotto a lottery with the object of providing care and protection for the physically or mentally afflicted, the needy, the aged, orphans, and destitute children”. This alignment ensures the foundation's legitimacy and underscores its purpose.

The Foundation, headed by the Coordinator, Ms. Amma Frimpong, spearheads the Authority’s Corporate Social Responsibility and aims to develop, implement, and maintain a structure based on four main pillars approved by the NLA Governing Board.

They are Health, Education, Youth and Sports Development, and Arts and Culture.

The Health Pillar focuses on infrastructure support, training mental health workers, providing hospital supplies, and expanding nationwide medical outreaches on specific ailments.

The Education Pillar focuses on awarding educational support to brilliant but needy students. NLA also supports educational institutions with the necessary logistics and sponsors programs and projects that meet the Foundation's objectives.

The Youth and Sports Development Pillar covers capacity building for the youth and supports sporting activities, focusing on developing lesser-known sports. It also assists SMEs owned by young people with technical and skill support to help them be innovative. Special attention is also given to persons with disabilities and special needs who may want to enter entrepreneurship.

The Arts and Culture Pillar supports projects safeguarding and protecting Ghanaian cultural events and educational programs.

The NLA Governing Board also determines discretionary projects that the Authority undertakes annually.

PROJECTS

According to the Coordinator for the Good Causes Foundation, Ms. Amma Frimpong, for 2023 and 2024, the Authority settled on the construction of toilet facilities and mechanized boreholes across the 16 regions of Ghana to ensure good sanitary practices in our communities while complementing the government’s efforts in the provision of social amenities.

Ejura, and Drobonso in the Ashanti Region, Essikado in the Western Region, Kwawkrom in the Central Region, Bomaa and Odumase in the Bono Region, Wesley Grammar and Wesley Girls High Schools in the Greater Accra Region, New Juabeng South in the Eastern Region, include areas that have benefitted from the 20-seater toilet facilities with mechanized boreholes. These facilities have been duly commissioned and handed over to the communities.

Other areas where the 20-seater toilet facilities have been constructed and will soon be commissioned include Aflao in the Volta Region, Garu in the Upper East Region, Akyem Tafo in the Eastern Region, and Zabzugu in the Northern Region, among many others.

In commemoration of May Day, the Foundation and as part of its medical outreach programs, the Good Causes Foundation, in collaboration with the NLA Customer Service Department, feted and entertained head porters, cart pushers, and children in and around Tema station adjacent to the Authority’s head office.

They were also given a health talk on their general well-being and personal hygiene, with the ladies among them given sanitary pads.

Some of the projects undertaken under the various pillars include:

HEALTH

• Medical Outreach in communities, Korle-Wokon, Somanya, Kadjebi, Boanakye and Fiapre  
• Donation of Medical Equipment (incubators) to the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital in collaboration with the Kokrokoo Foundation and Hope Exchange Hospital in Kumasi
• Refurbishment of Tema Polyclinic Recovery Ward, Koforidua Central Hospital Children’s Ward
• Support for Weija Leprosarium, Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Bahass Foundation, Wa and Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital.
• Support to Individuals with Medical Ailments (Baby Selina with Spinal Bifida)
• Sharing of sanitary towels for pupils in the Afigya Sekyere District

EDUCATION

• Building of a Smart Lab for the Borstal Correctional Institute in Accra
• Providing brilliant but needy students  with scholarships
• Refurbishing Schools – Mamfe Presby Primary School, Gonten Primary School
• Establishing an IT Lab in collaboration with Ask Ghana for schools in the Agona West Municipality
• Providing educational materials and equipment for some remote schools
• Construction of a Three-Unit Classroom Block With Ancillary Facilities In Akyem Dwenase

YOUTH AND SPORTS DEVELOPMENT

• Support of Government’s YouStart Program with Ten Million Ghana Cedis (GHS 10,000,000.00) in 2022 with a promise of an additional Ten  Million Ghana Cedis in 2023.
• Support the Youth of Adumasa through the Nana Serwaa Brakutu Humanitarian Fund  with training in Beads Making and Dress Making
• Support to Hasaacas Ladies with One Hundred Thousand Cedis
• Support to Ampem Darkoa Ladies with Forty Thousand Ghana Cedis
• Support to Henrietta Armah for an International Taekwondo Tournament in Austria

ARTS AND CULTURE

• Celebration of our culture through Festivals and our Community Draws or with Cash Donations – Kwaku Obomeng, Hogbetsotso, Fetu Afehye, Nsawam Adoagyir Odwira, Homowo, Akwasidae at Akwamufie among many others
• Partnering with the Citi FM Heritage Caravan to celebrate our cultural heritage.

GENERAL SUPPORT

Even though it may fall outside its pillars, the NLA supports other areas when necessary.
They include:
• Support to the people of Appiatse with GHS 100,000.00 during the explosion
• Construction of a Corn Milling Facility for the Gonten Community
• Donation of office equipment to the Ghana Police Service
• Support to the National Council on Persons with Disability
• Construction of mechanized boreholes and toilet facilities across the country.

While the Authority focuses on granting external support to select groups as dictated by the National Lotto Act, the Director-General, Mr. Samuel Awuku, believes the Authority should take care of its own. Thus, about 150 Staff members have been awarded scholarships and given support for medical aid.

IMPACTING LIVES THROUGH GAMES



According to the World Lottery Association ( WLA), “In FY 2022, WLA member lotteries contributed almost USD 83 billion to fund good causes, and since 1999, they have raised an estimated USD 1.6 trillion.” These funds support education, care for the aged, grassroots sports, and the respective communities of member countries.

The National Lottery Authority, a member of the World Lottery Association and African Lotteries Association (ALA), has replicated the same by touching the lives of many communities, individuals, and institutions through the building of recreational centres, sanitary facilities, mechanized boreholes, refurbishing schools and hospitals, granting scholarships to brilliant but needy students, and providing educational and medical equipment, amongst many other things.

The Foundation draws its proceeds from the NLA’s Caritas Lottery Platform, which regulates all consumer promotional schemes with elements of chance, raffle draws, points-based selection criteria, etc., and allotted amounts from its third-party collaborators, private lotto operators and other sponsors.

The NLA's investment in these projects is not just a statutory obligation but a way for the organization to give back to the communities in which it operates and to show its patrons that their contributions, even when they don't win, support a worthy cause.
As Kathy Kalvin says, the NLA believes that “Giving is not just about making a donation; it's about making a difference, " which is the difference it seeks to make with its Good Causes Foundation.