Sister Deborah’s silent activism in the humanitarian field

Ghanaian-Romanian television presenter, musician and model Deborah Owusu-Bonsu better known by her stage name as Sister Derby or Sister Deborah, has been quietly making a significant impact in charitable interventions.

While she has achieved fame for her striking appearances, music videos and live performances, it is her love, compassion and empathy for vulnerable children, marginalised groups of people and the environment that set her apart.

One of her most recent charitable activities was donating food items for the Easter Monday party at the Street Academy behind the Art Centre in Accra. For the past five years or so, the African Mermaid has been feeding the students of the Street Academy on special occasions, such as Easter Monday. Many at times, mothers, siblings and the elderly in the community are also fed, numbering about 600 people.

The food served on these occasions is freshly cooked with local ingredients and served in clean leaves. The African Mermaid foundation (T.A.M.) creates awareness about the need to reduce the use of plastics, thus they try to educate and inculcate the habit of using leaves and brown paper for packaging.

At the grounds, Victoria buckets with soap and water are provided for all to wash their hands before and after eating. Dustbins are also provided to ensure that the rubbish is disposed of properly. This way, the children are taught good manners and personal hygiene.

At the last children’s party, T.A.M. Foundation got sponsorship from Upcycle It Gh in the form of cloth tote bags that the children could use for provisions shopping instead of single-use plastic bags.

With songs such as Refuse Reuse Recycle, Child Care, Atewa Forest and African Mermaid composed together with her brother, Wanlov the Kubolor, Sister Deborah has always used her creativity and social media platforms to address urgent social issues and promote social change. The siblings received the Environment and Sanitation Award in December 2020.

Her humanitarian work is mainly directed towards the wellbeing of the beneficiaries rather than her personal acclaim. She understands and believes that the focus of giving should always be on the cause itself. In the case of T.A.M. Foundation, the purpose is helping children and educating them to care about the oceans and their surroundings with the aim to ensure a safe planet for us all. In a world where people often seek publicity for their charitable acts, the multitalented star, Sister Deborah’s modesty is refreshing.

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