The Ivana Jane Foundation (IJF) is a charity named after the twin daughters of the founder; Gifty Addison-Kwaku. IJF is founded on the personal triumph of Gifty’s daughters who have special needs, and the foundation centres on care and provision of services for children with disabilities.
One of the main aims of IJF is to tackle the cultural prejudices that affect the lives of children with special needs within the African community, often brought on by a lack of knowledge. IJF hopes to do so by equipping the African community and professionals with tools, training and resources, that will give special needs children increased opportunities and possibilities to develop their full potential. Another aim is also to develop a comprehensive creative arts therapy for children of African descent diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other disabilities.
The first official launch of the Ivana Jane Foundation will be held on the 19th of July 2013. We speak to Gifty Kwaku to get an insight into the foundation and its functions.
What are the core values of Ivana Jane foundation?
Our values repose on the Christian principles of love, faith, hope, selflessness, honesty and integrity. These are all coupled with our downright commitment to preserving the dignity and integrity of children dwelling with disabilities and special needs in diverse ways.
What prompted you to start the foundation?
The Ivana Jane Foundation (IJF) was sparked due to my personal story which involves the birth of my twin girls who have special needs. Ivana and Jane continue to defy all doctor’s logic and expectations at every milestone of their lives. My story birthed a vision and this gave a way to the reality of the Ivana Jane Foundation.
How does your foundation intend to support children living with disabilities?
The Foundation intends to advocate for special needs children by means of resource mobilisation from all quarters and donors. Resources from individuals, Non-governmental institutions, multilaterals (through their corporate social responsibility CSRs) and many others will be geared towards special needs institutions primarily in Africa, commencing with Ghana.
What is the Pearls & Ties cocktail event about?
This event is the first launch to introduce Ivana Jane Foundation to the world. It hopes to attract individuals and organisations in the area of special needs and also sympathisers to the cause and to fundraise. Proceeds raised will be going towards a Sensory Room at the Multikids Academy (East Legon, Ghana); a special needs institution set up by Mandy Budge. In order to make it less dour and more fun, ladies are being invited to wear pearls and gentlemen to wear ties on the evening, hence PEARLS & TIES cocktail event.
What do you think about the newly formed GUBA Foundation?
The GUBA Foundation is definitely an initiative in the right step. GUBA Foundation has been formed with a difference, unlike other organisations doing similar work geared towards autism. The mother organisation GUBA also goes the extra step by organising awards to encourage Africans who are making a difference in their fields on the continent and beyond. It is imperative that even as achievements are rewarded, disadvantaged individuals in our communities are also supported. Thus, the GUBA Foundation is committed to supporting and bringing about change.
How can people get involved with the Ivana Jane Foundation?
We are currently working to present some information on our website regarding volunteering programs. In the meantime, people can actively get involved with the Foundation by setting up fundraising events in support of our cause. More information on this can be found on here;
For Donations, please go to: http://www.ivanajane.com/d0nate&353_&=ivaja.html.
Special needs issues are under-represented within the African community both in the UK and Africa. The Ivana Jane Foundation is a good initiative as it aims to tackle some of these issues and bring about positive solutions. GUBA would like to encourage all to attend and support the initiative.
Date: 19th July 2013,
Address: Bloomsbury House, 2-3 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2RL.
Time: 6.30pm till midnight
Tickets cost £25 and can be purchased at http://ivanajanelaunch.eventbrite.co.uk/
For more information on the foundation, visit: http://www.ivanajane.com/