Nana Yaw Moses

Born: 1988
Died: 24 sept 2007
Born (approximately): 1987. Transferred to Hand in Hand in December 1991from the Mental Hospital Accra. Died 24 Sept 2007. Buried on our premises near the rock. Nana Yaw was the first child who came to live at the Hand in Hand community in December 1991, when he was about four years old. As such he was the founder! Nana Yaw was found abandoned at a deserted market. After being brought to the police office and later to an orphanage, he was transferred to the mental hospital where he lived for some years on the adult male ward, among a nameless number of emaciated, psychotic men. Seeing him there was a pathetic sight, a small skinny boy sitting motionless among hundreds of almost naked and burned out figures. Nana yaw was a severely handicapped child, he suffered from a pervasive form of autism and had almost uncontrollable epileptic fits despite specialist help and medication for the latter. He lived in Ineke and Bob’s house in his own room during all the sixteen years of his stay with us. He was a solitary young boy who could occasionally be aggressive when he was teased or otherwise felt oppressed. This aggression had near to disappeared during the later and best years of his life. Nana Yaw never talked but understood a lot, both in English and in Twi language. Mostly he lived in his own separate world but there were times when he expressed a desire for contact, especially later on in his life. At such a time he would suddenly find himself sitting on someone’s lap and smile a warm, almost naughty smile at you, wanting to say: “See what I can do if I feel like it?” At such moments he melted our hearts. At times he would show his need for interaction by asking people over and over again to dress him. Or stretch our his arm in the distance like saying: take me for an outing. When Nana Yaw first arrived he was emaciated. Perhaps that is why he was always difficult with food. He usually walked around with a plate in his hand, begging for extra food, but during his last year he started refusing food while still going around begging. Rather than give his uneaten food to the other kids he would walk to his secret place in the bush and dump it out of reach for even the dogs and the chickens. He suddenly died on the 24th of September 2007. Being the Nana he was he received an almost royal funeral and lays buried near the rocks of our land, where Araba too has been buried, a few years earlier. Rest in Peace, dear Nana Yaw.
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