Terrible news broke out that a Ghanaian International student has been found dead in his hostel room at the University of Southampton. It was later revealed that he died of starvation in the national news papers and media houses across the country. This brought shock and humiliation to Ghanaians and the entire community at large. Lessons learnt suggested that if this gentleman had belonged to an association or had close companions this perhaps would have been prevented.
The Ghanaians in Portsmouth and Southampton and other neighboring communities formed the FRIENDS OF GHANA SOCIETY (FOGS). Both students and residents in these communities enthusiastically, unanimously and overwhelmingly applauded the idea. Membership was open to all Ghanaians and any other person(s) who ‘love’ Ghana.
A hardship secretarial was instituted to help mainly students who experience any form of destitution. Many people were assisted after training to go back to Ghana with their qualifications, skills, experience, funds and investment to help build Ghana.
The group also had the opportunity to celebrate the Ghana Independence in Portsmouth with His Excellencies: Mr. Aggrey Orleans and Mr. Isaac Osei, successive past Ghana High commissioners to UK, gracing the occasion as Guest of Honours respectively.
Over the years many members finished their courses and relocated back to Ghana, other parts of the country and the world. The end result was that the patronage, membership and activities of the society became dormant for a number of years. This led to sporadic functions. After a while these also ceased.
Many people who moved to Portsmouth during these quiet periods perhaps had no prior knowledge of the existence of FOGS. In line with other nationalities and minority groups springing up, a group of Ghanaians saw the need to be represented in Portsmouth. Some of their objectives were
to take advantage of opportunities and help contribute towards the socio-economic development of Portsmouth
To have a body to represent their interests.
A general meeting was called to discuss the formation or re-start of the society. Members agreed by a majority census to have a complete overhaul including a name change, hence GHANA ASSOCIATION OF PORTSMOUTH (Ghap).
Ghap has now elected executives, a detailed constitution and a new sense of direction and goal. Membership is opened to all Ghanaians and associate membership offered to non-Ghanaians.