The Ghanaian Association of Portsmouth started in the 1990s. The birth of the association emanated from a tragic death of a Ghanaian student who died alone in his room without support or comfort from anyone. As if that was not bad enough, the body of the student was not discovered until the body started to decompose and attracted flies. A coroner’s report indicated among other things that the student had died of hunger. The student had no support around him from close relatives, friends, and limited means of knowing where to access help while studying at his university. He, therefore, run out of financial support over time leading to such a tragic incident.
It was clear at the time that, a lack of information, a good support network and a lack of togetherness had contributed to the avoidable death of the student. This shocked the Ghanaian community to the core and gave rise to a few key and prominent Ghanaians within the Portsmouth area who came together to vow that never will such an incident be allowed to repeat itself within the local area.
Consequently, Ghanian in Portsmouth resolved to form an association that will bring the Ghanaians in Portsmouth and the surrounding area like Gosport, Fareham, and Havant together to be each other’s keepers. Through this resolution, “The Friends of Ghana Association” was formed.
Friends of Ghana sort to look out for and support each other. The association actively sorts and supported foreign and African students studying in and around Portsmouth City (Portsmouth University) with a particular emphasis on Ghanaian students, especially through signposting and support to help them settle and integrate into the great city of Portsmouth.
After many years of friends of Ghana being in operation, the association became inactive mainly due to key stakeholders moving away. After a few years of inactivity of the Friends of Ghana Association, a few people led by a couple of wise Ghanaian women sort to resuscitate the spirit of Friends of Ghana to bring the Ghanaian community to the Portsmouth area again. It is through this that the Ghanaian Association of Portsmouth was born.
Ghanaian Association of Portsmouth (GHAP) as we know it today. The Association was officially inaugurated in a colourful Ghanaian culture and vibrance in June 2018, with a keynote address and guests Speakers including the then Ghana high commissioner to the UK Hon Paapa Owusu Ankomah; MP for Portsmouth North & then minister of state for Business, Hon Penny Mordaunt; The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth City and dignitaries from University of Portsmouth among other prominent community members.
Since its official inauguration in 2018, GHAP continues to foster stronger alliances with other local groups to actively contribute positively within the Portsmouth society. GHaP has worked and continues to work closely with other organisations, including the University of Portsmouth, to support Ghanaian and Ghanaian students through their schooling experience and make them feel and experience a homely atmosphere as Ghanaians away from their country of origin.
The entire aims and purposes of the Ghanaian Association of Portsmouth are to be there for one another both here in the UK and provide charity donations in Ghana to spread the love and togetherness that comes from a true heart of caring for one another. This is perfectly captured in the Associated motto: GHAP! – ONUA DO FIRI AKOMA MU (Which literally can be translated into English as GHAP! — Brotherly Love emanated from The Heart).