Entrepreneur | Founder | Philanthropist
My name is Nana Adwoa Tutuwaa, a native of Akwapim in the Eastern region of Ghana. I am an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. I am the Founder and CEO of Nyiramma Foundation and NF Bakery, a subsidiary of Nyiramma Foundation and also the CEO of Tempo De Dio Restaurant.
My father died very young, but I saw how my mother worked from dawn to dusk to take care of my four siblings and I through school growing up. My mother worked so hard for several years to take care of us until we had some support from my step father when my mother re- married along the line. Though I am inspired by a lot of people in life, my mum inspired me so much on my journey to become an independent woman to support humanity and to help them live their dreams. This is because my mother embarked on all forms of businesses to take care of us irrespective of the hardship she had to endure for years. I therefore believe that, no matter the situation women can equally live independent lives and not at the beck and call of a man if they are supported and empowered to achieve their goals in life.
To that end, I am always working towards my passion and what I also call 'God's calling on my life' to support humanity especially by providing financial assistance and support for women to engage in petty trading and to encourage them whichever way I could to take care of their children regardless of the challenges women face. I observed that taking care of the children of these needy mothers would limit them and may not empower them enough in any way but once they were provided with the skills and financial assistance they will be better placed in a position to support their children to the highest level in life.
I started supporting a number of people here in Accra, by paying their school fees, providing feeding support for them since as back as 2000 until I eventually registered my gesture as an NGO in 2015 though the initial purpose was just trying to fulfill God's calling for me to show love to humanity through giving especially to needy mothers. After supporting some people in Accra for sometime, I had to expand the scope to other deprived parts of the country where there are much pressing need and also the lack of basic amenities for survival are predominant. I did that by renting a bus with my team for this exercise. There were some of the villages I visited that had no electricity in any part of the community, no portable water whatsoever for them to use. We stayed with them to even helped us to understand their plight for further assistance in future.
What motivates you?
Encountering my angel. Now, one of the stories that also changed my life was my encounter with a young lady in the market. I had gone to buy watermelon at the market and just when I had paid for them and about to leave, a young lady in her mid 20's approached me and requested me to borrow her 35ghc (USD$4.50) for her to repay later, but I asked how she was going to pay back and how was she even going to meet me again as I giggled. She told me she needed some money to buy watermelon and sell to be able to take care of her two children after all attempt for the watermelon seller to give them to her on credit had failed. I enquired of her husband and was informed the husband who was a mason had been indisposed at home after nearly losing his life through an accident while at work.
Moving forward, I gave her 40ghc (USD$5.15) to purchase the watermelon and left after she had taken my contact. Two weeks later, she called me and wanted to pay back the money I gave her. Surprised by her level of honesty and diligence, I asked her to take it back and reinvest the money in the little business she was doing. I was seriously touched by what the lady had done. If some people in our society needed as little as 35ghc (USD$4.50) to work with, then I had to do more, I told myself after pondering over the matter for a while. I proceeded to register with a FNGO in (microcredit) where I started supporting women with some little funds to start their own businesses to support themselves and their family. I have taken care of a lot of people but I am currently also taken care of 10 years old triplets and their mother. I have rented a house for them, provided capital for the mother to do business to be able to feed them while I pay for their school fees and books. I have been doing this for them when they they were just 6 months old babies living with their mum in an uncompleted building. Additionally, we support street children with food particularly during occasions.
Our NGO, Nyiramma Foundation, has been to places in the hinterlands where there are no toilet facility, electricity, and water.
Some of these places are without a health facility and women in labour had to be strapped behind the back of people, carried far distant places for child birth. We went to these places and supported them with bore holes and shared the little we had which brought some life to them.
What is your calling?
Interventions to support 'God's calling'. Out of the passion and 'God's calling' for what I am doing and realize I may be handicapped financially considering the enormity of requests for support from sections of parents, I decided to go into bakery - baking bread. The objective was to keep 50 pesewas (USD$.50) on every loaf of bread I sell to support the needy. I have also opened a restaurant two months ago collaborating and connecting to the bakery from the little resources to generate money to be able to continue to fulfill my vision. I am always trying to see what I can do to earn money to support others and not to give excuses to support the less privileged in my society.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
There were challenges when I started and are still challenges which at a point made me want to give up but I have to continue because of the love I have for humanity. Every business requires some form of expansion once you want to meet a lot of needs of people. I am currently not able to bake more bread for my demography with one van because we can only supply to only some few market centres and individual shops hence I earn very little from what I do and using what I earn to support others is having a toll on my start-up business.
What are your lesson learned?
I am humbled by what I do, I have come to appreciate humanity more and noticed some of us are blessed to eat three times daily, it is not because we are better than others who have to struggle in their daily lives just to find a meal. I have also learnt to live a selfless life just to see others also smile as God continues to bless my family always.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
I am always trying to see what I can do to support the less privileged. No matter the challenges; I am pushing on, though I have not arrived, yet I will plead with people to take a closer look at their lives and see what they can also do for others, God expects us to become a light for others no matter how little it is.
I will encourage women to do their best and not necessarily have to wait for their husbands for every thing they need, even if it has to do with payment of bills at home, they can equally pay once they are capable. Once women are economically empowered, they can support at home and all forms of marital problems such as misunderstanding, divorce, and the rate at which children are found on the street as a result of broken homes will greatly be reduced. I am humbled to say that, few organizations have recognized our work. For-instance, in Nov. 2019 I was awarded Shero of the year award by the Ghana Outstanding Women Award (GOWA). I also received Woman in Philanthropy Award in Dec. 2019 by the Ghana Philanthropy Forum and in Oct. 2020, adjudged Best Humanitarian Woman award from Humanitarian Awards Ghana.
Social Media Handles:
Instagram: Nhyiramma Foundation
Facebook: Nhyiramma Foundation
Twitter: Nhyiramma Foundation.