First Lady to address Fordham University

Mrs. Lordina MahamahThe First Lady, Lordina Mahama, is set to deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2015 at the New York-based Fordham University’s 170th Commencement, on Saturday, May 16, at the Rose Hill campus.

She will also be awarded an honorary doctorate degree of humane letters at the commencement ceremony.

“In conferring an honorary degree upon Mrs. Mahama, it is we who are honoured,” said Joseph M. Mcshane, president of Fordham.

“Her work with women and children in Ghana and across Africa, reminds us of persistence of kindness and the will to make a difference in the world,” said a statement signed by Gina Vergel, Associate Director of Communications of the university.

Mrs. Mahama is national president of the Lordina Foundation, a non-governmental organisation working with partner companies and agencies to make healthcare more accessible in Ghana, and to expand educational opportunities.

The statement noted that Lordina’s work embraced many pressing public health and educational issues.

The Lordina Foundation has provided many medical supplies, including, in one instance, an ambulance, to hospitals and health facilities in Ghana, worked to prevent breast and cervical cancer and HIV infection in Africa, and helped provide shelter and vocational training in Northern Ghana for women accused of witchcraft, who were shunned by their communities.

The statement also noted that the Foundation provided food, clothing and cash for seven orphanages across Ghana, and offered scholarships to 21 students to study in China, with support from the Chinese government.

Among her many advocacy efforts, the First Lady had helped to secure the government’s approval of a World Bank programme to provide secondary school scholarships to 10,400 children-half of them girls from deprived communities.

“Today, women are accelerating economic growth and improving conditions in their communities across the world,” the statement quoted Mrs. Mahama in an address delivered at the US-Africa Leaders’ summit in Washington, DC last year.

“Perhaps, if there were more women in decision-making roles around the world, we would create fairer and better societies. Women’s education brings positive changes not just for women but for communities and future generations too.”

Mrs. Mahama is a first vice president of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA) for West Africa, and is premier ambassador of the UNAIDS Global Plan on the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission.

Last year, she was honoured with a Global Inspiration Leadership Award and inducted into the Global Women Leaders Hall of Fame at the second Africa-Middle East-Asia Women Summit in Dubai, organised by the Centre for Economic and Leadership Development and the CEO Clubs Network worldwide.

Among her other honours, she was awarded the key to the city by the City of Newark in New Jersey, and given awards for her anti-cervical cancer advocacy in Namibia and Mozambique.

The university will also honour other dignitaries, including American Admiral Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Douglas M. Brooks, Director of the White House Office of the National AIDS Policy; his Eminence Jaime Cardinal Lucas Ortega Alamino, Archbishop of Havana; and Mathew Goldstein, Chancellor Emeritus of the City University of New York.

By Samuel Nuamah


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