GB Foods, producers, and distributors of Gino food products have donated cash and assorted food items through the May 9 foundation for families of victims of the Accra stadium disaster and other needy people in Accra and Kumasi.
The donation comes amidst growing economic hardship experienced by many people forced to stay at home under lockdown as part of social distancing measures imposed by the government to stop the spread of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
It forms part of activities to mark the 19th anniversary of the tragic stampede, which occurred during a soccer game between rivals Accra hearts and Kumasi Asante Kotoko on May 9, 2001.
The tragic event claimed at least 126 lives and left many football supporters injured and their families in despair.
The May 9, 2001, Accra stadium disaster remains the number one sports tragedy in Ghana’s history.
Even though the government of Ghana set up a disaster fund to support the families of the victims of the stadium disaster, very little benefit has been derived by the families, according to some of them.
Justice has also eluded the families of the victims of the disaster for 18 years as the commission set up by the Ghana government to investigate the incident found no one culpable.
As chairman of Kumasi Asante Kotoko at the time of the Accra stadium disaster, Herbert Mensah has taken a personal responsibility over the years in an effort to replace the despair of these affected families with hope by highlighting the need never to forget the incident.
Although the goal of the foundation is to highlight and constantly remind Ghanaians of the tragedy in the hope that it will never be repeated, many of the affected families have often appealed to the organization for material and financial support.
This material support has been facilitated by sponsorships from companies such as GBfoods, which has committed to supporting the May 9 charity project championed by Herbert Mensah.
This forms part of their corporate social responsibility to the people of Ghana, without whom, their businesses will not thrive in the country.
“What I saw and experienced on May 9, 2001, in that stadium changed my life. It has taught us the value of empathy. We don’t want to forget that day and we don’t want a repeat of that tragic day in our history” Herbert Mensah said at a presentation of items and cash to beneficiary families in Accra on Thursday.
He said when he hears about people still misbehaving today at the stadium with threats of violence it becomes clear to him that the lessons of that day have not been learned.
“But sponsors like Interplast, GBfoods and SUNDA International share the value of empathy with the May 9 foundation for those who suffered that day and those who continue to suffer from other disasters such as gas explosion, flood victims or even the current COVID-19 pandemic.
We appreciate their continued support in the years gone by and those ahead”, he added.