There are a couple of organisations in Ghana doing a lot of charity work here and there but as Mother Teresa once said “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” No group does it with so much love than the “Tatas and Friends Foundation”
Being friends with the founder, Caritas Aryee, on Facebook, her passion towards giving and showing love to the needy is so evident through her posts and personality. I started following the Foundation religiously on their activities and endeavours and it blew my mind such an amazing work they are doing!
I hope this short interview with her would not only inspire you to mercilessly chase and work on your passions but to also drive you to be the change wherever you find yourself.
Mabel: Briefly introduce yourself
Caritas: My name is Caritas Naa Ayele Aryee. I am 27years of age, an insurance agent at Millicom Ghana and a current student of the Wisconsin University. I am proudly the CEO “Tatas and Friends Foundation” and also the CEO “Go Digital Ghana”. I love watching movies and spending time with my loved ones.
Mabel: Why “Tatas and Friends” Why did you start this Foundation?
Caritas: “Tatas and Friends” because I am a giving person and I know that is the basis of life. This initiative is to show love to anyone who needs it and also to let them know their today doesn’t determine their tomorrow. There are a lot of people who just need love and nothing else. The four letter word which to me is the most POWERFUL word, which is the essence of living.
Mabel: What drives your passion to make a change in society?
Caritas: My life backs my passion. I didn’t have it all growing up. I was content with what I had because I knew my mum would have given me a lot more if she had the means. Growing up, I always said to my mum I will take care of the poor as part time aside my career. Everyone is just waiting for somebody to start the change we seek, I chose to be that one person in my community to effect that change. To make poor happy, to let them know there is hope out there with the little my team and I can offer. To encourage and let them know that future is not as bleak as they see it.
Mabel: How are you able to find people to reach out to and help?
Mabel: How did you come up with the name “Tatas”. Any special meaning?
Caritas: The name “Tatas” was derived from my name Caritas. In 2008 my little cousins Sena and Elikem Kugblenu had been brought to Ghana and I lived with them. They could not pronounce Caritas and said Tatas rather. I took up the name because I loved them. People now call me “Tatas” more than ‘Caritas’
Mabel: What are some real challenges you faced regarding the starting and during the growth of this NGO?
Mabel: How have you been able to deal with it?
Caritas: PRAYER has been the only true solution and it has really worked for me. My team and I have always depended on God more than man. We fast and pray when we are about to come up with any project. God has been our main source of funds but he works through humans. He has given us so much favour that everything we put out there just falls on fertile grounds. Also Social Media has been key. 80% of our funds comes from social media. For the past three years, we have raised funds online. We had our first major fundraiser last year in August where we sold Kenkey, a Ghanaian local dish, and raised ghc10000 plus . We will be having a second edition of that this year so look out for “Kenkey For The Needy”.
Mabel: Any achievements/ Awards so far?
Caritas: My first recognition came from the American Embassy when I was named Young African Leader for a week in 2013. Motivational speaking has also sprung out of me due to my initiatives so by God’s Grace, I have had the opportunity to speak at a number of forums. I have also been featured on many blogs, interviewed on both Radio and Television that has given me very good exposure.
Also, the Kumasi team of ”Tatas and Friends” was started last December which currently have 20 members whiles the Accra team has 30 plus members. I haven’t received any humanly award yet but my heavenly award which is Life, Divine strength and Favour I receive on a daily basis.
Mabel: Any words of inspiration for the youth?
Caritas: I was not a straight ‘A’ student. At a point in time of my life, it looked like all hope was lost and nothing good could come out of me. Friends looked down on me, others felt I had no aim aside making noise on social media but it was all for good.
As a youth, take God seriously and do what makes you happy. When you fall, rise up and try again. Do not let anyone discourage you from doing what you think will work for you. Look at the prize in your time of difficulty. Nothing is impossible and everything is possible.
Mabel: Favourite quote that inspire you?
Caritas: I live by my own quote “ Positivity is a mindset, you need to own it and to live it”