On the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the Accra sports stadium disaster, the Kumasi central mosque hosted a prayer and donation session supported by the May 9th Foundation as well as the Shen Yang & Shen Yuet Children’s Heart Foundation in remembrance of the victims of the historic football disaster in the nation’s history.
The President of the May 9th Foundation who is also the former Chairman of Kumasi Kotoko used the occasion to thank the chief Imam of Kumasi Sheikh Abdul Mumin Haroun and the entire Muslim community of Kumasi for their continues support and prayers over the years for the victims of the Accra sports stadium disaster of May 9th 2001.
Herbert Mensah expressed his happiness over a collaborative charity initiative between the May 9th Foundation and the Shen Yang & Shen Yuet Children’s Heart Foundation starting in 2023 that is paying for the cost of surgical operations of children with a hole in heart disease in Ghana over the next 10 years.
‘’So far surgeries have been done for about ten children with a hole in heart disease. Eight of them were successful and two could not make it. Each of the surgeries costs between $6000-$14000. The entire costs is covered by the Shen Yang & Shen Yuet Children’s Heart Foundation. We intend to do between 20 and 30 surgeries every year for the next 10 years.’’
He added, we’re changing lives, we’ve taken pressure off the shoulders of many families, so this for me is an extraordinary thing that is going on.’’
The Chinese charity child heart foundation is named after 17-year-old Shen Yang, a hole-in-heart survivor and his brother, both sons of Chinese investor Shen Yan Chang, the founder and chairman of the SUNDA & KEDA International Group of Companies operating in Ghana.
Sheikh Abdul Mumin Haroun praised Herbert Mensah for holding a yearly observance for the victims of the Accra sports stadium disaster for 22 years and urged him to continue the charity work of helping the needy in the society with the support of his business associates and sponsors. The Ashanti regional chief Imam also took the opportunity to congratulate Herbert Mensah on being recently elected as President of Rugby Africa, the continental governing body of the Rugby game in Africa.
The May 9th stadium disaster occurred in 2001 at the Accra sports stadium during a soccer game between arch rivals Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko football clubs. A stampede during the games led to the deaths of over 126 soccer fans. This led to several families left without breadwinners and caretakers.
Herbert Mensah who was chairman of Kumasi Asante Kotoko during the Accra stadium disaster in 2001 established the May 9thFoundation initially to materially support families of these victims. However, over the years, the foundation has spread its charity projects to affect other needy groups in society including flood victims, physically challenged people, children requiring surgeries from caustic soda ingestion, and those with hole- in heart-disease.