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JUL / AUG 2016

IN LOVING MEMORY OF ABIBA AGBANGA “INA”


A Word of Thanks

In loving memory of Abiba Agbanga “Ina” 1947 - 2016 Dear Friends and Family, It is my profound wish that this note finds you and your family in good health. On behalf of myself, my brothers and sisters, and the entire Alaffia family around the world, I express my deepest gratitude for the courage, prayers and more that you have given me during and after my mother’s death. It is the kind words and sense of caring that each and every one of you sent me that is enabling me to gather myself from this inexplicable pain. And for this, I thank you once again. From my childhood to today, my existence has been about serving my mother with absolute loyalty to her principles of life, one of which is supporting the less fortunate. Whenever I broke down, she told me to “stand up, and you will see that you are not broken.” When I felt I could no longer support the load of Alaffia on my shoulders, she told me, “you are not alone and it is your destiny, and destiny doesn’t give up along the way.” When I confided to her that things are not easy for Alaffia in the USA, where we have to compete with well-funded competitors, imitations and copies; she said “Just keep doing what you do; doing what is good for the people is the only thing that matters.”

Olowo-n’djo and his mother, Ina; Togo, 2012.

When she visited the Alaffia centers, she went around and gave her humble thanks to every single woman, sometimes taking two full days


Ina was serious for photos, so it was rare for the camera to catch her laughing - this was a sweet moment with her daughters; Togo, 2015.

to complete. She noticed every improvement, no matter how small, at the Alaffia centers. For every new wall or building, she noticed and prayed for it and blessed the improvement, telling me the Almighty will give me the ability to do even more. In my village of Kaboli, to protect me, she remained modest and lived in the same 8x10 room I grew up in until three years ago, when I built her a small, humble house. She said, “If I remain modest in the village, you are protected, many will not envy you and you will live longer.” For this reason, she never asked me for a car or motorcycle. She walked around the village like all other women there. For countless other reasons, I had become dependent on my mother, counting on her during hard times to lean on her shoulder. Every time Alaffia helps a mother, I felt it was her that did. I worked for her. I did everything to make her proud. This is why the pain of her no longer being around gravely troubles my being. Even on her deathbed, she put others above herself. When I visited her in April, she told me not to spend any more money on her health. “Let me die so the money can be spend on others who still have a better chance of living.” Now that she is gone, I will do as she wished, and spend more on those whose lives still can be saved. I do regret, however, being so busy giving everything to uphold what she wished for that I irreversibly failed to spend more time with Alaffia Founder, Rose Hyde with Ina in Kaboli, Togo, 1996. her, the one that I so admired, loved and wished to serve. However, my soul tells me she would not leave me without a shoulder to lean on, that each of you is now my shoulder to be there for me in good times and in bad. My mother always worried the most about her son being alone in a foreign land. But before going, she realized I have friends and family here in the United States, and she therefore could rest in peace. With all my heart I thank you for allowing me to lean on you during these difficult times and in those yet to come. For the greater good,

Olowo-n’djo Tchala

Members of the Tchala and Hyde families; Togo, 2011.


JUL / AUG 2016 NEWSLETTER

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Alaffia JUL/AUG 2016  

This issue features a letter from Olowo-n'djo honoring his mother, Ina, and expressing his gratitude to everyone who supported him and his f...