Former international model, winner of Miss Universe Ghana, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Menaye Donkor established the Menaye School of Hope in 2004 to provide free quality basic education and scholarships to rural children in Agona Asafo, a village community located in the central region of Ghana. The school currently enrolls over 400 students and was founded through the Menaye Charity Organization, which is dedicated to improving the welfare of under privileged children.
On a recent visit to Ghana from Italy, where she lives with her son and husband, professional footballer, Sulley Muntari, Menaye took the opportunity to meet with school administrators and teachers and bring much needed supplies to the school.
“I decided to bring my 18 month son Jamal along with me on my visit to the school as I want to instill and share my passion for service and giving to him even at this young age. I want him to grow up understanding that although we are living a relatively privileged life in Europe, we are Ghanaians and we are Africans and we will always be committed to the people of our motherland no matter where we are in the world”, says Menaye who envisions expanding the Menaye School of Hope to all 10 regions in Ghana and continuing her work with children affected by HIV/AIDS.
The Menaye School of Hope has been personally financed by Menaye since its inception and a portion of proceeds from her new luxury skincare brand, SHE-Y by Menaye which recently launched in Italy and UK will be donated to support the school. The highest grade of shea butter from Ghana and other rare ingredients from the rest of the world are used to create SHE-Y’s unique collection of body creams and body scrubs while maintaining many of the traditional and artisinal processing techniques native to the women of the Northern region of Ghana.
“My love and respect for shea butter stems from childhood. My mother always kept a tub of butter in our home and it was the solution to every problem. As I traveled the world modeling, I carried shea butter with me because of this. Through my SHE-Y brand I want to share some of my secrets to maintaining flawless and ageless skin while also making an impact in communities in Ghana through fair trade practices, employment generation and education,” adds Menaye who has been honored for her commitment of community service by the Chief and elders of Agona Asafo who chose her to be the ‘Nkosuohemaa’ or ‘Development Queen’ of Agona Asafo. Her official stool name for this prestigious title is Nanahemaa Menaye Afumade Afrakoma I, which signifies her global responsibility to her people and her contributions to society.
With the additional support from sales from SHE-Y, there are current plans to expand programming and make improvements at the Menaye School of Hope, including a breakfast club to provide a meal a day for students, supplying new books for the library and building additional school blocks for the nursery and primary students.
For more information about the Menaye Charity Organization