Emmanuel Yeboah was born in Ghana, a nation in West Africa. He was born with a severely deformed leg. Physically disabled people in Ghana have traditionally been shunned, hidden, or even killed. Those who survive are left to a life of begging in the streets.
In July of 2002, Mr. Yeboah rode a bicycle across Ghana in order to raise awareness of the plight of disabled people in his country. By the time he finished his 10-day journey, he had become a national hero.
Since then, Mr. Yeboah has received the 2003 Casy Martin Award from Nike, and the 2005 ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award. He has used the funds from these awards and grants to distribute wheelchairs to disabled people in Ghana, and to provide scholarships for disabled Ghanaian children. His goal is to build a state-of-the-art sports academy in Ghana that will employ only the disabled, but will be open for use by all. He also hopes to organize a national team to compete in the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, and plans to run for the Ghanaian Parliament.
A film has been made of Emmanuel Yeboah’s story, called Emmanuel’s Gift.
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