12:44pm

Fri July 19, 2013
Local

Shreveporter continues effort to improve the life of West African girl

Tia Landrum (right) of Shreveport visits with Adom Grace in Ghana after coming to her rescue and getting her medical help.

One year ago this month, college student Tia Landrum of Shreveport encountered a life altering situation while on an internship in Ghana. She saw an emaciated girl who was lying helpless in a marketplace, and exposed to the West African sun.

“She weighed a little over 17 kilograms (37 pounds) when we picked her up, and she was about five feet tall," Landrum said.

Landrum and her interpreters took the girl to a hospital. But Landrum couldn’t stop there. She launched a Facebook campaign for the orphan and gave her a name, Adom Grace.

"She taught me so much about not seeing the world in just big numbers, but in seeing it as every individual because it genuinely is about that," Landrum said.

Adom was in intensive care for almost two months. Landrum raised the money for her care through her nonprofit organization that she started with a fellow Centenary College student.

“A large group of inspired people come into play where five dollars here, ten dollars there would save someone’s life," Landrum said.

Landrum found a retiree in Ghana who was willing to care for Adom and be her guardian. She sends her a monthly stipend to help with the cost. Today, Landrum aims to raise $10,000 so Adom can be placed in a special needs school in Ghana. Landrum says Adom has fought tooth and nail to recover from cerebral malaria and malnutrition.

"It’s a fantastic display of the human spirit and the passion for living and the fight for life.  Even if you have no allies, you have no family, and you can’t speak anymore.  It’s really incredible to see what she’s brought herself to," Landrum said.

Landrum also contracted malaria while in Ghana. She said she’s taking a year off from college to focus on her humanitarian organization, givingbackinaction.org, which is where the money is coming from to care for Adom Grace.