News reports indicate that Mrs. Theresa Kufuor, the wife of former President John Agyekum Kufuor has died at her home in Peduase on Sunday, October 1. She was 87.
Mrs. Theresa Kufuor, born 25 October 1935 was the wife of John Kufuor, the second President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, and former First Lady of Ghana. She was a retired nurse and midwife.
Mrs Kufuor started her education at the Catholic Convent, OLA, at Keta in the Volta Region of Ghana. She later went to London, where she was educated as a Registered General Nurse, in the Southern Hospital Group of Nursing, Edinburgh, Scotland.
After further study at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford and Paddington General Hospital, London, she qualified as a State Certified Midwife with a Certificate in Premature Nursing.
Theresa married John Kufuor when he was at age 23 after they met at a Republic Day Anniversary Dance in London in 1961. They got married in 1962. She is a mother of five and a grandmother of eight. She is a devout Roman Catholic.
Despite being the first lady of Ghana for eight years between 2001 and 2009, she managed to maintain a low profile in the political arena.
Legacy Of Mrs. Theresa Kufour
During her time as First Lady, she established the Mother to Child Community Development Foundation, a non-governmental organization operating in Ghana and Canada which aimed to promote the healthy development of children and prevent the transmission of diseases from mothers to their offspring.
In 2007 she pushed for policy changes in the Government’s white paper on Educational Reforms towards the implementation of UNESCO’s Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) program for kindergarten children.
Theresa Kufuor was a strong supporter of women’s empowerment and rights. She supported initiatives and regulations aiming at improving the position of women in Ghanaian society. Her work promoted gender equality and increased women’s involvement in the advancement of the country by inspiring countless women to pursue education, professional possibilities, and leadership positions.
On October 25 2010 Pope Benedict XVI conferred on her husband President John Kufuor, the Papal Award of Knight Commander of St. Gregory the Great, for his dedicated service to mankind and the Catholic Church in general. Mrs. Theresa Kufuor, on her part was awarded the Papal Award Dame of St Gregory the Great for her commitment to the plight of poor children and their mothers.
Mrs. Theresa Kufuor’s departure represents a sad chapter in Ghanaian history and the end of an era. Her never-ending efforts to better the lot of her fellow people, especially the weakest, are evidence of the enduring impact of service and compassion.
While Ghana laments the passing of a beloved heroine and former first lady, it also honors the tenacious spirit of a woman whose legacy will continue to shine brilliantly in Ghanaians’ hearts and thoughts.