As one of five children, Freeman Ahegbebu learned a lot about supporting others while growing up in Kasoa. After graduating from Swedru Senior High School he enrolled in an accounting programme for a Higher National Diploma at Accra Polytechnic. While in the accounting programme part-time, Freeman was teaching at the Great Promise School Complex in Kasoa as a science teacher. With his charisma and respect for the students Freeman became a highly respected teacher by both his students and colleagues.
He was quickly promoted to the head of the science department during his four years at the school.
It was during this time that Freeman and his family faced some hardships. His father, who had always been the breadwinner of the family, lost his job for a number of years. Freeman’s younger brother was in senior high school at the time which is a pretty hefty expense in Ghana. Even while going to Polytechnic part-time, Freeman used his income from his teaching job to support his brother’s education. Instructing also afforded him the opportunity to see students with similar problems as his brothers and how they struggle for their education.
The story of one of his students still motivates him as a social worker today. A brother and sister, age 16 and 17, who attended Great Promise School were living in Kasoa without any parents or guardians. Their parents were subsistence farmers who had to live four hours away and were only able to send a little money if they had a surplus of crops. While their school fees were usually paid for, there were many times when they had no money for food or school supplies.
Freeman realised that these two students represented his own brother without any siblings in the position to assist them. Seeing the potential and desire to learn in these two underprivileged students, Freeman took them under his wing and supported them when it was necessary.
It was 2009 and Eric was the headmaster of Great Promise School. He saw the passion Freeman had for helping others through education and asked if he would like to join the newly formed Cheerful Hearts Foundation as a part-time project coordinator. Freeman gladly accepted and a few years later in 2012, he left the Great Promise School Complex to work fulltime at Cheerful Hearts Foundation.