It is only when you embrace who you truly are that you begin to achieve.
Bio for Margaret Adu
Margaret is a highly accomplished architect. She is the founder and managing director of Aomega Group Inc., operating as Aomega Lodges, a local personal care home. Margaret has always been extremely community-minded and has served as the President of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Calgary and the Personal Care Homes Council of Calgary. In 2010 she received the Ghanaian Canadian Achievement Award for Community Service, and in 2013 she was nominated for the Black and Gold Award for her community and business efforts.
In most African homes, when grandparents fall sick or age to need support, their children provide care. In Canada, seniors with serious health and mobility concerns and disabled adults can be housed in lodges specifically designed to support them together with their families.
When Margaret was growing up, her grandmother moved in with them because she needed support. Margaret found joy in taking care of her. When she moved to Canada, she met Dorothy, who was like a grandmother to her and needed home care. Margaret gave it her all. At some point, Dorothy was forced into an institutionalized care facility, where she died two weeks later. When Dorothy passed away, a light bulb lit in Margaret’s brain made her see homecare as her calling.
Margaret’s dedication to succeed has resulted in her becoming the owner and Founder of Aomega Group Inc with 17 home-like environments for hard to house seniors and adults with disabilities. In this episode, she shares her journey with us.
- Aomega Lodges: http://www.aomegalodges.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/margaret-adu-2a8b91132/
- “I’ve always advised embrace your “you”. When you embrace your “you” the sky’s the limit. You’re part of who you are so you can break barriers.”
- “Never judge or mistreat anybody. Treat them with dignity and respect because you never know when the tables will turn.”
- “Everybody is disabled at some point in their life and some people are disabled for their entire life. A multi-ability friendly environment, benefits everyone.”
- “When a human being is neglected, the cost to society is huge.”
Margaret was born in Ghana. She lost her mother at age 4 and was raised by her aunt, as the oldest and only girl in a family of boys. Margaret had many chores and responsibilities that she credits with helping her develop the qualities she has now.
In grade seven she joined a Catholic boarding school which offered freedom that wasn’t available to her at home. She served as a sports prefect, learning more leadership abilities. Together these experiences shaped the woman she is today.
Margaret has had two influential groups. The first is the architectural school she attended in Ghana. The other was the academic group she met in Canada when she joined her husband.
Temperament and Personality Influences
When Margaret moved to Edmonton, something she added to her personality was pride in her gender and ethnicity. As a proud African woman, Margaret was ready to take on the world!
In Africa, you do not have to call in advance when you want to visit someone. You can show up, and they are glad to have you around. When you go to Canada, things are different. Letting them know in advance that you are coming is considered essential. That’s one example of the cultural shocks Margaret experienced in Canada.
Another cultural difference is that whereas in Ghana people don’t announce personal things until they are accomplished, in Canada people are more open about their personal lives. For instance, people rarely announce their pregnancies until they reach seven months. Canadian women speak openly about their pregnancy early on in the process.
Margaret is a generous person who doesn’t easily take “no” for an answer. She has a special way of bringing out the best in people because she sees their potential, and doesn’t allow them to quit.
Her team has developed leadership capacity, grit and confidence under her combination of challenge and encouragement.
Soap Box Moment
Margaret wishes to see more facilities that allow their residents to “smell the bacon as it cooks” and “feel the clutter in the kitchen”. This helps the facilities feel welcoming and homey. She urges financial institutions to look at the outcome of making facilities feel like home instead of like institutions, and to develop more structures that meet client needs.
Margaret Adu grew up as the only girl in a blended family of seven brothers, learning early on to take charge of people and take responsibility to find out what you need to know to do the job. From one of the top young architects in Ghana to the founder of Aomega lodges in Calgary, Margaret has dedicated her life to helping people with different abilities live in a loving, dignified home environment.