The solidarity of the ISS was glowing on Tuesday evening as students gathered to bid farewell to Dorothy Dittoh, a former student who passed away at the age of 26 last Friday. Dittoh, who was originally from Ghana, had received her Masters in Social Policy for Development just over a year ago before being diagnosed with cancer. At a candlelight vigil held in the student housing just around the corner from the school, the friends she left behind stepped up one by one to share fond memories of Dorothy.
“Dorothy was a kind, generous person as well was a hard-working, intelligent, caring and very thoughtful person”, said Abdul-Kudus Husein, a close friend of hers. “She would always give a helping hand to any student who sought her counsel. You will always be in our thoughts, and forever in hearts.”
In honor of their late friend, former classmates framed a photo of a smiling Dorothy and surrounded it with bouquets of red and white roses along with an arrangement of burning candles. Across the communal space where the vigil was held, students wrote their condolences in a black velvet book to be sent to the Dittoh family. And although a somber mood hung in the air, bright smiles could still be seen as friends reminisced over good memories.
One of Dittoh’s dear friends Becky Cudjoe spoke of how there was no doubt that Dorothy left this Earth having been a good person all along. She asked the dozens of students at hand if they would be able to say the same thing were they to pass away tomorrow. Death prompted mourning, but it also led to a moment of a sincere reflection amongst the students about the fragility of life.