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Beginning school heralds a brighter future for Philomina’s triplets

Philomina Amankwaa’s triplets will turn five at the end of the month, and start school a few days later. For them, it’s an exciting beginning; for Philomina, it’s an opportunity to put the grief of the past behind, and look forward to a brighter future.

The 35-year-old had been in Australia for just one year when she was told she was having triplets. Then, 18 months later, her husband died suddenly and she found herself alone with three toddlers in a strange land. “I can’t believe how far we have come,” she says.

Mrs Amankwaa grew up on a cocoa farm in Ghana, then moved to the city of Kumasi with her grandmother to finish school and study accounting. In 2010 she met her husband, Patrick, who was home on holiday after moving to Australia.

Shanelle, Shanette and Shane Afriyie begin school in January

Shanelle, Shanette and Shane Afriyie begin school in January Credit:Janie Barrett

They married and she moved to Sydney four years later, and was seven weeks’ pregnant when her ultrasound technician gave her the “most shocking news ever”. She was pregnant with triplets. “I felt I was daydreaming.”

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