Angela Ofosu Boateng – Accra, Ghana
Speaking in an interview with The Catholic Standard recently, the Executive Secretary of Caritas Ghana, Samuel Zan Akologo, hinted that as part of its comprehensive plan, the Church is providing basic needs to the poor especially the homeless and people in great need following the partial lockdown in some parts of the country..
Charitas Ghana working with dioceses
Caritas Ghana, he said, was working closely with parishes in these areas to provide temporary shelter and feeding centres for the homeless. Akologo explained that since the strength of Caritas is community-based, the organisation is working proactively and coordinating support at the level of diocesan Caritas organisations. In the short term, parish facilities are being used “to provide shelter and food for the homeless. Currently, Kumasi Archdiocese is hosting about 600 extremely poor persons. At the same time, Accra Archdiocese has around 1, 400 in more than 15 Parishes,” he said.
Christ the King Parish Soup Kitchen
Akologo added that Caritas Ghana would also liaise with security agencies to allow its emergency teams reach out to the homeless and marginalised to provide them with critical support. He noted that the Church’s humanitarian service was not just a fire fighting or ad-hoc approach, but that in the long term, the Church would consider replicating the Soup Kitchen feeding programme organised by Fr. Andrew Campbell, Parish Priest of Christ the King Church in Accra.
According to Fr. Campbell, in the past few days, his Soup Kitchen has provided meals to over 800 children around Kanda, Independence Square, Opeibea, Maamobi, Tema Station and the National Theatre, all in Accra with only an initial amount of GHC 50,000 (appx. USD 8, 650).
Appeal for support
Akologo appealed to donors, in the country and foreign partner agencies, for contingency support to enable Caritas Ghana carry out its mandate of supporting the poor and vulnerable in line with the Church’s mission.