, 24 May, 2020 / 2:30 AM
Two Catholic women groups in the West African nation of Ghana have, in separate ceremonies, donated to the National solidarity fund to help in the fight against COVID-19, responding to the appeal made by their Bishops in March.
The two groups, the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) and the National Union of Holy Child Past Students Association (NUHOPSA) have donated GHc10,000.00 (US$ 2,000.00) and GHc60,000.00 (US$12,000.00) respectively.
“As Mothers, since we cannot fold our arms unconcerned, we decided to make this donation to support our Bishops’ COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund directed towards the vulnerable and the needy,” the President of the NCCW, Mrs. Elizabeth Apprey Pobee, said May 11 when she presented a Cheque of GHc10,000 (USD 2,000) as their collective contribution.
“All must come on board to support the Bishops to achieve the purpose for establishing the COVID-19 Fund,” Mrs Apprey emphasized during the ceremony that took place at the Accra-based National Catholic Secretariat (NCS).
In a separate ceremony on May 22, the National Union of Holy Child Past Students Association (NUHOPSA), a Catholic female institution in the Cape Coast Archdiocese, donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) worth GHc60,000.00 (USD12,000).
The items presented to GCBC included liquid soap, pieces of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, World Health Organization alcohol hand rub, 680 pieces of surgical nose masks, 520 pieces of N95 nose masks, gloves, 160 disposable gowns, hand washing basins and paper towels.
Ghana has reported at least 6,617 COVID-19 cases; 1,978 patients have recovered and 31 have died.
On March 27, the Bishops of Ghana launched a nine-month National Emergency Response Plan for COVID-19 to ensure that the poor and vulnerable receive critical and basic services during the crisis.
The appeal is also geared toward supporting the purchase of PPEs and other medical supplies to support the 46 Hospitals and the 83 Clinics run by the Catholic Church under the National Catholic Health Service in the fight against the pandemic.
At the launch, the Bishops in Ghana noted that “in these times of COVID-19 pandemic, there is the need for people all over the world and Ghana in particular, to live exemplary Christ-like lives by extending love, kindness and care to those that are most affected or in the line of high risk to the deadly virus.”
Since the launch of the initiative, different Catholic Groups in Ghana have heeded to the appeal by donating towards the purchase of hospital equipment and food for the needy in the country.
While receiving the NUHOPSA donation at NCS in Accra, GCBC Vice President, Archbishop Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle noted that the contribution was very timely and would go a long way to help the Church alleviate the pain and sufferings the pandemic was inflicting upon individual and families.
“I assure you that the items would be distributed proportionally to all Catholic health facilities, many of which are in the rural areas,” Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said, urging Ghanaians to add prayer to the observation of COVID-19 protocols.
“It is said when persuasion fails, force is applied, but when force fails what do you do? You add supplication, supplication is prayer,” he said, adding that “in our case it is not when persuasion fails, it is not when force fails; it is adding supplication in addition to the protocols.”
The Archbishop advised Ghanaians to desist from fear of the novel coronavirus saying, “COVID-19 is not a death sentence; unfortunately, a lot of people have died, painfully so, but I am sure we are now realizing that it is not a death sentence, we can overcome it.”
We only can overcome COVID-19, he said, “by doing what we have to do, observing the protocols, keeping away so that we are not infected.”
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa