Caritas Ghana Rolls out $175,000 Project to Ease COVID-19 Burden

Logos of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German Development Agency and Caritas Ghana, the development and humanitarian agency of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC).

Catholic Bishops in Ghana, through their humanitarian wing, Caritas Ghana have embarked on a humanitarian project that will see vulnerable groups who have been worst hit by COVID-19 benefit from a GHc1million (UD$175,000.00) project to help them get back on their feet.

In a Monday, August 24 meeting, the leadership of Caritas Ghana said the project is aimed at tackling the economic impact of the pandemic with creation of employment and market stabilization measures as well as reducing the effects of electronic waste in Ghana’s Archdioceses of Accra and Tamale.

“Caritas Ghana developed a program to mitigate the humanitarian consequences of the pandemic focusing on sustainable economic development measures,” Samuel Zan Akologo, Executive Secretary of Caritas Ghana said at the virtual launch of the project via zoom webinar on August 24.

The project is an emergency response subsidy from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German development agency aimed at alleviating the plight of vulnerable persons by tackling the economic impact of COVID-19 on jobs and market stability.

In a briefing at the virtual launch, Mr. Akologo said Caritas Ghana and GIZ partnership is anchored in their mutual interest in the development and implementation of Social Impact Business Models in the field of waste management, specifically the ‘Care for Our Common Home E-waste Management Campaign’, a Laudato Si’ implementation initiative in Ghana inspired by Pope Francis in 2017.


Mr. Akologo noted that the action plan developed by Caritas Ghana essentially covers sustainable long-term social impact entrepreneurial activities to help improve the economic situation of people adversely affected by the pandemic.

The project’s target group, he said, are Small and Medium Enterprises on the local markets around Agbogbloshie, a slum area in Accra.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a humanitarian crisis and efforts to contain the virus and support those directly impacted are of utmost importance,” the Caritas official stressed.

The approach, he said, is the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) response plan to the COVID-19 pandemic which is also aimed at complementing the overall effort of the Government of Ghana.

Outlining four key measures to advance a stable and sustainable economic development, Mr. Akologo said the project will provide support for the Positive Action for Porter Girls (PAPG), a non-governmental organization (NGO), which provides health care and support for porter girls known as ‘Kayayei’ founded by Sister Angelina Gerharz, a member of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit.

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PAPG operates from a shop in the Madina market in Accra, and though faced with challenges such as space and finance, has implemented skills training in soap making, he added.

“These planned measures will seek to improve the quality and expand production capacity accompanied by skills training of the head porters,” he said, and added in reference to the beneficiaries, “The long-term goal is to re-invest the income into further skills training, provide credit support, and assist them to complete their formal education.”

Another key area of the project, he noted, is to increase the capacity of the tailoring training Centre of the Peace Adult Evening School, a slum-based NGO under the auspices of Accra Archdiocese, to produce face masks.

“The masks will be purchased and distributed to front-line staff in the COVID-19 fight and residents of the slum at Old Fadama according to need. The training Centre will be reopened with an increased capacity to provide training in tailoring skills after COVID-19,” he added.

According to Caritas Ghana Executive Secretary, a pre-processing plant for plastic waste will also be built in the Tamale Archdiocese, which will generate approximately 25 sustainable, long-term jobs for residents and resettled and reintegrated internal migrants from Old Fadama including scrap workers, Kayayei and others.


This, he pointed out, will further generate income for waste collectors through a “cash for work” scheme. The capacity of the planned recycling plant will allow 40 to 50-day casual workers to collect plastics for daily payments.

Justifying the stabilization of local markets of small and medium size enterprises, Mr. Akologo stated, the pandemic had resulted in low purchasing power, plunging traders’ profits.

 “The increase in poverty among the residents of Old Fadama and Agbogbloshie is leading to a considerable loss of purchasing power which in turn leads to a significant decline in the turnover of traders of essential products for daily use (food and other goods) on the local markets.”

At the August 24 virtual launch, a representative of GIZ, Mr. Joseph Sikanartey who is a Technical Policy Advisor of the organization expressed excitement at the Caritas Ghana partnership and went ahead to pledge GIZ’s support of the project.

“I am very happy GIZ has been in a partnership project with Caritas since 2016 on E-waste which ended in January this year and there is hope that GIZ will continue to collaborate with Caritas Ghana,” he said.

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Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu of Konongo-Mampong Diocese who is the Episcopal President of Caritas Ghana, on his part, thanked GIZ for the support and assured the organization that the funds will be used for the intended purpose.