Vatican COVID-19 Response Fund Boosting Caritas Ghana Interventions among Deprived

Sr. Olivia Umoh, DC, the Director of Street Children Project leading the Kumasi Humanitarian Team to the streets of Kumasi to distribute sleeping mats and blankets to homeless citizens in Kumasi on Tuesday, September 15,

The Vatican COVID-19 Response Fund donated to Ghana’s Archdiocese of Kumasi is changing lives of vulnerable groups in the Archdiocese including the homeless and medical staff working in deprived conditions, the Chief Executive Officer of Caritas Ghana, the Relief and Development Organization of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) has said.

In an interview with the ACI Africa Correspondent in Ghana Thursday, September 24, Mr. Samuel Zan Akologo said he was “extremely impressed” at the effective targeting of beneficiaries of the aid that had been wired from the Vatican in July.

“I have seen how shelter items including mats and blankets were distributed at night at areas under bridges and street corners in Kumasi where indigent poor and homeless were taking shelter,” he said.

Caritas Ghana was on July 30 awarded a €99,785.00 by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and Caritas Internationalis COVID-19 Response Funds, to embark on a Comprehensive Emergency Response Interventions on the pandemic in the West African country.

The Humanitarian support package from the Vatican Grant was dispatched on August 26 by the Caritas Ghana Office to the four Archdioceses of Cape Coast, Accra, Tamale and Kumasi.


In an interview during his week-long field visits to Kumasi Archdiocese to familiarize himself with the humanitarian activities being undertaken by Caritas Kumasi for those impacted by COVID-19, the Caritas Ghana official told ACI Africa that sanitation and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) being distributed are also serving Catholic health facilities in rural and deprived communities including those at St. Peter’s Clinic at Ntobroso.

 “These are the places where Caritas support is needed the most and makes the most impact,” he added.

He noted that together with Caritas Kumasi Archdiocese and their Street Children Project, Caritas Ghana is reaching out again to the poor and marginalized “to see their condition, at first hand and hear them with our heart, even if they do not utter any words to us.”

According to Mr. Akologo, the support from Caritas Ghana has come in handy to complement the local efforts of the Archdiocese of Kumasi.

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“COVID-19 has challenged us all to a new and compelling fraternity and human solidarity,” he said, and added, “Let us continue to do our little bit of protecting ourselves and reaching out to those in need and leave the rest for God to accomplish His plan.”

As part of the Vatican’s COVID-19 Response Support project, Caritas Kumasi on September 23 donated PPEs to St. Peter's Catholic Clinic, which serves the rural Community of Ntobroso.

Making the presentation on behalf of GCBC and Caritas Ghana, Fr. Michael Sarfo Kantanka, the Executive Secretary of Kumasi Archdiocesan Department of Development, thanked the clinic staff for their dedicated service to humanity especially during the pandemic.

He explained that Caritas Ghana was not only an essential part of the Church's mission but its very identity of service to humanity, saying, “that is why Caritas exist wherever the Church is.”


The Physician Assistant of the Clinic, Mr. Joshua Kewura who received the items on behalf of the Clinic, expressed his appreciation for the donation from the Church charity organization, saying that the facility had not received any help from the government.

“The Clinic has not received such support in the last two years and I am therefore extremely grateful for the donation by the Catholic Church,” Mr. Kewura said, pledging that the items would be put to good use.

Meanwhile, as part of Vatican Emergency Relief Program to support vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19 outbreak, the Street Children Project (SCP), a Church-based charitable organization of the Archdiocese of Kumasi, has distributed packed food and relief items to some identified vulnerable groups in Garden City of Kumasi.

SCP officials teamed up with the Caritas Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi to distribute the items to over 400 head porters popularly known in Ghana as “Kayayeis” and 60 persons with disabilities during the two week-long exercise of reaching out to the needy in Kumasi.

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The packed food items shared included rice, beans, cassava flakes, spaghetti, vegetable oil, tin tomatoes, mackerel, salt and sugar.

On the night of September 18, Sr. Olivia Umoh, DC, the Director of SCP led the Kumasi Humanitarian Team to the streets of Kumasi to also distribute sleeping mats and blankets to 80 homeless citizens.

“This distribution was done in the night to ensure that it indeed gave help to those who are truly in need,” Sr. Umoh told ACI Africa correspondent in Ghana, and added, “We were overwhelmed with what we saw. The number of persons sleeping unprotected on our streets is alarming.”

“I was moved to tears at the sorrowful conditions of the people, including children sleeping in the open without any proper bedding,” Sr. Umoh added.