In the south western corner of Damongo, in northern Ghana, lies the Good Shepherd Parish with a population of about 8,000 people spread across an area of 5,600km. One man looks after this parish, Fr Francis Kulah, dedicated to the poorest people in the region and particularly to the children who have nowhere to go and no food. There are 216 villages and he supports 28 trained ministers across the broad parish area. The people are mainly subsistence farmers whose yearly harvests depend on the unpredictable rainfall of the area. My little parish of St Bernadette’s in Blackpool, North West England has been supporting Fr Francis’s work and we recently discovered there was no clean water in the area. A small group of people raised £5,000 to build a well and you can see in the picture the joy this has brought to the town. Children no longer have to walk miles to reach a source of dirty water. The well means health and new life.
It brings home to us that what we take for granted, many people can only dream of. Now Maria Curran is leading the charge to raise funds to build and furnish a children’s home. Fr Francis has been helping, feeding and providing education to the poor for many years. The classroom is a patch of ground under the trees. Women and children are the most deprived in this area. Many struggle to live. Some have to carry fire wood on their heads and walk far distances about 15 km to the market to sell the wood to make a living. Children are put at risk, either by labouring in the farms for money or carrying wood (logs) to sell in the market to take care of their needs.
Widows and orphans suffer the most and the Church has a vital role to play in terms of the sick and needy. They struggle to get a meal or somebody to talk to and thus their life span is very short. For the children, their play ground is the mission house and when they are hungry they turn to the priests for help. Imagine the difference when Fr Francis can give them a place to rest their heads, somewhere to call home, and a school building.
We are aiming to raise around £15,000 to build the children’s home and this appeal is to provide £2,000 funds for the beds and school supplies for the children. Anything you can donate will help to bring life and smiles to the faces of these children; even better if you can hold a fund-raising event in your local area to support this life-giving work.
Note: the children's home is not faith-based. All are welcome.