Over 100 disabled children and their parents in Kumasi were recently feted by the Sisters of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul Congregation, a Catholic Women Congregation at a ceremony in Kumasi to mark the patronal feast day of their founder.
St. Vincent de Paul is the founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity, a task he accomplished in collaboration with St. Louise de Marillac. The feast day is marked every year on September 27. The Daughters of Charity are a group of Catholic Sisters founded in France in 1633 solely for the service of the poor.
The Catholic Nuns and the Staff of Safe-Child Advocacy (SCA), a Kumasi-based humanitarian organisation owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi and run by the Daughters of Charity Sisters, decided to fete the disabled children as part of their charitable acts.
Different kinds of disabilities affect people in different ways yet, the same kind of disability can affect each person differently. While all disabilities are as different as the individuals who experience them, the challenges and opportunities for persons with disabilities are often similar. Disability is not “inability” or “sickness”
The feting which took place at the Drop-in Centre of SCA, a non-profit humanitarian organisation owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi has been described as a moving experience with the mothers and some fathers seen arriving together with their children with various forms and severity of disability.
Sr. Olivia Umoh, the Director of Safe-Child Advocacy (SCA) said the Sisters were happy to have additional opportunity to reach out to the most deprived members of the society in keeping with their Charism and tradition.
“I initiated the idea of bringing the children with disabilities together to be feted and I gave the opportunity to members of staff of SCA to decide which category of needy population they felt was most deserving of their care at the moment, Sr. Umoh narrated.
“The Staff unanimously voted to celebrate this special feast with children with disability and their mother and caretakers,” she added.
According to the Director of SCA, “There were over a hundred persons with disabilities in our courtyard that we became worried about social distancing,” saying “Our wonderful staff rose to the occasion by providing sleeping mats, benches and plastic chairs and arranging them in the most creative way to cater for the different situations and needs of our guests.”
Sr. Umoh appreciated the support of the Daughters of Charity Province of Nigeria for taken up all the expenses of the feting and donated funds to support the third phase of the Covid-19 response.
Present at the ceremony were a Catholic Priest of the Kumasi Archdiocese, Fr. Alex Asamoah was at the function to represent Msgr. Gabriel Acheampong, the Board Chairman, and Mr. Alfred Gyamfi Amponsah, Ashanti Regional President of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD), a national umbrella organisation of organisations of persons with disabilities in Ghana which was established in 1987.
He together parents of the disabled children expressed gratitude to the daughters of Charity Sisters and Safe-Child Advocacy for thinking about them and for their love.
As part of the joyous moments, mothers/parents of the children were given a pack of dried food and transport fare for each child while mothers with two or three children with disabilities also got packs for each child.