Daughters of Charity Sisters Put Smiles on Faces of Children With Disabilities in Kumasi
By Damian Avevor
In a bid to put smiles on the faces of the children with disabilities in Ghana’s Ashanti Region to mark the Patron Feast Day of Founder, the Sisters of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul Congregation, a Catholic Women Congregation, have extended its charitable acts to over 100 disabled children and their parents at a ceremony recently in Kumasi, the regional capital of Ghana’s Ashanti Region.
The feting which took place at the Drop-in Centre of Safe-Child Advocacy (SCA), a non-profit humanitarian organisation owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi and managed by the Daughters of Charity Sisters, was described as a moving experience with the mothers and some fathers seen arriving together with their children with various forms and severity of disability.
“As it was the month of September, 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,” said Sr. Olivia Umoh, the Director of Safe-Child Advocacy (SCA) in an interview.
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 of which Safe-Child Advocacy, managed by the Daughters of Charity share their vision, mission and core values with their staff members and all who serve in their institution.
The idea of bringing the children with disabilities together to be feted was initiated by Sr. Umoh, who gave an 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.
“The Staff unanimously voted to celebrate this special feast with children with disability and their mothers and caretakers,” Sr. Umoh said.
Disabilities have been defined in many ways. In general, disabilities are characteristics of the body, mind, or senses that affect a person’s ability to engage independently in some or all aspects of daily living.
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”
People living with disabilities can be as healthy as people who do not have disabilities. People with disabilities can do work, play, learn and enjoy full healthy lives in their communities.
According to Sr. Umoh, “There were over a hundred persons with disabilities in our court yard that we became worried about social distancing. 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.”
Addressing the gathering, Sr. Umoh expressed gratitude to 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 the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD), a national umbrella organisation of organisations of persons with disabilities in Ghana which was established in 1987.
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.
Moved by the deep humanitarian gesture of bringing them together to celebrate the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul, the mothers expressed gratitude to the Daughters of Charity Sisters and Safe-Child Advocacy for their love.
Source: Damian Avevor//Newswatchgh.com