MADISON -- People in Ghana are very grateful for the assistance they have received from people in the Diocese of Madison through the Global Solidarity Partnership, said the priest who coordinates the partnership in Ghana.
||Fr. Emmanuel Acheampong
“I want to express gratitude for all the people in the Diocese of Madison are doing to assist us in Ghana. We are grateful for everything and it is yielding results,” Fr. Emmanuel Acheampong said in an interview during his recent visit to the Diocese of Madison.
Father Acheampong gave assurances that contributions from people in the Diocese of Madison are “used to assist poor people who need help.”
Success of Donkey Project
He is especially pleased with the success of the Donkey Project (see related article on this page). Besides about 50 donkeys given to farmers in Ghana, over 40 breeding stock have been purchased by the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga.
“As the offspring grow, they will be distributed to women to assist with land preparation, travel, and fetching water,” said Father Acheampong.
The donkeys have proven to be a God-send to people in Ghana. Donkeys are able to carry much more water, which allows for dry-season gardening for people to grow produce to use at home and to sell. This helps provide money for families for such things as education and health care.
Donkey carts can also carry bricks to help build stronger homes than the mud huts often used. “When the rains come, floods cause homes to melt,” said the priest. Homes built with bricks will withstand the flooding much better.
Global Solidarity Week:
February 7 to 14
MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison will celebrate Global Solidarity Week from February 7 to 14. The goal of this celebration is to open the eyes and hearts of the people of the Diocese of Madison to our brothers and sisters throughout the whole world.
The Diocese of Madison is currently involved in the Global Solidarity Partnership program with the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatana in northern Ghana through Catholic Relief Services. Various parishes in the diocese are also involved in Catholic Relief Services’ Operation Rice Bowl program and have sister parishes throughout the world.
The Global Solidarity Partnership committee has created free resources to help parishes educate people on how they can commit themselves to the common good for people around the world. The resources contain a bulletin insert, prayers to start meetings, activity packets for families and parishes, and curriculum for Global Solidarity Week activities for schools and religious education programs. To request these resources, contact the diocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis at 608-821-3160 or Clarence Mougin at 608-850-4084.
Donkey droppings are also mixed with straw to make compost to fertilize the crops, he noted.
He encouraged people in the Diocese of Madison to continue raising money for the Donkey Project. “It really helps to alleviate people’s poverty and gives them hope and a sense of responsibility and belonging.”
Educating young people
Father Acheampong is also diocesan youth chaplain in his diocese. He is involved in youth ministry and is a chaplain at four public schools where he works with Catholic students. He teaches English at one of the all girls’ schools.
Youth faith formation
Father Acheampong said his diocese needs to expand education of young people in their faith. He has plans to bring youth and young adults together to be trained in faith formation. This entails expenses for transportation, housing, and meals.
The Diocese of Madison would like to encourage people in the diocese to help raise funds for these educational opportunities, said Eric Schiedermayer of the diocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis (OEC). Any parishes and schools interested in helping raise money may contact the OEC at 608-821-3160.
When he arrived in Madison, Father Acheampong learned of the death of his bishop, Bishop Lucas Abadamloora. “I had met with him on the Friday before I left and he gave his greetings for the people in the Diocese of Madison and gave me his blessings for my visit.
“On the day I arrived here he passed away. It was shocking for me and the people of my diocese. It is a big loss for our diocese, our country, and the world. He was a good man, an exemplary Christian, and a father of all,” said Father Acheampong.
With the Global Solidarity Partnership, Father Acheampong hopes that there will be more cultural exchange visits between the two dioceses. “Global solidarity will come about if we understand each other,” he said. He especially hopes to encourage communication between Catholic schools and seminarians in the two dioceses.