The wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur, has launched an initiative aimed at supporting the poor and needy in parts of Accra.
Dubbed: ‘The Soup Kitchen,’ the programme provides a meal a day and medical counselling services to the poor, needy and marginalised persons within the Accra metropolis.
Another component of the programme is the “Under the Bridge,” concept where squatters under the Kanda overpass are being fed three times a week.
It was initiated by the Parish Priest of Christ the King Catholic Church, Rev. Fr Andrew Campbell.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur lauded the initiative by Rev. Fr Campbell and stated that the poor and vulnerable in society needed to be supported to make them useful to themselves and the country.
She called on churches and other faith-based organisations to place the poor and needy at the centre of their activities, saying, “Jesus Christ stood for kindness, a symbol of hope to the poor and needy, and a voice for the voiceless.”
Mrs Amissah-Arthur also urged the public to show love and affection to the vulnerable in society by providing them with basic necessities of life such as shelter, clothing, food and social security.
To make the programme more viable, Rev. Fr Campbell said they had engaged professionals such as social workers, doctors, guidance and counsellors and other volunteers to address specific needs of the beneficiaries.
“Since we started this project in January this year, we have served 9,084 people and the number keeps increasing daily. It is our long-term goal to acquire a structure within the Accra metropolis to accommodate most of these vulnerable people, and to expand to cover many more across the country,” he indicated.
He therefore appealed to the government, philanthropists, civil society organisations and the public to support the project in cash and in kind, adding that it was a divine call to be one another’s keeper.
Emulate Christ’ example
The First Deputy Judicial Secretary, Mrs Justice Juliana Amonoo-Neizer, urged the church to emulate the nature of Jesus Christ by not discriminating against the poor and vulnerable in society.
“If we aspire to be like Christ, we must show love and care to the poor and homeless by sharing what we have with them. Let us remember that Christ fed 5,000 hungry people in the line of duty. This calls for us to also share and care for others,” she added.
One of the major challenges in Accra and other cities in the country is the lack of accommodation, a situation that has contributed to the increasing number of homeless people on the streets.
Some of the homeless who are mostly children, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and vulnerable women, sleep under bridges whithout knowing where their next meal will come from. Most of them, therefore, resort to begging and stealing as a way of earning a living.