Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Build a rehabilitation center to help those with mental illnesses in Ghana

First of all, please know how much your continued kindness, caring, and financial support mean to the hundreds of Missionaries of Africa working throughout the African continent as well as the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children we serve. It is so true when I say that without your generosity, we would not be able to provide the life-changing (and oftentimes life-saving) support that is an integral part of missionary life. What a gift you are!


First of all, please know how much your continued kindness, caring, and financial support mean to the hundreds of Missionaries of Africa working throughout the African continent as well as the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children we serve. It is so true when I say that without your generosity, we would not be able to provide the life-changing (and oftentimes life-saving) support that is an integral part of missionary life. What a gift you are!

In so many ways, the concern you and I share for those in need is at the heart of the Easter miracle. For as we give of ourselves, others receive renewed hope of a better life. I see this particularly true in the support we are providing to the mission in the Upper West Region of Ghana, West Africa.

The mentally ill here are treated as if they are a menace!

A few months ago, I received a letter from Fr. Dominic Apee, one of our missionaries who then worked in Tamale, Ghana. As the Provincial Superior of our missionaries working in Ghana and Nigeria, Fr. Dominic visited each mission and provided guidance on how to most effectively serve those in need. There is one mission in particular, though, that is reaching out to those who might otherwise have nowhere else to turn.

“Care for those who are mentally ill is a huge need here,” Fr. Dominic wrote. “People with mental illness and problems here are considered as being cursed or punished for some wrongdoing. As a result, they are often stigmatized and treated as a menace to the public.”

“Those with mental illness suffer from physical and verbal abuse,” he continued. “They are beaten, insulted, starved, sexually abused, and in some cases even stoned to death. Even at health centers, they are treated as if they are not human.”

“Good and caring individuals have donated food and clothing for mentally ill people here,” he continued. “Others have paid for medical treatment for those with mental illness when they have needed medical care. The bishop of our diocese also donated food and was able to get the churches to donate food and money as well. We want to build on these initiatives.”

“Our hope is to construct a rehabilitation center to help keep those with mental illnesses from wandering the streets — getting abused, hurt or even worse. Our hope is to provide a safe place where they can receive treatment, rehabilitation and perhaps even be reintegrated into their home communities. But to do this, we need your support. Will you help us?”

Local churches have begun collecting food and clothing

As I read Fr. Dominic’s letter, I thought about the challenges that people here who are mentally ill face and how you and I can help. In our own communities, we can work to make sure that those with mental illness know what programs — residential as well as outpatient — exist that offer treatment (even for those who cannot afford it). One of the best ways to do this is by contacting a nearby medical center to see what programs are available. Someone you know might actually want help but not know where to find it!

You can also help by supporting the mission in Ghana as we work to raise at least $35,000 to help those in Fr. Dominic’s region and other missions throughout West Africa. Whatever amount you send — the greatest help you give is by letting our missionaries know that they are not alone in caring for those who are poor and in need. God bless you and your loved ones for all that you continue to do.

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development