Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Give Life Changing Skills to Young People in Ghana

A month ago, I received a letter from Fr. Patrick Emukule, M.Afr., one of our Missionaries who is working in Wa — in the upper western region of Ghana, West Africa. There Fr. Patrick is in charge of helping with the formation and skills development of some of the hundreds of young people in the community. It is a challenge beyond what many of us can imagine!


“Do not be afraid! Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.”

Luke 2

Youth attending a class on substance abuse, its effect and preventive measures.

What an incredible year this has been — and continues to be. In the midst of all the events of 2020, though, the one thing that has r mained constant has been your generosity and support. Because of you, the Missionaries of Africa have been able to continue reaching out to those in need. Whether it has been through your support of our pastoral work, our educational programs or our humanitarian efforts — your prayers and financial donations are what enable us to help those who are suffering. Thank you very much!

As we begin to plan for the celebration of Christmas and all that it means to so many, I cannot help but be drawn to the words of the angels who greeted the shepherds near Bethlehem: “Do not be afraid!” Perhaps now more than any time in recent memory, that greeting has a special place in our hearts as well as in the hearts and lives of those in our missions — men, women and children who pray that they have not been forgotten.

A month ago, I received a letter from Fr. Patrick Emukule, M.Afr., one of our Missionaries who is working in Wa — in the upper western region of Ghana, West Africa. There Fr. Patrick is in charge of helping with the formation and skills development of some of the hundreds of young people in the community. It is a challenge beyond what many of us can imagine!

Young adults learning baking skills!

“Most of those in our parish are young people,” Fr. Patrick writes. “They are the children of the generation claimed by the AIDS epidemic. Now they are young adults in need of formation, skills training and jobs.” “Many of the youth are terrified when they come to town,” Fr. Patrick continues. “They do not know what to expect. They only know that they need work — and this is where the jobs are. The problem is that the overwhelming majority have no skills, so they cannot get a job. As a result, many remain unemployed — and trouble follows. The very young are often forced into child labor or prostitution. Some become victims of human trafficking. Alcoholism, teenage pregnancy or involvement in criminal activity are also problems. These young people need our help and guidance!”

Delicious cakes, cookies and pies made by the bakers-in-training!

“We have developed a skills training program for boys and girls 12 years of age and older who have come from their villages looking for work. There are about 300 young people involved. We take each young person and help them identify what they need, what skills they may have and how to develop them so as to be able to get a job. This process takes about a week. Then we try to connect them with the resources that will enable them to be successful. Since we provide housing, food and training for the children, the financial cost is tremendous. Can you help us?”

The challenges facing young adults today are overwhelming — and they need our help. In your local community, you might consider helping by encouraging community leaders to offer a job fair a couple of times a year. You could also encourage local businesses to develop paid internships that can help young people get the training they need, while providing employers with lower-cost labor.

My friend, I am also hoping that you will help Fr. Patrick in his work with young adults by sending a donation to support our program in Ghana — as well as help our other missions throughout West Africa. Our goal this Christmas is to raise at least $30,000 to help provide food, housing and other materials needed for the young people. Whatever amount you can send, though, please know that your donation lets them know that they do not need to be afraid — that they are not alone.

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development