Msgr. Tony Boahen Kyereme completed a lengthy visit to St. Hugh Catholic Church at the end of June. He spoke at a gathering of members of Grove for Ghana on a Saturday night and then at all the masses on Sunday.
Msgr. Tony first visited St. Hugh in late 2013 and described not only the urgent need for clean water, but also his difficult childhood experiences having to travel long distances to hand carry water for his family. He related how the lack of clean water led to serious illnesses and the lack of education, since children had to spend hours hauling water instead of attending classes. The people of St. Hugh were touched by Msgr. Tony’s description of life in rural Ghana and the needs of the people there for the basics that we take for granted. The initial response was overwhelming and led to the formation of the Grove for Ghana ministry in early 2014.
Since that time, Grove for Ghana has raised funds that have resulted in 25 wells in rural villages in Goaso, Ghana. Some of these locations are beside schools and clinics. Our goal for the current year is to raise funds for 6 additional wells. At the present time, we are preparing funds for 3 wells.
Grove for Ghana’s mission statement contains 4 pillars (1. Faith Based, 2. Efficient, 3. Effective, and 4. Goals)
1. Faith Based: Grove for Ghana was conceived by Fr. Federico Capdepon, then pastor of St. Hugh, and formed by a group of church members. While the people involved are all connected to St. Hugh, we welcome the involvement of anyone who sees the value of this mission. The work is accomplished in collaboration with the Diocese of Goaso under the leadership of Bishop Peter Kwaku Atuahene and coordinated by Msgr. Tony, who visits Miami each year.
2. Efficient: Everyone involved with this ministry is a volunteer and no salaries are paid. Expenses are kept at a minimum. The largest expense is the cost of food for the annual fundraising dinner, which is obtained at a discount.
3. Effective: The projects in Ghana are overseen by the Catholic church there. All funds received are accounted for and the expenses for the various wells are itemized clearly. Bishop Peter selects the locations for new wells based on need and visits each site to dedicate the wells when completed.
4. Goals: Our immediate goals are to find a donor to pledge a well for $7,000 in a matching challenge, and to involve the students at St. Hugh School. We would also like to see the ministry expand beyond the St. Hugh community.