Reverend Dr. Daniel Saaka, a Lecturer at the St. Victor’s Catholic Seminary in Tamale, has admonished all Christians and other religious leaders and well-meaning Ghanaians to treat corruption as a sickness for which they are ready to risk their lives to cure.
He pointed out that all the beautiful policies and programmes, seminars and fora organised for the poor, would work only when corruption was dealt with, adding that “We must all have the positive spirit that corruption can and must be eliminated”.
Rev. Dr. Saaka who was speaking during a Seminar on “Ensure no One is Left Behind” held in Wa, noted that the Church must not only be seen to be fighting corruption, but actually very serious and relentless in fighting corruption.
He encouraged all to see the seminar as a powerful appeal to their conscience as believers, and one which would allow them to grow in the conviction that sharing with the poor enabled them to understand the deepest truth of the Gospel.
“The poor are not a problem, but the solution for the transformation of our world for prosperity,” he noted.
Rev. Dr. Saaka called for the need for “The World Day of the Poor” to be given prominence in the annual programme of the Church’s charities and should be used to champion the course of the poor and the vulnerable as proposed by Pope Francis for celebration on November 19 every year.
“As Ghana continues the implementation of the SDGs and Ghana’s Social Protection Policy, the call for solidarity with the poor, is very significant,” he said, adding that in this project, the Church should be ready to partner the State for the implementation of the SDGs and her social protection policies.
While calling for the need for government to pay attention to problems of our youth today especially the problem of unemployment, Rev Dr. Saaka stated that it was also important to discourage the youth from laziness and idleness.
“Farming should be presented to our young people as the ‘New Gold Mine’ of our country”, he said adding that this would ensure food security.
Rev. Dr. Saaka also asked the Church to pay more attention than ever to issues of child labour/trafficking, waste management, and care for the environment and checking the culture of wastefulness.
Madam Grace Antwi-Atsu, Sightsavers Global Advocacy Advisor, said in many countries Persons with Disabilities remained the most excluded and hardest to reach of all groups in their community.
She expressed concern that the commitment to the SDGs which held such potential and hope for the world’s billion of people with disabilities remained a piece of writing on paper without implementation.
She said it was for this reason that advocacy and partnerships were vital if they were to see real impact by 2030, and stressed on the need for funders, non-profits organisation, and other groups to maintain pressure on governments to include people with disabilities and the marginalized in their development plans, even when inclusion is challenging or costly.
Mr. Samual Zan Akologo, Executive Secretary of Caritas Ghana, said the seminar provided space to learn from the experiences of the Church and civil society in specific targeting of social services to the poor and vulnerable.