Hundreds of street beggars and homeless people around Achimota have benefited from the benevolence of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR), a singing group of the Catholic Church, which gave out food, drinks and water in the spirit of the festive season.
The event, which was under the church’s corporate social responsibility, attracted street beggars and homeless people around the Achimota Melcom, Achimota Old Station and the Achimota Overpass. It was done in collaboration with the Our Lady Queen of Africa Catholic Church.
Mr Seth Peprah, Coordinator at the CCR, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said Christmas offered the opportunity for Christians to show and share the love with the less privileged in society and remind them of God’s unending love.
He said, as a church, providing food for the less privileged such as street beggars and homeless people was a way of doing the will of their Maker.
“The journey of love to feed the street beggars was taken from Matthew 25:35-40, which says,” For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink…..” he said.
“We believe that a time to celebrate Christmas together with the homeless people on the street is an opportunity for us to feed our Lord Jesus Christ, an opportunity to also put joy and happiness in the heart of our brothers and sisters out there,” he added.
Mr Peprah gave assurance that going forward, the group would expand the exercise with the help of the church to ensure it reached more vulnerable people in society.
“This is our first project that we are embarking on, so, we are hoping to get a good feedback so that we decide for the next step. So, if we can provide them with shelter and give them a place to sleep where we will be checking up on them so that they will also feel at home,” he added.
Mr Peprah called on government to improve social intervention programmes that sought to target the vulnerable in society to bring respite to them.
Government, in its 2023 budget statement and economic policy, announced plans to expand the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) Programme and other social intervention programmes to alleviate the plight of more vulnerable Ghanaians.
Mr Peprah said government must also consider constructing shelters to house the ever increasing homeless people in the country.
“I’m channelling this to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection that, at least, they should set up a fund to build a hostel to house these street children because it’s not good to see children begging on the streets.
It’s their responsibility to do that but, I am appealing to them to take up that responsibility, build a hostel, provide them with caregivers so that they can have a home to lay their heads,” he urged.
Mr Peprah thanked the church and private individuals who contributed towards the project and appealed to corporate organisations to support the group to expand the project in the coming years.
“We are pleading with the Gender Ministry that, if they can also come on board, come and join Our Lady Queen of Africa Catholic Church and the CCR, it would be good, so that we all champion the charity work,” he appealed.