Bro. Trevor Robinson’s wheelchairs

Missionary Brother Creates
Wheelchair Tricycles
for Disabled in Ghana

Here is a short article published by ZENIT on the 15th July, featuring the work of our confrere Bro. Trevor Robinson in Ghana.

Hope for the ‘last among the last’

On the streets of Tamale, a Ghanaian town of over three hundred thousand inhabitants, you see boys and adults with disabilities. In those conditions, disabled people can only stay near their home. The rest of the world does not exist for them and, above all, they live in a degrading condition. Looking at these “last among the last”, marginalized, vulnerable and without any help, Brother Trevor Robinson, an English missionary of the White Fathers (the Society of Missionaries of Africa), had the evangelical desire to dedicate time and energy to improve their living conditions.

For this reason, he decided to create simple handmade wheelchair tricycles for the disabled, reported Fides News Agency. Exploring the possibilities to remedy that situation, Brother Trevor designed a wheelchair tricycle that enables the person to sit in a wheelchair-type bike seat and move pedals with their hands, thus enabling them to have mobility. From the project to the first prototype, the step was short and, thanks to the help of volunteers and donors, Brother Robinson started the work of recovering useful material, such as pieces of old bicycles donated by friends or acquaintances.

“When I started, I thought of turning this tricycle into an opportunity for street kids. I asked some of them to help me. At first, we produced about ten a week. Now, slowly, we have reached fifty,”  said the missionary. The total price of a tricycle for disabled people is about 250 euros. “They have been given to men, women and older children who are too poor to purchase like this for themselves. Some people offer us a little money if they have it — but for the most part, those who are receiving them are too poor to pay anything at all. The wheelchair tricycles allow people to have dignity.

“When a disabled person manages to obtain one of these means he enters a new dimension and regains a hope of life. Thanks to the tricycle, he can move anywhere. This allows him to relate with many people and to grow. Not only that, but his muscles become stronger and this improves his physical health condition. Now there is a glimmer of gratitude and light in their lives.”

Bruno Ruzuzi R.I.P.

Brothers, I’m sad to inform you of the death of our stagiaire Bruno Ruzuzi doing stage at Nyankpala parish Tamale. He was involved in an accident with our Theology student Salvator Mbonihankuye when returning from Tamale on their motorcycle in the night and collided with another vehicle (motorking). Bruno died on the spot and Salvator, injured, was admitted at the Tamale teaching hospital. We are going to the mortuary Where the body of Bruno will be laid to rest until the funerals. Pray for Bruno, pray for his family and all of us.

It is with these words that John Aserbire, Superior Provincial of Ghana Nigeria, announced the accident through the GhN WhatsApp network this morning. From all of us in Rome, best condolences to Bruno’s family, to his community, to the parishioners of Nyankpala Parish and to the Provinces of GhN and PAC. We prayed for him during our morning mass. Our best wishes of speedy recovery to Salvator Mbonihankuye. 

Ululation and Jubilation in Wa: Francis Xavier and Peter Claver Ordained Priests

Ululation and jubilation ringing through St Andrew’s Cathedral of Wa on Saturday 25th August 2018 expressed the meaning of the priestly ordination of our two confreres Francis Xavier Angkosaala and Peter Claver Kogh together with five other ordinands for the diocese of Wa. This was the joy of the Christian Community to have these seven men responding joyfully to the call of God to proclaim the Gospel of joy to all nations. It was raining cats and dogs and yet people came in their numbers that the latecomers struggled to find a place to sit.

Continue reading “Ululation and Jubilation in Wa: Francis Xavier and Peter Claver Ordained Priests”

A new network in Ghana

Consecrated Persons against Human Trafficking

From March the 12th to the 16th 2018, took place the Training against Trafficking in Persons for ReligiousWomen and Men at the Divine Word Conference Centre Nsawam in Ghana. It was led by the worldwide organization Talitha Kum Arise. Many Religious Congregations, some already involved against slavery and human trafficking, were present. The Society of the Missionaries of Africa were represented by Haile Gazena M.Afr. and Amani BulamboDieudonné M.Afr.. The workshop aimed at training religious and lay persons on how to become active members of the counter-trafficking world-wide network. Talitha Kum works towards preventing human trafficking at its grass roots level and helpsvictims and survivors of that modern day phenomenon.

The training highlighted the menace of modern day human trafficking and its human cost.

The first part of the workshop provided good information about slavery and human trafficking, such as:

  • The global framework: roots, constitutive elements, dimensions of trafficking. The phenomenological and juridical framework of human trafficking. Special attention was given to the geopolitical and economic realities of the post-cold war era that led to the rise of human trafficking in destination countries.
  • The international law, its flaws and its inability in prosecuting the perpetrators of such heinous acts, due to the weakness of the very law which is meant toprotect the victims of trafficking.

The second part of the training was focused on:

  • How to prevent human trafficking and how to protect its victims and survivors through networking.
  • It also offered tools of empowerment, models of prevention, examples of good practices and a description of burn out signs of those committed against human trafficking.

Finally, the participants and the mother network “Talitha Kum Arise” founded a sister network which will be known as ConPAHT (Consecrated Persons Against Human Trafficking)/ Talitha KumGhana which will carry out anti-trafficking campaigns and prevention in Ghana; it will interact with the networks of other sister organizations and with the international network in Rome too.

The group vision and mission are as follows:

Vision Statement:

We, the members of Consecrated Life in Ghana,
moved by our faith in God,
respect for human dignity and freedom,
commit ourselves to counter human trafficking.

 

Mission Statement:

We, the members of Consecrated Life in Ghana,
are committed to address the menace
of human trafficking
through the following strategies:
massive awareness creation
towards prevention;
provision of support for survivors;
building knowledge and skills of practitioners
and collaboration with groups
of/with similar interests.

 

Haile GAZENA Demissie, M. Afr.
St. Monica’s Parish – Nyankpala

Memories of Initial Formation (GHN Link – March 2018)

Gabriel Udoh Ime, M.Afr
is appointed to EAP

Looking back at my experiences over the past 10 years in formation, I could say it has been very intriguing with lots of challenges and joy; experiences of which the beginning was adorned with a feeling of fear of the unknown that left me pondering on the uncertainties that were forthcoming. To this, I shall be reflecting on some of the positive and negative events that enriched my experiences during these past 10 years.

For that to be accomplished, I will organize my reflection based on the two systems (English and French) of formation that I have passed through. Continue reading “Memories of Initial Formation (GHN Link – March 2018)”

My Holistic Formation (GHN Link March 2018)

Francis Xavier Angkosaala, M.Afr,
is appointed to PAC

A thousand journey begins with a step and that was the beginning of my holistic formation as well with the M.Afr. Everything started at Ibadan-Nigeria where courses like history of the Society of Missionaries of Africa, Church History, Finance, Spirituality, Computer software and hardware, etc were taught by some confreres M.Afr and other lay persons. Participating at mass at the outstations of the parish like IJAIYE, SASA, etc about two hours drive from Ibadan, was very formative to me. I learned a lot from the people I met there. With Brother Joseph Bakuri as rector, and the other confrères at the parish, they helped me spiritually,

Continue reading “My Holistic Formation (GHN Link March 2018)”

My experience of Initial Formation (GHN Link – March 2018)

I, Eze Francis Nchekwubechukwu began my initial formation with the Society of the Missionaries of Africa in February 2009. It was for me a moment of great joy taking a concrete step in actualizing my ultimate dream of serving God and humanity. However, it was also for me a moment characterized by the feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. I was a young man with lots of prospects. As such, I questioned the option I was making and its consequences. I was leaving my home, family, friends, motherland and culture in order to embrace something relatively new. Continue reading “My experience of Initial Formation (GHN Link – March 2018)”

My mom is the best cook in the world (GHN Link – March 2018)

“My mom is the best cook in the world”! We would even say more: she is the bestest cook! 150 years after the foundation of our Society and the opening of our first novitiate as Missionaries of Africa in 1868, we remain grateful for the formation system which has been handed down from one generation to another and always opened to the signs of time. Continue reading “My mom is the best cook in the world (GHN Link – March 2018)”