AFRICA/GHANA - Education, health and care for the environment among the priorities of the missionaries in Keniago

Monday, 4 July 2022

Keniago (Agenzia Fides) - "We are doing everything possible to help our people in the midst of many daily challenges, God gives us strength and courage to move forward", writes to Agenzia Fides Fr. Auracio Eyram Tegbui, priest of the Society for African Missions (SMA) from Ghana. "Our parish of St. Peter has about 34 detachments in which Father Biro Junior, from the Central African Republic, and I serve", continues the missionary, of Togolese origin, who works in the town of Keniago, located in the region of Ashanti, diocese of Obuasi. In a social context that is increasingly aggravated by rising inflation, the missionaries try to offer their help wherever possible.
"First of all, we try to carry out our ministry by celebrating Mass every day with the faithful, trying to meet the working needs of the inhabitants who are mostly farmers. Also, due to the large number of surrounding villages, we cannot say mass on Sundays in all of them, so we go during the week, visit the sick in their homes, pray with them, give communion ecc... ". Fr. Tegbui explains that the majority of the population is illiterate and they do not see the need to encourage their children to study. Others who wish to do so do not have the economic possibility and give it up to work. "All of this affects the development of the towns in which we carry out our work, but we try to help them understand the value of education and take care of the environment in which they live". The schools in Keniago were built by the early missionaries and are now run by the government. "We SMAs are currently in charge of one of the primary schools, where most of the students come for free education, as most of them cannot afford the fees. Also, as we have no means of transport, we help the sick to get to hospitals and it often happens that pregnant women give birth in our car before we arrive. Our school bus becomes the main means of transportation for everyone, even to take the coffins to the cemetery after funeral masses, or for community activities, retreats, workshops, in some of the peripheral stations". "In rural areas - concludes the missionary - we try to help resolve conflicts that occur within communities, between families or couples, even between members of the church". According to the Ghana Statistics Service, inflation in the country has risen to 27.6%, reaching the highest peak in the last 18 years, followed by an unstoppable increase in prices. According to available data, imported goods have grown faster than those produced locally. In May 2022, food costs increased by 30.1% compared to the previous year, with the largest increases in water, oils and cereals, the latter imported from Russia. Transport, which includes fuel, registered a price increase of 39.0%, while housing, which includes water, electricity and gas, registered an increase of 32.3%. At the same time, the Ghanaian cedi, the local currency, has continued to depreciate. (AET/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 4/7/2022)