Catholic Diocese launches strategic development policy

The Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocese has launched a five-year Diocesan Strategic Plan and Development Policy to enhance the Church’s mission of providing for the spiritual and physical needs to the people.

The two documents would guide the activities of all the 20 Parishes in the diocese.

The goal is to reposition the church to continue to render vital services that would help to transform the lives of the people.

The Most Reverend Alfred Agyenta, the Diocesan Bishop, said the documents encompassed the plan of action of the various parishes, pastoral care and human development departments.

This, he added, would enable the Church to achieve its mission of combining the spread of the gospel with the socio-economic development of the people. The documents were going to help tackle the development needs of the people – aid them to become self-reliant and to add momentum to the drive towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The Diocese is confronted with a perpetuation of development disparities between and within the Parishes. “The Diocese is faced with worsening poverty, conflicts, food and nutrition insecurity, low access to quality education and health, high illiteracy, low access to potable water, poor sanitation and waste management, continuing deterioration of the ecosystems on which the people depend for their livelihood.”

Bishop Agyenta said it would require total commitment of all the stakeholders and individuals to implement the plan. He called for strong backing and cooperation from organizations to achieve inclusive and improved wellbeing of the population.

He encouraged the Parish Priests to involve their members in the implementation, to promote transparency and accountability. It was also the way forward to achieve sustainability. Presenting the Development Policy, Professor David Millar, President of the Millar Institute for Trans-disciplinary and Development Studies, said conflict management, climate change, sanitation, women, youth empowerment, disability issues and the aged among had all been incorporated in the policy.

They had focused priority on building the capacity of the human resources for sustainable socio-economic development. Mr. Mahammadu Azonko, the Chief Director of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), applauded the leadership of the Diocesan Church for the invaluable services it had been rendering to the people in the region.

“It is an acknowledged fact that no single church has complemented the efforts of government in the provision of social services more than the Catholic Church.” He pledged that the RCC was going to continue to work with the Church to make things better for the people.

Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Development Project Unveiled

The Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocesan Development Organisation (NABOCADO), the development wing of the Catholic Church in the Upper East Region, has launched a skills and enterprise project for the youth to help reduce unemployment in the Region.

The Catholic Mission of Australia is sponsoring the One Million Ghana Cedis project, aimed at assisting the youth with employable skills and knowledge to augment the traditional farming activities, reduce poverty and improve livelihoods.

The project, would revamp agriculture such as fishery, piggery, rabbit and poultry farming in the area, train the youth in entrepreneurial, agro-based and hospitality services.

It would also renovate and refurbish the Youth Skills and Entrepreneurial Centre at Vea.

Dr Joseph Ayembilla, the Human Development Coordinator of NABOCADO, who launched the project at Sandema in the Bulisa North District of the Upper East Region, explained that the youth formed about 45 percent of the about two million congregations in the Diocese.

But they were faced with numerous challenges such as lack of entrepreneurial skills, low education, unemployment, low self-esteem and drug abuse among others, which the project sought to address.
“The project which will run from 2018-2020 would benefit 720 youth directly and 4,320 indirectly. This would give them gainful employment and skills, help reduce poverty in the Diocese and ensure food and livelihood security among the youth.”

Dr Ayembilla however noted that the support was an investment that the youth needed to put to good use in order to pay back.

He commended the Catholic Mission of Australia for the assistance and Most Reverend Alfred Agyenta, Bishop of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese for his effort at securing the funds.

The event coincided with the celebration of World Youth Day in the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocese, and brought together about 380 youth from all the parishes in the Diocese. It was on the theme: “Do Not be Afraid, Mary; For You Have Found Favour with God.”

Reverend Father Clement Ajongba, the Diocesan Youth and Vocation Chaplain, said youth development was a priority of the Church, and urged the elders to assist the youth who were the leaders of every nation.
He called on other churches to set aside a percentage of their annual budget for youth development.

Reverend Father Linus Anaba Bugran, the Bishop of the Diocese, in a speech read on his behalf, admonished the youth to avoid portraying false identity, especially on social media to attract attention and rather submit themselves to the will of God and seek His blessing.

He said the increase in social vices such as armed robbery, prostitution, money rituals and educational malpractices among the youth were as a result of the absence of the fear of God in the youth.
He said Church leaders had critical roles in inspiring the youth to be responsible in society.

Navrongo – Bolgatanga Diocese promotes health of school children

The Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocese in the Upper East Region in partnership with Kindermissionswerk of Germany has embarked on a year’s programme to promote the health needs of school children within the Diocese and its environs.

The project covered five Districts including the Nabdam, Bongo, Builsa North, Kassena-Nankana West Districts, Kassena-Nankana Municipal and the West Mamprusi District in the Northern Region.

Dr Joseph Ayembilla, the Human Development Coordinator of the Diocese, said the project was in three phases and was piloted through the Diocesan Health Sector between 2014 and 2015, and covered 32 schools for phase one and 50 schools for phase two, while the current phase, which is the third, covered 118 Catholic schools within the Diocese.

Dr Ayembilla who disclosed this at a Stakeholder Consultation and Dialogue Session on the Sustainability of the programme in the Region, indicated that the first phase of the project involved educational activities, health screening for pupils and food vendors at the various schools and stakeholder discussions.

“Good learning for good academic performance comes from a sound mind and a sound mind comes from a healthy body,” he said.

He said the School Health Education Policy (SHEP) developed by the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service, targeted at improving the health of school children to enhance learning and the Diocese were doing their parts to enhance the policy since the welfare of children was of great concern to them.

He said the documented policy gave approval and directions to the implementation of interventions towards improving the health and academic performance of the school child but the major deficit was the lack of resources to comprehensively implement the policy intervention package.

The Coordinator said 22 toilet facilities with urinary and changing rooms for boys and girls in 11 basic schools with hand washing facilities attached, 100 metal fabricated tippy taps to 85 basic schools and 207 out of 646 food vendors were screened for various conditions as some of the achievements.

He disclosed that 23, 001 pupils were screened in the 118 schools and 3,696 who were found to have various health conditions were referred to health facilities for treatment.

Dr Ayembilla said the total cost of the project for the 118 was valued at One Million, Two Hundred Ghana cedis.

Stakeholders at the programme

Source: GNA

NABOCADO inaugurate boreholes in Upper East

The Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocesan Development Office (NABOCADO) of the Catholic Church, has drilled 13 boreholes at the cist of 176,198 Ghana Cedis for some communities in the Upper East Region.

The beneficiary communities are Saboro/Kawenia in Nakong, Kayoro-Wumbeo, Nayagnia, Mirigu-Nabango-Nyanga, Kandiga-Lemizongo all in the Kassena-Nankana West District in the Region.

The rest are Jimbale, Soghaam, Kufuk, Gingbane, Tambok and Kinkangu also in Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District in the Northern Region.

Inaugurating the water project at the weekend at Nakong in the Kassena-Nankana District, the Administrator of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese, Monsignor Thomas Anamooh said the Catholic Church was emulating Jesus Christ by providing the people with their social needs.

He said that �people cannot assimilate the word of God on empty stomachs and the Church can effectively win more souls for the Church if it gives critical attention to the needs of the people, especially the poor.

� Monsignor Anamooh commended a Dutch donor group, SIMAVI for supporting the project and advised the beneficiary communities to regularly maintain the boreholes to pro-long their lifespan.

The Acting Coordinator of NABOCADO, Mr.

Joseph Ayembilla said his outfit through its Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project sought to provide potable water for deprived communities that were hit by acute water shortage.

He said that NABOCADO had formed a volunteer group to educate the people on hygiene, and set up a committee to maintain pumps on the boreholes.

Mr. Ayembilla appealed to District Assemblies in the Region to provide sanitary facilities for the communities.

The Chief of Saboro/Kawenia, Pe Kojankolo Goyugu said that for the past 30 years, the community had depended on streams as the source of drinking water and thanked the Catholic Church for providing the facility.

He appealed to the District Assembly and the Catholic Church to build a classroom block for the area, saying children travelled about four kilometres to a nearby community to attend school.

The District Chief Executive for the Kassena-Nanakana West, Mr Thomas Dalu commended the Catholic Church for contributing to the development of the communities.

He said that the Assembly would assist in maintaining the boreholes and mechanise some of them to support dry season farming.