In keeping with its mission of preaching, teaching and caring for the spiritually and physically weak, the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast, Ghana is intensifying its programme of improving the well-being of its constituents, an outline for which is given below.
The Archdiocese of Cape Coast covers the Central region of Ghana, which is one of the poorest in the country. About 70% of its population are rural, with low-income, high unemployment, low education and health conditions are extremely poor, especially among the rural communities. Established 128 years ago, the Archdiocese has been at the forefront of socio-economic development activities in its region, addressing these conditions directly through improving access to health, education and youth training for self-employment. However, its achievements were in the past made possible primarily through funding from foreign sources, which accounts for 50% to 70% of its income annually. Plans to address further pastoral and socio-economic needs will continue to depend substantially on the goodwill of people outside the Archdiocese.
C. Development Programs
The program has 4 components namely Pastoral Development, Health Development, Development of Church structures, and Socio-economic Development activities.
i. Pastoral Development
The Archdiocese recognises a great and urgent need to deepen its teachings to address Theological and Scriptural needs of her faithful, and to combat the misinformation of its members by unorthodox churches, which is hindering the growth of the faith. The Archdiocese has rehabilitated an existing facility into a Pastoral Centre to train more priests, religious, catechists, lay preachers and formators. The facility, however, is no more being used as Pastoral Centre because efforts are being made to get a new morden Pastoral Centre.
The Archdiocese will continue to intensify the radio evangelization programmes to deepen and spread the Catholic faith in the Central Region; these programmes have shown positive results since their introduction and will be strengthened in the coming years to cover as many parishes and districts of the region as far as practicable. The support received so far in this direction is greatly appreciated and we continue to seek more help to expand the programmes.
ii. Health Development
The Health program will address 3 major issues namely:
HIV/AIDS: This has become an alarming problem in Africa, Ghana and other West African States. Vigorous campaigns and activities are being planned and undertaken to combat its spread;
Maternal Health: This involves the construction of a specialised Maternal Reproductive and Child Care Centre and a FISTULA Hospital in Mankessim, (along the Accra-Cape Coast Highway); these facilities are competed and are delivering health care to needy mothers and carry out operations on fistulae;
Health Insurance Scheme: Urging and ensuring that the faithful are duly registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme in order to have access to healthcare
iii. Development of Church Structures
1. Construction of a new Cathedral for the Archdiocese: The present Cathedral is located on a site that is now unsafe and subject to severe erosion. It has also become too small for the faithful. There is the need to relocate to allow for parking, meeting rooms and other facilities. This has already begun since 2000 following a local appeal for financial support. External assistance for this project is essential.
2. Construction of church buildings for communities: Communities without church buildings need to be helped to construct these facilities. Many of them have already acquired land for these, some have started constructing with their own contributions and resources at various stages of development. Some churches also require extensions, repairs and refurbishment. Some support is required to pursue these projects.
vi. Development Socioeconomic Activities
The objective of this initiative is to improve living standards in the Archdiocese. Its main elements are
1. Vocational Education and Training,
2. Poverty Reduction and Income-Generation Projects
Programmes earmarked for 2007-2012 include:
– Project Development Training for Parish Focal Persons
– Entrepreneurship Development for the Youth
– Leadership Development
– ICT and Vocational Skills Training
– Support Services for Disadvantaged Groups and Persons With Disabilities
D. Program of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast
– Establish Catechetical School for the training of future Catechists
– Intensify the formation of the laity and encourage them to make the Archdiocese a self-reliant Church
– Commence program for the permanent Deaconate
– Peer-evangelization programs for youth will be intensified
– Complete the establishment of the Pastoral Center to cater for seminars and formation programs
– Intensify radio (media) evangelization programmes
– Complete the Fistula Project to serve Ghana and the West African Sub-Region
– Intensify the HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, counseling and treatment
– Introduce Health Insurance Policy in the Catholic Hospitals
– To setup four (4) Senior Secondary Schools in each of the four Deaneries in the Archdiocese.
– To develop in these four (4) skills acquisition centers in each of the deaneries to facilitate the development of Vocational and Occupational Skills.
– To develop a specialized faculty of Tertiary Education which will serve as a satellite Campus for the Catholic University of Ghana and which will be concerned with Computer and ICT Studies.
– To begin operation of the Basic Education Distance Learning project (CAFDIL: Cardinal’s Foundation for Distance Learning) in 2007.
Development Socioeconomic Activities
– Support Youth in Agriculture Program in the vast rural areas of the Archdiocese
– Design poverty reduction programs through the Socioeconomic Department of the Archdiocese to ameliorate the living standard of the people
– Bring professionals together and harness their talents for the benefits of the people.
– Make judicious investments to reduce reliance on external sources of funding
Why you should Support the Programmes and the Archdiocese?
– The programme is aimed at enhancing the lives of relatively poor and disadvantaged groups in the territory of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast.
– They will promote the role of the Church in safeguarding the spiritual and temporal welfare of humankind.
– Traditional sources of funding are dwindling and the Archdiocese must find its own funding for most of its projects.
Efforts by the Archdiocese to depend on its own resources are gradually showing results, but are incapable of addressing the immense challenges and needs of the people of the region. We will appreciate your generous support for a good cause