Caring for those even the Church ignores: The Disabled in Ghana

By Pastor William Agbeti  [NOTE: In addition to our ongoing clean water, feeding, and clothing efforts when you support The Daily Jot, you are helping wipe tears off the faces of suffering mothers and fathers seeking rehabilitation of their disabled children–Blessings, Bill W]

In Ghana alone, there are some 3 million persons living with various forms of disabilities. When placed together in a geographical space, these will form the third largest region in the country; comprising the poorest of the poor, the least, the littlest, the last, the lost and the loneliest. Hardly any free meal program that we organize passes without attracting the disabled, who come looking for help. 

Our Ghana ministry serves where others will not. This two-day residential program for children with disabilities provide food, clothing and recreation.

Their plight is demoralizing. Many in the Ghanaian society consider them taboos. Scores of local churches have not opened their doors to them. Several families neglect their disabled children, to fend for themselves. Sadly, some communities go to the extreme to put a newly born disabled child into a mortar and use a pestle to pound it to death, with the belief that their souls will not return to the communities again. In the main, the disabled are ostracized from the society. Only a handful of homes, families and communities treat them with a modicum of respect and acceptance.

It is against this backdrop, that we do our best to extend our feeding programs to incorporate as many disabled persons as possible. In the recent past, we partnered with The Epicenter, a small inclusive nonprofit rehabilitation center, to provide a two-day residential program for 50 children with disabilities. We fed and gave them the most memorable time in their lives as they had opportunity to swim (many of them for the first time) and enjoy lots of recreational activities, including dancing and bouncing castles.

The two days residential program ended with a church service embracing all the children and their parents. Many of the children and parents accepted Jesus during the church service! On parting, the parents and their wards openly wept! Some of us on the volunteer staff could not help weeping too! Ours were tears of love and compassion! Love for the disabled as persons and compassion for their plight! 

We again visited The Epicenter to donate used and new dresses, drinks and biscuits to some twenty children with disabilities.  The number one challenge facing the school is a critical need for sponsorship for its current 20 children with disabilities. The parents are unable to fully support rehabilitation of the children, so the school needs monthly support of part or all of the US $180 required per child to help finance an inclusive, individualized rehabilitation program.

This figure is way beyond the means of many of the parents, but the fact remains that, that is what is needed to engage the services of trained social workers and other specialists to provide direct care for the children. When ministries like ours, and donors like you don’t extend helping hands to such children living with disabilities, this people’s group faces several dehumanizing challenges, leaving their parents under unbearable pressure and societal stigma. 

Together, let’s show them that we care, we share, we serve with love!

Bill Wilson