FREIRA NIGERIANA LIDERA REABILITAÇÃO DE CRIANÇAS DE RUA xxx UNE RELIGIEUSE NIGERIANE OUVRE LA VOIE A LA REHABILITATION DES ENFANTS DES RUES xxx A NIGERIAN NUN LEADS THE WAY IN REHABILITATING STREET CHILDREN

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As informações disponibilizadas à RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA indicam que uma freira nigeriana brilhou no Gana. Nosso holofote escolheu essa freira enquanto ela se encarrega de reabilitar crianças de rua no distante Gana. As histórias patéticas dessas crianças de rua deixam muito a desejar. A AGÊNCIA DE NOTÍCIAS DA RECOWACERAO, RECONA, em associação com outras importantes agências de mídia católica, aconselha nossas freiras em toda a África e além a seguir este exemplo da Ir. Anthonia Orji.

Ouça as histórias> Salamatu Abubakar passou anos de sua infância pegando pedaços de plástico nas ruas de Accra, a cidade costeira africana que é a capital de Gana. Seu pai levou o plástico a um mercado ao ar livre, vendendo-o a granel para recicladores e revendedores de sucata e mal ganhando o suficiente para sobreviver.

Nesse mesmo mercado, Samuel Ganyo, que veio com sua mãe para Accra, de uma cidade mais pobre do Gana, vendeu fatias de cana-de-açúcar a vendedores, compradores e pessoas que passavam em carros. Um lanche popular em toda a África, a cana não pagou o suficiente por Samuel e sua mãe.

Daniel Lomotey começou a trabalhar em outro mercado de Accra quando tinha 10 anos. Ele deixou a escola e começou a trabalhar para seu tio, empurrando um carrinho de mão contratado por fornecedores para mover seus produtos no mercado de Mandela. Foi um trabalho árduo e não pagou muito. E como Daniel, como Salamatua e Samuel, não estava estudando, suas perspectivas para o futuro pareciam sombrias.

Quando Daniel tinha 12 anos, conheceu a irmã Anthonia Orji, das Filhas da Sagrada Paixão, uma irmã religiosa nigeriana que trabalha em Gana. A Ir. Anthonia ajudou as crianças a fazer um trabalho duro e pesado nas ruas e ajudou-as a voltar para a escola.

Ir. Anthonia é gerente do centro e oficial de educação no Centro de Bem-Estar, Empoderamento da Mobilidade na Arquidiocese de Accra. Seu trabalho faz parte do projeto Rays of Hope, que visa ajudar as crianças de rua de Gana, como Salamatua, Samuel e Daniel, dando-lhes uma casa e matriculando-as na escola.

Daniel tem 18 anos agora. Ele conheceu a Sr. Anthonia em 2014. E ele disse à ACI Africa, a parceira de notícias africana da CNA, que conhecê-la é a melhor coisa que aconteceu em sua vida.

“Por meio de sua orientação e apoio, agora sou uma aluna do último ano do ensino médio na Escola Católica de São Pedro em Ayikuma. Além disso, adquiri as habilidades de costura e barbearia por meio de treinamento no MAE ”, disse Daniel. Samuel, que tem 16 anos, também vive no centro, junto com outros 22 jovens.

“Aprendi muito como cultivar e barbear os cabelos como uma habilidade adicional para a minha educação e aconselho todas as crianças vulneráveis ​​que têm a oportunidade como eu a fazer bom uso”, disse Samuel.

O centro não discrimina com base na religião. Embora muçulmana, Salamatu disse que passou a amar o catolicismo, sob a orientação de Ir. Anthonia, a quem ela disse ser sua mentora e mãe.

“Escolhi polietileno nas ruas para meu pai vender no mercado de Ashaiman para ganhar a vida. Mas, graças ao Rays of Hope, agora vivo uma vida digna ”, disse ela à ACI África, acrescentando:“ Através do treinamento de habilidades e do modo de vida no centro, posso rezar muito bem o rosário e outras orações católicas, mesmo que eu sou muçulmano. ”

A constituição de Gana proíbe muitos tipos de trabalho infantil. Mas a Ir. Anthonia disse à ACI África que a lei constitucional nem sempre é seguida e que muitas crianças pobres são colocadas para trabalhar por causa da pobreza de suas famílias.

Ir. Anthonia lamentou o abandono escolar, mortalidade infantil, trabalho infantil, tráfico de crianças, estupro, prostituição e contaminação de crianças vulneráveis ​​e instou os ganenses a criar um sentimento de pertencimento às crianças de rua.

Ela disse que, com o surto de COVID-19, as crianças entre 7 e 15 anos de idade residentes no Centro do MAE foram colocadas em várias casas. Todas as crianças, ela disse, estavam estudando na Escola Católica de São Pedro.

“Por temer a disseminação do coronavírus no Centro do MAE, 20 das 23 crianças foram colocadas em vários lares de famílias voluntárias e são monitoradas diariamente por nossa equipe de reintegração”, declarou Ir. Anthonia à ACI África.

O principal objetivo do centro é ajudar as crianças de rua de Gana a frequentar a escola e a manter-se saudável, mantendo-se conectado com os pais e as famílias extensas das crianças. A irmã religiosa disse que há muito esforço para estabelecer um contato frequente entre os sobreviventes de rua e suas famílias.

“Acreditamos que o que Deus criou e uniu não deve ser separado. A conexão com a família é a base mais valiosa para se tornar um membro bem-sucedido e responsável da sociedade. Portanto, estamos convencidos de colocar todo o nosso esforço, paciência e amor no processo de reintegração de nossos beneficiários ”, afirmou.

A Ir. Anthonia disse que os cristãos são dotados da capacidade de perceber, apreciar e entender a situação da pessoa vulnerável, identificar suas necessidades, projetar serviços necessários e facilitar o fornecimento da intervenção necessária para lhes trazer alívio.

Ela pediu aos pais e líderes de opinião que tomem medidas conjuntas para coibir o abuso de drogas, a promiscuidade sexual, a gravidez na adolescência, assalto à mão armada, ocultismo e fraude cibernética entre os jovens, especialmente nas ruas.

O trabalho de seu projeto, ela disse, começa com a descoberta de crianças de rua ansiosas para ir à escola e famílias dispostas a aprová-lo.

“Nós procuramos nas ruas de Ashaiman, Tema, Accra e seus arredores a partir do Primeiro Contato. Todos os anos, procuramos crianças de rua nas principais cidades da Grande Accra e aqueles que estão dispostos a ser apoiados, juntamente com suas famílias, assinam um contrato para matrículas posteriores todo mês de setembro ”, disse ela ao correspondente da ACI África.

Ela explicou que a abordagem educacional do centro é dividida em classes pré-escolares, educação formal e educação informal, além de aspectos morais e religiosos da vida.

“Pré-escolar” não é para crianças mais novas, como o termo denota no Ocidente. No MAE, todos os novos recrutas são preparados para a vida escolar por meio de aulas intensivas de pré-escola de um ano.

“As crianças que estiveram nas ruas e não estudam terão que estar preparadas para melhorar sua reintegração à vida escolar”, disse a freira, acrescentando: “Isso exige paciência, energia e amor”.

“Nas aulas pré-escolares, nos concentramos em melhorar suas habilidades orais, literárias e aritméticas por meio de um currículo estruturado e, no estágio posterior de seu desenvolvimento nas pré-aulas, outras áreas são introduzidas.”

Há 36 crianças no centro de coleta que estão sendo preparadas para a vida escolar. O ponto de coleta, em casos extremos, serve como abrigo temporário para os beneficiários, cujos parentes ou pais ainda não foram localizados.

A freira nigeriana explicou que, no centro de coleta, os beneficiários vêm diariamente para ensinar matemática, inglês e outras disciplinas pelos professores e voluntários.

“Eles também são educados em higiene pessoal, habilidades sociais, religiosas e morais por meio de aulas e programas especiais”, acrescentou e explicou que as crianças têm um período de devoção matinal após as tarefas, antes de irem às aulas para as aulas.

As aulas, ela disse, são divididas em três níveis para atender às necessidades acadêmicas individuais das crianças, pois elas realizam cinco horas de aulas por dia.

Quando completam a pré-aula de um ano, são matriculados na escola básica depois de cumprirem os critérios, que incluem pontualidade e disciplina, capacidade de ler e escrever, calcular aritmética simples e higiene pessoal, como tomar banho, lavar roupa e limpeza vestido, Ir. Anthonia disse.

As crianças são admitidas em escolas católicas porque “acreditamos que o meio ambiente e a rotina cristã ajudarão a aumentar seus valores morais e religiosos”, disse a irmã Anthonia.

Como parte de suas atividades humanitárias, o Rays of Hope patrocina as ex-crianças vulneráveis ​​do ensino básico ao ensino superior, fornecendo abrigo, comida, acomodação e propinas escolares.

Ir. Anthonia disse que a paixão por restaurar a dignidade entre os jovens que cometeram erros na vida inspira seu apostolado.

“O trabalho no Rays of Hope para mim não é apenas trabalho, mas é um ministério e um chamado. Normalmente, quando você olha com olhos humanos, pode não querer ter nada a ver com isso ”, disse ela.

“Trata-se de um chamado de Deus e uma paixão para causar impacto na vida dos jovens

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Les informations mises à la disposition de RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA indiquent qu’une nonne nigériane a brillé au Ghana. Notre projecteur a choisi cette religieuse alors qu’elle se charge de réhabiliter les enfants des rues dans le lointain Ghana. Les histoires pathétiques de ces enfants de la rue laissent beaucoup à désirer. L’AGENCE DE NOUVELLES DE RECOWACERAO, RECONA, en association avec d’autres agences de presse catholiques de premier plan, conseille à nos religieuses partout en Afrique et au-delà de suivre cet exemple aimable de Sr. Anthonia Orji.

Écoutez les histoires> Salamatu Abubakar a passé des années de son enfance à ramasser des bouts de plastique dans les rues d’Accra, la ville côtière africaine qui est la capitale du Ghana. Son père a amené le plastique sur un marché en plein air, le vendant en vrac à des recycleurs et des ferrailleurs, et gagnant à peine assez pour s’en sortir.

Sur ce même marché, Samuel Ganyo, qui était venu avec sa mère à Accra depuis une ville plus pauvre du Ghana, a vendu des tranches de canne à sucre aux vendeurs du marché, aux acheteurs et aux passants en voiture. Une collation populaire à travers l’Afrique, la canne à sucre n’a pas payé assez pour Samuel et sa mère.

Daniel Lomotey a commencé à travailler dans un autre marché d’Accra à l’âge de 10 ans. Il a alors abandonné l’école et a commencé à travailler pour son oncle en poussant une charrette à bras louée par des vendeurs pour déplacer leurs produits sur le marché de Mandela. C’était un travail difficile et cela ne rapportait pas beaucoup. Et comme Daniel, comme Salamatua et Samuel, n’allait pas à l’école, ses perspectives d’avenir semblaient sombres.

Quand Daniel avait 12 ans, il a rencontré Sœur Anthonia Orji des Filles de la Passion Sacrée, une religieuse nigériane travaillant au Ghana. Sr. Anthonia a aidé les enfants à faire un travail dur et pénible dans la rue et les a aidés à retourner à l’école.

Sr. Anthonia est la directrice du centre et responsable de l’éducation au Welfare, Empowerment Mobility Center dans l’archidiocèse d’Accra. Son travail fait partie du projet Rays of Hope, qui vise à aider les enfants des rues du Ghana, comme Salamatua, Samuel et Daniel, en leur donnant un logement et en les inscrivant à l’école.

Daniel a maintenant 18 ans. Il a rencontré Sr Anthonia en 2014. Et il a dit à ACI Africa, le partenaire de presse africain de CNA, que sa rencontre était la meilleure chose qui puisse arriver dans sa vie.

«Grâce à ses conseils et à son soutien, je suis maintenant en dernière année du premier cycle du secondaire à l’école catholique St. Peter d’Ayikuma. En dehors de cela, j’ai acquis les compétences en couture et en coiffure grâce à une formation à WEM », a déclaré Daniel. Samuel, qui a 16 ans, vit également au centre, avec 22 autres jeunes.

«J’ai beaucoup appris comme l’agriculture et la coiffure des cheveux comme compétence supplémentaire à ma scolarité et je conseille à tous les enfants vulnérables qui ont l’occasion comme moi d’en faire bon usage», a déclaré Samuel.

Le centre ne fait aucune discrimination fondée sur la religion. Bien que musulmane, Salamatu a dit qu’elle en est venue à aimer le catholicisme, grâce aux conseils de Sr Anthonia, qui, selon elle, est son mentor et sa mère.

«J’ai choisi du polyéthylène dans les rues pour que mon père le vende au marché d’Ashaiman pour gagner sa vie. Mais grâce à Rays of Hope, je vis maintenant une vie digne », a-t-elle déclaré à ACI Afrique, ajoutant:« Grâce à la formation professionnelle et au mode de vie au centre, je peux très bien prier le chapelet et d’autres prières catholiques, même si je je suis musulman.

La constitution du Ghana interdit de nombreux types de travail des enfants. Mais Sr. Anthonia a déclaré à ACI Afrique que la loi constitutionnelle n’est pas toujours respectée et que de nombreux enfants pauvres sont mis au travail à cause de la pauvreté de leurs familles.

Sr. Anthonia a déploré le décrochage scolaire, la mortalité infantile, le travail des enfants, la traite des enfants, le viol, la prostitution et la souillure d’enfants vulnérables et a exhorté les Ghanéens à créer un sentiment d’appartenance chez les enfants des rues.

Elle a déclaré qu’avec l’épidémie de COVID-19, les enfants âgés de 7 à 15 ans en résidence au centre WEM ont été placés dans divers foyers. Tous les enfants, a-t-elle dit, étaient scolarisés à l’école catholique Saint-Pierre.

«Par crainte de la propagation du coronavirus au Centre WEM, 20 des 23 enfants ont été placés dans divers foyers de familles bénévoles et ils sont surveillés quotidiennement par notre personnel de réintégration», a déclaré Sr. Anthonia à ACI Afrique.

L’objectif principal du centre est d’aider les enfants des rues du Ghana à se rendre à l’école et à rester en bonne santé, tout en restant en contact avec les parents et les familles élargies des enfants. La religieuse a déclaré que beaucoup d’efforts étaient consacrés à l’établissement d’un contact fréquent entre les survivants de la rue et leurs familles.

«Nous croyons que ce que Dieu a créé et lié ensemble ne doit pas être séparé. Le lien avec sa famille est le fondement le plus précieux pour devenir un membre prospère et responsable de la société. Par conséquent, nous sommes convaincus de mettre tous nos efforts, patience et amour dans le processus de réintégration de nos bénéficiaires », a-t-elle déclaré.

Sr. Anthonia a déclaré que les chrétiens ont été dotés de la capacité de percevoir, d’apprécier et de comprendre la situation de la personne vulnérable, d’identifier ses besoins, de concevoir les services nécessaires et de faciliter la fourniture de l’intervention nécessaire pour leur apporter un soulagement.

Elle a appelé les parents et les leaders d’opinion à prendre ensemble des mesures pour lutter contre la toxicomanie, la promiscuité sexuelle, les grossesses d’adolescentes, les vols à main armée, l’occultisme et la cyber-fraude chez les jeunes, en particulier ceux dans la rue.

Le travail de son projet, a-t-elle dit, commence par trouver des enfants des rues désireux d’aller à l’école et des familles disposées à l’approuver.

«Nous fouillons les rues d’Ashaiman, Tema, Accra et ses environs depuis le premier contact. Chaque année, nous recherchons des enfants des rues dans les grandes villes du Grand Accra et ceux qui sont prêts à être soutenus, ainsi que leurs familles, signent un contrat d’inscription chaque année », a-t-elle déclaré au correspondant d’ACI Afrique.

Elle a expliqué que l’approche éducative du centre se divise en classes préscolaires, éducation formelle et éducation informelle ainsi que les aspects moraux et religieux de la vie.

Le terme «préscolaire» n’est pas destiné aux jeunes enfants, comme le terme l’indique en Occident. À WEM, toutes les nouvelles recrues sont préparées à la vie scolaire grâce à des cours préscolaires intensifs d’un an.

«Les enfants qui étaient autrefois dans la rue et non scolarisés devront être préparés à améliorer leur réintégration dans la vie scolaire», a déclaré la religieuse, ajoutant: «Cela demande de la patience, de l’énergie et de l’amour.

«Dans les classes préscolaires, nous nous efforçons d’améliorer leurs compétences orales, littéraires et arithmétiques grâce à un programme structuré, et au stade ultérieur de leur développement en pré-classe, d’autres matières sont introduites.»

Il y a 36 enfants au centre de collecte qui se préparent à la vie scolaire. Le point de collecte, dans les cas extrêmes, sert d’abri temporaire pour les bénéficiaires, dont les parents ou les parents n’ont pas encore été localisés.

La religieuse nigériane a expliqué qu’au centre de collecte, les bénéficiaires viennent quotidiennement se faire enseigner les mathématiques, l’anglais et d’autres matières par les enseignants et les bénévoles.

«Ils sont également éduqués sur l’hygiène personnelle, les compétences sociales, religieuses et morales à travers des cours et des programmes spéciaux», a-t-elle ajouté et expliqué que les enfants ont une période de dévotion matinale après leurs tâches ménagères, avant d’aller dans leurs classes pour des cours.

Les cours, a-t-elle dit, sont divisés en trois niveaux pour répondre aux besoins scolaires individuels des enfants, car ils entreprennent cinq heures de cours par jour.

Lorsqu’ils terminent la pré-classe d’un an, ils sont inscrits à l’école de base après avoir satisfait aux critères, qui incluent la ponctualité et la discipline, la capacité de lire et d’écrire, de calculer l’arithmétique simple, l’hygiène personnelle comme le bain, le lavage et la propreté. en robe, dit Sr Anthonia.

Les enfants sont admis dans les écoles catholiques parce que «nous croyons que l’environnement et la routine chrétienne aideront à faire croître leurs valeurs morales et religieuses», a déclaré Sr Anthonia.

Dans le cadre de ses activités humanitaires, Rays of Hope parraine les anciens enfants vulnérables du niveau de l’éducation de base au niveau supérieur, en leur fournissant un abri, de la nourriture, un logement et les frais de scolarité.

Sr. Anthonia a dit que la passion de restaurer la dignité des jeunes qui ont commis des erreurs dans la vie inspire son apostolat.

«Le travail à Rays of Hope pour moi n’est pas seulement un travail, mais plutôt un ministère et un appel. Normalement, quand vous le regardez avec des yeux humains, vous ne voudrez peut-être rien avoir à faire avec », a-t-elle déclaré.

«Il s’agit d’un appel de Dieu et d’une passion pour avoir un impact dans la vie des jeunes

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Information made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA indicates that a Nigerian nun has shined in Ghana. Our searchlight picked this nun as she takes it upon herself to rehabilitate street children in far-away Ghana. The pathetic stories of these street children leave much to be desired. RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, in association with other prominent Catholic media Agencies, advise our Nuns all over Africa and beyond to follow this kind example of Sr. Anthonia Orji.

Listen to the stories> Salamatu Abubakar spent years of her childhood picking up scraps of plastic on the streets of Accra, the African coastal city that is the capital of Ghana. Her dad took the plastic to an open-air market, selling it in bulk to recyclers and scrap dealers, and barely earning enough to get by.

In that same market, Samuel Ganyo, who had come with his mother to Accra from a poorer city in Ghana, sold slices of sugar cane to marketplace vendors, shoppers, and people passing by in cars. A popular snack across Africa, sugar cane didn’t pay enough for Samuel and his mother.

Daniel Lomotey started working in another Accra market when he was 10. He dropped out of school then, and started working for his uncle pushing a handcart hired by vendors to move their products in the Mandela marketplace. It was hard work, and it didn’t pay very much. And because Daniel, like Salamatua and Samuel, wasn’t going to school, his prospects for the future looked grim.

When Daniel was 12, he met Sister Anthonia Orji of the Daughters of Sacred Passion, a Nigerian religious sister working in Ghana. Sr. Anthonia helped kids do hard, heavy work on the streets, and helped them get back to school.

Sr. Anthonia is the center manager and education officer at the Welfare, Empowerment Mobility Centre in the Archdiocese of Accra. Her work is part of the Rays of Hope project, which aims to help Ghana’s street kids, like Salamatua, Samuel, and Daniel, by giving them a home, and getting them enrolled in school.

Daniel is 18 now. He met Sr. Anthonia in 2014. And he told ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner, that meeting her is the best thing to happen in his life.

“Through her guidance and support, I am now a final year Junior High student at the St. Peter’s Catholic School in Ayikuma. Apart from that, I have acquired the skills in sewing and barbering through training at WEM,” Daniel said. Samuel, who is 16, also lives at the center, along with 22 other young people.

“I have learnt a lot like farming and barbering of hair as an additional skill to my schooling and I advise all vulnerable children who have the opportunity like me to make good use of it,” said Samuel.

The center doesn’t discriminate based upon religion. Though a Muslim, Salamatu said she has come to love Catholicism, through the guidance of Sr. Anthonia, whom she said is her mentor and mother.

“I picked polythene on the streets for my dad to sell in the Ashaiman market to earn a living. But thanks to Rays of Hope, I now live a life of dignity,” she told ACI Africa, adding, “Through the skills training and way of life at the center, I can pray the rosary and other Catholic prayers very well even though I am a Muslim.”

Ghana’s constitution prohibits many types of child labor. But Sr. Anthonia told ACI Africa that the constitutional law is not always followed and that many poor children are put to work because of the poverty of their families.

Sr. Anthonia lamented school drop-out, child mortality, child labor, child trafficking, rape, prostitution, and defilement of vulnerable children and urged Ghanaians to create a sense of belonging in street children.

She said that with the outbreak of COVID-19, the children ranging between the ages of 7 and 15 in residence at the WEM Center have been placed in various homes. All the children, she said, were schooling at the St. Peter’s Catholic School.

“For the fear of the spread of the coronavirus at the WEM Center, 20 out of the 23 children have been placed in various homes of volunteer families and they are monitored daily by our re-integration staff,” Sr. Anthonia told ACI Africa.

The main aim of the center is to help Ghana’s street children get to school, and stay healthy, while staying connected with the parents and extended families of the children. The religious sister said that a lot of effort goes into establishing a frequent contact between the street survivors and their families.

“We believe that what God has created and bound together should not be separated. The connection to one’s family is the most valuable foundation for becoming a successful and responsible member of society. Therefore, we are convinced of putting all our effort, patience, and love into the reintegration process of our beneficiaries,” she said.

Sr. Anthonia said that Christians have been endowed with the ability to perceive, appreciate and understand the situation of the vulnerable person, identify their needs, design needed services and facilitate the provision of requisite intervention to bring relief to them.

She appealed to parents and opinion leaders to jointly take steps to curb drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, teenage pregnancies, armed robbery, occultism and cyber fraud among the youth, especially those on the streets.

The work of her project, she said, begins with finding street children eager to go to school, and families willing to approve that.

“We search the streets of Ashaiman, Tema, Accra and its environs from the First Contact Place. Every year, we search for street children in the major cities in Greater Accra and those who are willing to be supported, along with their families, sign a contract for onward enrollment every September,” she told ACI Africa correspondent.

She explained that the center’s educational approach is divided into pre-school classes, formal education and informal education as well as moral and religious aspects of life.

“Pre-school” isn’t for younger kids, as the term denotes in the West. At WEM, all new recruits are prepared for school life through intensive one-year pre-school classes.

“The children who were once on the streets and not schooling will have to be prepared to enhance their reintegration into school life,” the nun said, and added, “This demands patience, energy and love.”

“In pre-school classes, we focus to improve their oral, literary and arithmetic skills through a structured curriculum, and in the later stage of their development in pre-classes, other subject areas are introduced.”

There are 36 children at the collection center who are being prepared for school life. The collection point, in extreme cases, serves as a temporary shelter for beneficiaries, whose relatives or parents have not yet been located.

The Nigerian nun explained that at the collection center, the beneficiaries come on a daily basis to be taught mathematics, English and other subjects by the class teachers and volunteers.

“They are also educated on personal hygiene, social, religious and moral skills through classes and special programs,” she added and explained that the children have a period of morning devotion after their chores, before they go into their classes for lessons.

The classes, she said, are divided into three levels to meet the children’s individual academic needs, as they undertake five hours of classes per day.

When they complete the one-year pre-class, they are enrolled into basic school after they have met the criteria, which include punctuality and discipline, ability to read and write, to calculate simple arithmetic, personal hygiene like bathing, washing, and neatness in dress, Sr. Anthonia said.

The children are admitted into Catholic schools because “we believe the environment and as well as the Christian routine will help grow their moral and religious values,” said Sr. Anthonia.

As part of its humanitarian activities, Rays of Hope sponsors the former vulnerable children from the basic to the tertiary level of education, providing shelter, food, accommodation, and school fees.

Sr. Anthonia said that passion to restore dignity among young people who have made mistakes in life inspires her apostolate.

“The work at Rays of Hope for me is not just work but rather it is a ministry and a call. Ordinarily, when you look at it with human eyes, you might not want anything to do with it,” she said.

“It is all about a call from God and a passion to make an impact in the young people’s lives

.

Listen to the stories> Salamatu Abubakar spent years of her childhood picking up scraps of plastic on the streets of Accra, the African coastal city that is the capital of Ghana. Her dad took the plastic to an open-air market, selling it in bulk to recyclers and scrap dealers, and barely earning enough to get by.

In that same market, Samuel Ganyo, who had come with his mother to Accra from a poorer city in Ghana, sold slices of sugar cane to marketplace vendors, shoppers, and people passing by in cars. A popular snack across Africa, sugar cane didn’t pay enough for Samuel and his mother.

Daniel Lomotey started working in another Accra market when he was 10. He dropped out of school then, and started working for his uncle pushing a handcart hired by vendors to move their products in the Mandela marketplace. It was hard work, and it didn’t pay very much. And because Daniel, like Salamatua and Samuel, wasn’t going to school, his prospects for the future looked grim.

When Daniel was 12, he met Sister Anthonia Orji of the Daughters of Sacred Passion, a Nigerian religious sister working in Ghana. Sr. Anthonia helped kids do hard, heavy work on the streets, and helped them get back to school.

Sr. Anthonia is the center manager and education officer at the Welfare, Empowerment Mobility Centre in the Archdiocese of Accra. Her work is part of the Rays of Hope project, which aims to help Ghana’s street kids, like Salamatua, Samuel, and Daniel, by giving them a home, and getting them enrolled in school.

Daniel is 18 now. He met Sr. Anthonia in 2014. And he told ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner, that meeting her is the best thing to happen in his life.

“Through her guidance and support, I am now a final year Junior High student at the St. Peter’s Catholic School in Ayikuma. Apart from that, I have acquired the skills in sewing and barbering through training at WEM,” Daniel said. Samuel, who is 16, also lives at the center, along with 22 other young people.

“I have learnt a lot like farming and barbering of hair as an additional skill to my schooling and I advise all vulnerable children who have the opportunity like me to make good use of it,” said Samuel.

The center doesn’t discriminate based upon religion. Though a Muslim, Salamatu said she has come to love Catholicism, through the guidance of Sr. Anthonia, whom she said is her mentor and mother.

“I picked polythene on the streets for my dad to sell in the Ashaiman market to earn a living. But thanks to Rays of Hope, I now live a life of dignity,” she told ACI Africa, adding, “Through the skills training and way of life at the center, I can pray the rosary and other Catholic prayers very well even though I am a Muslim.”

Ghana’s constitution prohibits many types of child labor. But Sr. Anthonia told ACI Africa that the constitutional law is not always followed and that many poor children are put to work because of the poverty of their families.

Sr. Anthonia lamented school drop-out, child mortality, child labor, child trafficking, rape, prostitution, and defilement of vulnerable children and urged Ghanaians to create a sense of belonging in street children.

She said that with the outbreak of COVID-19, the children ranging between the ages of 7 and 15 in residence at the WEM Center have been placed in various homes. All the children, she said, were schooling at the St. Peter’s Catholic School.

“For the fear of the spread of the coronavirus at the WEM Center, 20 out of the 23 children have been placed in various homes of volunteer families and they are monitored daily by our re-integration staff,” Sr. Anthonia told ACI Africa.

The main aim of the center is to help Ghana’s street children get to school, and stay healthy, while staying connected with the parents and extended families of the children. The religious sister said that a lot of effort goes into establishing a frequent contact between the street survivors and their families.

“We believe that what God has created and bound together should not be separated. The connection to one’s family is the most valuable foundation for becoming a successful and responsible member of society. Therefore, we are convinced of putting all our effort, patience, and love into the reintegration process of our beneficiaries,” she said.

Sr. Anthonia said that Christians have been endowed with the ability to perceive, appreciate and understand the situation of the vulnerable person, identify their needs, design needed services and facilitate the provision of requisite intervention to bring relief to them.

She appealed to parents and opinion leaders to jointly take steps to curb drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, teenage pregnancies, armed robbery, occultism and cyber fraud among the youth, especially those on the streets.

The work of her project, she said, begins with finding street children eager to go to school, and families willing to approve that.

“We search the streets of Ashaiman, Tema, Accra and its environs from the First Contact Place. Every year, we search for street children in the major cities in Greater Accra and those who are willing to be supported, along with their families, sign a contract for onward enrollment every September,” she told ACI Africa correspondent.

She explained that the center’s educational approach is divided into pre-school classes, formal education and informal education as well as moral and religious aspects of life.

“Pre-school” isn’t for younger kids, as the term denotes in the West. At WEM, all new recruits are prepared for school life through intensive one-year pre-school classes.

“The children who were once on the streets and not schooling will have to be prepared to enhance their reintegration into school life,” the nun said, and added, “This demands patience, energy and love.”

“In pre-school classes, we focus to improve their oral, literary and arithmetic skills through a structured curriculum, and in the later stage of their development in pre-classes, other subject areas are introduced.”

There are 36 children at the collection center who are being prepared for school life. The collection point, in extreme cases, serves as a temporary shelter for beneficiaries, whose relatives or parents have not yet been located.

The Nigerian nun explained that at the collection center, the beneficiaries come on a daily basis to be taught mathematics, English and other subjects by the class teachers and volunteers.

“They are also educated on personal hygiene, social, religious and moral skills through classes and special programs,” she added and explained that the children have a period of morning devotion after their chores, before they go into their classes for lessons.

The classes, she said, are divided into three levels to meet the children’s individual academic needs, as they undertake five hours of classes per day.

When they complete the one-year pre-class, they are enrolled into basic school after they have met the criteria, which include punctuality and discipline, ability to read and write, to calculate simple arithmetic, personal hygiene like bathing, washing, and neatness in dress, Sr. Anthonia said.

The children are admitted into Catholic schools because “we believe the environment and as well as the Christian routine will help grow their moral and religious values,” said Sr. Anthonia.

As part of its humanitarian activities, Rays of Hope sponsors the former vulnerable children from the basic to the tertiary level of education, providing shelter, food, accommodation, and school fees.

Sr. Anthonia said that passion to restore dignity among young people who have made mistakes in life inspires her apostolate.

“The work at Rays of Hope for me is not just work but rather it is a ministry and a call. Ordinarily, when you look at it with human eyes, you might not want anything to do with it,” she said.

“It is all about a call from God and a passion to make an impact in the young people’s lives

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu

RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY (RECONA) a été créé par le Révérend Père George Nwachukwu, le directeur de la communication de RECOWA-CERAO. Il s'agit d'une agence de presse catholique internationale uniquement au service de l'Église dans la sous-région ouest-africaine. Ce moyen médiatique attaché au bureau de RECOWACERAO a pour objectif de raconter l'histoire de l'Afrique en fournissant une couverture médiatique de tous les événements pertinents sur le continent africain, en donnant de la visibilité à la Conférence épiscopale ouest-africaine, aux activités de l'Église à travers l'Afrique, à la Cité du Vatican et le monde en général.

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