SPEECH OF MOST REV. JOHN BONAVENTURE KWOFIE
ON THE OCCASION OF THE SOD-CUTTING OF THE CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESAN CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AT ATOMIC- KWABENYA, ACCRA, ON TUESDAY, 18TH JANUARY 2022
The Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko, the Deputy Director General, Monsignori, Rev. Fathers, Religious Brothers and Sisters, dignitaries present, invited guests, brothers and sisters in Christ, it is with great joy and hope that I address you on the occasion of the sod-cutting of the Children’s Hospital project, which will be the first of several Legacy of Hope projects of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra.
Our Lord Jesus Christ declared the great importance of children in society and in the church, when He said: “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16).
Children are our future and every child deserves a future. This is a responsibility that is acknowledged by almost every adult that I know. There is no better way to impact a child’s future positively, than to be attentive to their needs, to ensure their protection and to support their development, at every given opportunity.
It is in the light of the above and three insightful statements on children made by the great legend of Africa, His Excellency Nelson Mandela, that I wish to address you on this occasion of the sod-cutting for our Children’s Hospital project.
3.0 THE NEED FOR MORE CHILDREN’S HOSPITALS IN ACCRA
Permit me to make my first citation from Nelson Mandela. According to him, “History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children. In other words, our legacy depends on the impact we make in the daily lives of children; and a key aspect of the lives of children is their healthcare.
In the past few months, as many of you know, I have had my personal battle with illness. God has been faithful, and I have been overwhelmed by the level of care and support from the medical teams that have attended to me, my brothers and sisters in Christ, family, friends, and many loved ones. In my journey, I encountered many children, who are also battling various ailments. I have come
to learn that our children need even more specialist care for there are many ailments that affect mainly children.
It is interesting to note that in our national Capital, which is the most populous, there is only one major children’s hospital, namely, the Princess Marie Louise Hospital in Accra Central Arena. Some government hospitals in Accra, though, have paediatric units. These include the Korle-bu Teaching, 37 Military, Greater Accra Regional and University of Ghana Medical Hospitals. There are also a few private facilities that are dedicated to paediatric care but rely on our major hospitals for cases that require further management.
Obviously, then, the paediatric healthcare facilities in Accra are not adequate in the face of the millions of children in the Capital. Indeed, our medical teams are overstretched; and we should support them whenever we can.
4.0 A CATHOLIC CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL IN ACCRA
Let me begin this section with another quote from Nelson Mandela: “Let us reach out to the children. Let us do whatever we can to support their fight to rise above their pain and suffering”.
A hospital for children is one way of helping them rise above their pain and suffering. Hence, my decision to rally the support of all of you to build a Catholic Children’s Hospital in Accra.
As we know, the very first step for the implementation of such a project is the acquisition of the parcel of land. I have been praying about this. Today, in gratitude to God, I am pleased to announce to you that the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has gratuitously made available a 4+acre of land for our Children’s Hospital project. That is the space that has been cleared for this sod-cutting ceremony. I would, therefore, like to acknowledge and appreciate the Board of Directors, the Director General, Deputy Director General, Management and all Staff of GAEC for this generous gift of land.
The first phase of the Children’s Hospital project is estimated at a cost of Two
Million US Dollars (US $ 2,000,000.00).
I wish to invite you all, to join me on this journey, and by being a part of this vision, together we can leave a wonderful legacy for our children. We may not be able to solve all the world’s problems, but each one of us has the capacity to offer hope. We should never underestimate the impact that this will make in the lives of the many vulnerable children who desperately need someone to attend to them.
5.0 HOSPITAL PROJECT TEAM
I have put together a wonderful team of priests and lay volunteers. They have been tasked to work tirelessly to help bring our vision to fruition. The team consists of three (3) committees:
- a) Finance Committee
This committee is charge of the funds for the project. The members of this committee are:
- Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie
- Fr. John Kobina Louis
- Fr. John Neumann Tettehfio
- Fr. Wisdom Larweh
- b) Project Management Committee
This committee is responsible for clearing the grounds for the sod-cutting, the commencement of the project and its management. Its members are:
- Fr. Peter Rocky Hesse
- Fr. Johnny Mintah-Mensah
- Fr. John Neumann Tettehfio
- Fr. Wisdom Larweh
Other persons may be co-opted later. c) Fundraising Committee
This committee is in charge of fundraising programmes and activities. Its members are:
- Nana Yaw Kesse (Holy Trinity)
- Kodwo Brumpon (Corpus Christi, Sakumono)
- Veronica Zigah (St. Margaret Mary, Dansoman)
- Louisa Anarfi (St. Theresa, Kansehie)
- Fr. Emmanuel Obeng Cudjoe (St. James, Osu)
- Fr. Hillary Agbenosi (St. Bahkita, Comm 20)
- Fr. Emmanuel Salifu (St. Joseph the Worker, Weija)
- Fr. Joseph Henry Mensah (Convener) – St. Maurice La.
They have the mandate to co-opt other members to the committee. This committee will raise funds according to our needs. They will need the support of
all our churches, individual Catholics and other well-wishers to raise the funds needed.
With my blessing and on my behalf, you will be hearing from them, as we unveil planned activities to help raise funds to achieve our target. I assure you, I have seen a preview, and you wouldn’t want to miss any of them. They are fun-packed, Spirit-filled, innovative and above all, for a great cause. There is something for everyone. Please offer them your support, for it is I, your servant, who has sent them to you, that the vision, may be fulfilled. I will try my very best, not to miss any of the activities, this is my commitment. I humbly invite you all to make the same commitment, to be involved and to support. We will also provide regular updates on the progress of the fundraising and the project so that we are all always on the same page.
The Director-General, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I wish to conclude with a third and final quote from Nelson Mandela: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Let us all, therefore, be keen about contributing to see the commencement, progress and completion of the construction of the Catholic Children’s Hospital on this site for the well-being of children and to the glory of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.