Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday joined Rev Father Andrew Campbell and staff of the Christ The King Soup Kitchen to celebrate five years of providing at least one hot meal to hundreds of street children in Accra every day.
Speaking at the event, Dr Bawumia said, “No matter how much you have, you’re not going to leave this world with anything. So let us help our fellow human beings as much as we can. If God has blessed you, please try and let those blessings also reflect on the poor and the needy in society and we will all grow together. Let us be each other’s keeper”.
The Christ The King Soup Kitchen, the brainchild of Fr Campbell with the support of philanthropists and members of the Church, has since January 16, 2016 fed over 300,000 street children, with over 800 fed every day during the lock down.
Vice President Bawumia responded to an appeal by Fr Campbell for support in the construction of a permanent structure to house the operations of the Soup Kitchen and provide temporary accommodation and medical help for the street children, as well as funding for the education of some of the children.
He said every religion enjoins its followers to help the needy, and it is only right that society comes to the aid of the less privileged.
“I am in awe of what Fr Campbell has been able to do these last five years with the support of the team behind him. One can only imagine what the children would have been going through without this soup kitchen. Every morning they are here, take their bath, have breakfast, take some lessons, have lunch and then leave. Every day. And this has been going on for five years. It’s just incredible.
“The good Lord admonishes us to take care of the poor and the needy. And in various parts of the Bible, Mathew, Proverbs, Isaiah, the admonition to take care of the poor is all there for us to see. And so what we are seeing here in what Fr Campbell and all who are taking care of these children is a reflection of what the Lord says we should do. We are not just doing it for ourselves, we are doing it for God almighty, we are doing it for the Lord, we are doing it for society.”
To give meaning to his continuous offer of support, Vice President Bawumia pledged to raise up to GHC100,000 as seed money for the construction of the proposed Mother Teresa Soup Kitchen at Osu, estimated to cost GHC1 million.
He also vowed to take up the sponsorship required to help four of the children access secondary education, in addition to other forms of support to help the children re-integrate back into society.
Shedding light on the origins of the Soup Kitchen, Fr Campbell said he was disturbed by the daily requests for help at the end of every Mass. Inspired by the declaration of 2016 as the Jubilee Year of Mercy for the Poor and Needy by the Pope, the Christ the King Soup Kitchen was launched on January 16, 2016 and now provides breakfast and lunch for up to 200 street children a day.
He expressed appreciation to all who have helped over the years to bring cheer to the lives of the children, especially Vice President Bawumia whose support he describes as “phenomenal”.
“We are most grateful to all our benefactors, especially our Vice President. Any time I have come knocking on his door he has always been there ready to help me. Sometime ago he gave me 300 bags of rice to help the lepers and street children in Ghana. But last Christmas he gave me a donation of 2,000 bags of rice. So now we are feeding all the soup kitchen children, the street children and lepers at Nkanchina, Ankaful, Kokofu, Ho, Cape Coast and Accra. And he got big trucks to bring the rice to all the various places across the country.
“I also knock on the Vice President’s door when I need financial assistance. One lady needed money for an amputation. I knocked on his door and said ‘I need GHC7,000 for an amputation can you help me?’ He sent it to me. So I want to say I’m very grateful to the Vice President for all the support and assistance encouragement you have given to us to help these children.”