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17.05.2004 Regional News

NGO urges churches to support needy members

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Techiman (B/A), May 17, GNA - Mr. Kwasi Amoa-Bosompem, Executive Director of Ghana Ecumenical Church Loan Fund (GECOLF), a non-governmental organisation, has under-scored the need for churches to use their finances to support needy members.

He said, this support would help alleviate poverty among needy members to cater for their children's needs, especially, their education.

Mr Amoa-Bosompem made the call at a day's forum at Techiman forum for 120 farmers drawn from 26 farmer groups of the Ecumenical Association for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (ECASARD) in Brong Ahafo.

The forum was aimed at sourcing funds from GECOLF to support group farmers of ECASARD to enable them to embark on various income-generating activities.

Mr Amoa-Bosompem expressed regret about the way and manner that some churches disburse their collections and harvests to acquire wealth instead of supporting the needy in the church. Such situations do not augur well for the upbringing of members from their slumber, he said and asked the clergy to help alleviate the burden on members.

The executive director announced that GECOLF started operating in the country in 1974 as a non-governmental organisation, non-banking institution and was non-partisan and did not offer credit facilities and loans to individuals but to identifiable groups like ECASARD.

Mr Amoa-Bosompem noted that it was a collective responsibility of beneficiary groups to pay back the loans granted them and urged ECASARD farmers to abide by the procedure in order to qualify for the loan facility.

Dr King David Amoah, National Co-ordinator of ECASARD stressed that the government could not totally remove poverty unless the people embarked on meaningful projects to win support. Dr Amoah appealed to members not to be money conscious saying, "it takes a long to become rich".

He announced that two NGO's-EED and MESSERO-based in Germany would continue to support ECASARD programmes in the country for a 3-year programme.

Nana Kwaw Adams, National Chairman of ECASARD and Twafohene of Forikrom, giving demonstration on modified tuber, "said it was common practice to let yams sprout, shortly before the rainy season, with the tip of the yam tubers cut off and placed in a shallow pit or basket with saw-bust, which could help it grow."

He said ECASARD farmers had over the past seven years engaged in various income generating activities, such as soap making, snail rearing, cassava cultivation, bee-keeping, grasscutter rearing and tie and dye making and hoped members would repay the loans granted them. Mr Emmanuel A. Mensah, Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of ECASARD thanked GECOLF for its plans to assist members and assured them of prompt payment of the loans.

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