By Robert Anane, GNA
Accra, July 15, GNA - John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana, has called on Christians to continue to show compassion to others as it is a key requirement of the Christian faith.
"Without showing consideration to people in adversity, we fail to live up to our faith as Christians."
Former President Mahama said this, when he spoke as the special guest of honor at the maiden project launch of the Charismatic Evangelistic Ministry (CEM) Ability Village, on Sunday in Accra.
Touching on the CEM Ability Village project which would provide a safe haven for physically challenged persons, he said it was most unfortunate that some people discriminated against others who were challenged physically.
The Former President said besides the fact that it was wrong to discriminate against people because they had physical defects, it was worth realising that anybody could become physically impaired at any time as a result of a number of factors such as accidents and ailments.
He said it was worth every effort to discard all forms of discrimination against the physically challenged and rather find ways at all levels, to ensure that such persons did not unduly suffer because of their circumstances.
The former President said the decency of a nation is judged by the general state of the physically challenged within that state, and urged the citizenry, organisations and policy makers, to be sensitive to the needs of the physically challenged in the society.
Mrs Cynthia Morrison, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, said government through her Ministry would work with all stakeholders to ensure the success of the project.
She said being physically impaired puts one in a challenging position that required a lot of support and understanding.
The Minister said one of the ways in which the society could help physically challenged persons, was to support them with an environment which brought out their creative and productive abilities, and ensured that they found as much fulfillment in life as possible.
Reverend Steve Mensah, General Overseer of the CEM, and President of the CEM Ability Village, said in his sermon that the time had come "for us to invest our resources to lift persons with disabilities from the quagmire our society has placed them in".
He said as Christians, it was not enough to perform religious duties adding that showing kindness, care and concern, formed part of the core duties of every Christian.
Rev Mensah said it was not right for the society to treat persons living with disability in a manner that stripped them of their dignity as human beings.
"We have a responsibility to support and encourage people with disabilities to realise their dreams and lead fulfilled lives," he said.
Mr Yaw Debrah, chairman, National Disability Council, said the initiative was most laudable because physically challenged people typically found comfort in each other.
He said an environment which was particularly created to suit their needs and also ensure that they could find several others who shared in their plight was thus most soothing.
Mr Debrah said the project would improve upon the image of the disabled and as well as their well-being and comfort, and appealed for support from all stake-holders.
The CEM Ability Village, an initiative of the Charismatic Evangelistic Ministry, is a charity focused on empowering persons with disabilities to live more fulfilling and dignified lives in the society.
It seeks to help eliminate stigmatization against the physically challenged, raise awareness of their needs and provide the requisite services to enable them integrate effectively into the society.
The Village is a proposed residential and livelihood empowerment community that would be located on a one thousand acre land at Ningo in the Greater Accra Region, purposely designed for persons with disability.
The project is estimated to cost 85 million United States dollars, and funding is mainly expected from international donor organisations, corporate organisations, government and non-governmental organisations amongst others.