Woonsocket Rotary Ghana Project Highlighted in District 7950 Newsletter
(As seen in the February 2007 District 7950 Newsletter)

Highlight of Local Club Activity - Woonsocket Launches Ghana Project
Dr. Sakyi Awuku Amoa, director general for the Ghana AIDS Commission recently noted that between five and 11% of the population in the West African country of Ghana are infected with HIV or AIDS. Complacency towards protection and treatment of HIV/AIDS is one of the main problems officials face. "We have until today around 65 million people infected (with HIV), 25 million of whom have already died and 40 million living with the virus, of who 30 million are living in Africa." These numbers have increased in the last two years. In Ghana 400,000 are burdened by this disease and projections are expected to reach 500,000. The Matthew 25 House was established by Father Alex Bobby Benson, a Catholic priest, in the Diocese of Koforidua in the Eastern region. The program has over 300 participants, mostly women. Women are more vulnerable to contracting HIV/ AIDS. There is an unequal distribution of power in most social systems in Africa, which manifests itself in the vulnerability of women in relationships with men. The Matthew 25 House provides care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS and for the orphans of those who died from AIDS. Father Benson recently came to Rhode Island to study and was met by Woonsocket Rotary President Richard Lemay and the club's World Community Service Committee, chaired by Charles Seavor. Father Bobby outlined the needs for education, food, and prevention services. Club members were deeply moved to hear that there are so many deaths that funerals are "batched" to one day a week - rather than hold funerals every day for AIDS victims. The Rotary Club of Woonsocket Board of Directors voted to send $3000.00 to Father Benson in support of nutrition and to those afflicted. You can reach Father Benson of Matthew 25 Ministries at P.O. Box 2807; Koforidua-Ghana. Or email:bobbylarteh@yahoo.com