The way it should be: working together for the Common Good

Chieftain in Kpatia community in northern Ghana

Chieftain in Kpatia community in northern Ghana

Yesterday and today we 11 university professors traveling with Catholic Relief Services in Ghana were warmly welcomed by village chieftains and Muslim imams. We entered the chieftain’s home on Monday and the imam prayed with and for us. In return the CRS representative presented our thanks.

As we sat together both days, we, as a delegation representing CRS, and they, representing the largely Muslim local community, were the visible sign of our one human family of which we are each members.

One of the principal tenets of Catholic social teaching and of CRS’s Guiding Principles is solidarity.

Whatever our national, racial, religious, economic or ideological differences — and in an increasingly interconnected world, loving our neighbor has global dimensions.

We joined together in our common humanity and were able to achieve remarkable progress in 138 of the poorest communities in northern Ghana.

We saw health facilities ensuring that each child receives vaccinations. We saw teenage girls remaining in school because they were no longer ashamed of their first menses. We saw men and women participating in savings and internal lending groups in order to achieve greater financial security. We saw nutrition educators helping families to grow and eat nutritious meals.

I could list more gains that these communities have achieved, but the key achievement is that they are working together, with CRS, for the Common Good. It is a gift for us professors from the United States to learn how, by bridging differences, we gain strength.

imam

Comments 2

  1. So much of our education focuses on all that is going wrong rather than the good that’s being accomplished, how it’s being accomplished, and the opportunities to join that effort.

  2. Excellent point Sue! I attended the trip with Jerry and it was a humbling experience for me. Everyone deserves dignity and respect.

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