Thursday, July 26, 2012
Dr. Dordoye’s Interview with William L White – In May, 2012 Dr. Dordoye answered Bill’s questions saying “It was my passion to help young people in Ghana that got me into the area of addiction. What kept me going later was my realization of the enormity of the problem and my recognition that those addicted to alcohol and drugs are not bad people but people suffering from a condition of the mind that made them unable to quit drinking or using drugs. Speaking about the nature of alcohol and drug problems in Ghana at the present time, Dr. Eugene continued saying “At present, alcohol addiction is the foremost problem because of the availability of alcohol, the sheer numbers of people who drink and the resulting health problems. For teenagers and people in their early twenties, drugs like marijuana are more of a problem. For them, it’s a problem of peer influence. They get into these drugs because they want to belong. For those who develop a problem the public and some professionals tend to see it as a spiritual problem that needs a spiritual intervention. There is a tendency to see addiction in terms of vice rather than a disease that requires treatment and that addicted people should be prayed for to help them stop.”
Thoughts from Texas and Georgia - On his return to Accra from Wa, Walker said “it is more different than I thought. We seem to be American first and people in recovery second”. Another student added that “my stay at the Oxford House in Accra gave me the best opportunity to make an impact, to illustrate to Ghanaians in recovery that sobriety can be a fun thing”. Beth, a student from Texas Tech, said that “I feel like a fire has been lit under me and my passion to work with high school students and women”. Ahmed said that “I feel so angry to see a huge problem, a lack of resources and not know what to do. What more can I do in Ghana?” Julia from Georgia Southern University adds that “there are so many addicted women in Ghana suffering in silence”. Dr. Tomas Kimbal adds that “in the U.S. we have spent so much time talking about the causes of alcoholism and addiction and we miss the real message--recovery. Ghana has the real potential to get the message of recovery out from the very beginning which would jump start the recovery movement in Ghana and Africa.
Fundraising is an important challenge for Hopeful Way Foundation in Ghana and the U.S. A fundraising committee was established at a meeting held in November, 2011 in the conference room of the Faces and Voices of Recovery. Current work is focused on preparations for the September 27 gathering at the Embassy of Ghana. Discussions are also being held on useful work after September and the possibility of establishing a 501(c)(3) to further recovery work in Ghana and possibly other African countries.
Miracle Not Magic is the theme of a Hopeful Way Foundation sponsored event to take place on September 27, 2012 at the Embassy of Ghana in Washington, DC. The purpose of the event is to expand the networking of the HWF and to raise funds for the House of St. Francis. Dr. Al Mooney and Larry Gains are among the speakers.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra met with partners of the Hopeful Way Foundation on June 20 in the Bronx, New York. Representatives of Oxford House Inc. and Texas Tech University spoke about longer term support for the House of St. Francis and recovery in Ghana. The meeting was also attended by Msgr. Stephen Adu-Kwaning who recently completed the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, Fordham University, with masters of art in pastoral counseling and spiritual care. Msgr. says that “ I believe I will be resourceful at the House of St. Francis, upon my return to Ghana”.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra met with partners of the Hopeful Way Foundation on June 20 in the Bronx, New York. Representatives of Oxford House Inc. and Texas Tech University spoke about longer term support for the House of St. Francis and recovery in Ghana. The meeting was also attended by Msgr. Stephen Adu-Kwaning who recently completed the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, Fordham University, with masters of arts in pastoral counseling and spiritual care. Msgr. says that “ I believe I will be resourceful at the House of St. Francis, upon my return to Ghana”.
Dr. Al Mooney of Willingway Foundation has been of tremendous assistance to recovery in Ghana and to the Hopeful Way Foundation. He spent three weeks in Ghana in 2011 when he met with numerous people including the Minister of Heath, the Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board, the heads of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital and the board members of the Hopeful Way Foundation. Dr. Al plans on returning to Ghana in about May, 2012 and is prepared to whatever we ask him to do with regard to furthering recovery, including the training of health care workers and peer counselors.
Mr. Sylvester Adu of Ghana’s Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) spent five weeks in the U.S. in early 2012 and visited several treatment centers where he studied the potential long-term benefits of formal recovery programs. He studied the Recovery Dynamics curriculum at the Kelly Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas, and met personalities at the Embassy of Ghana.
Dr. Eugene Dordoye completed his ten-month course on Drug Abuse Treatment and Prevention at Johns Hopkins under a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship U.S. State Department. In June he returned to Ghana to play an important role as a board member of Hopeful Way Foundation. Dr. Dordoye traveled to several treatment centers where he learned first-hand the treatment philosophies of facilities such as The Healing Place (Raleigh, North Carolina), Martha Education Fund, The Extension and Willingway Hospital (Georgia). At Ghana’s 55th Independence Anniversary Dinner Dance in Washington, D.C., he spoke on the role of the House of St. Francis as one of the long-term solutions to addiction in Ghana.
Recovery Dynamics’® will be used as the treatment model at the House of St. Francis. Recovery Dynamics® is an in depth study of the book Alcoholics Anonymous as a treatment program consisting of 28 classes and 32 assignments. The Therapeutic Community approach will be incorporated for peer-support where more experienced persons in recovery assist newcomers. The house will additionally use peer counseling and community meetings.
The Texas Tech and Georgia Southern Universities sent ten students and four faculty members to Ghana form May 17 to June 3, 2012. The Hopeful Way Foundation hosted the group. They went to secondary schools, churches, the Addictive Diseases Unit, hospitals, recovery facilities and spent time at the House of St. Francis. The visit was simply a great one and created the basis for a continued relationship between young people in recovery in Ghana and the U.S. Emily Eisenhart of Georgia Southern University said that ”everything went so well in Ghana, and we all agreed that this was an incredible and life-altering journey for all involved. I feel so blessed to have been a part of it!” The 12 visitors stayed with four Ghanaian families in Accra and at the Oyarifa Oxford House. Kristen Harper says that The Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery of Texas Tech is “excited and humbled to work with the Hopeful Way Foundation and their faith and devotion to provide service. The benefits to our students who moved throughout the country with them is immeasurable. We are looking forward to the next stages of our relationship.
Mr. Larry Gaines, president of the Kelly Foundation, was in Ghana from August 15 to 30, 2011 where he introduced “Recovery Dynamics” to hundreds of Ghanaians. Mr. Gaines says, “It does my heart good to come home to Mother Africa, and to share my experiences, strengths and hopes. I want to return each year to Ghana to help make the House of St. Francis a model for recovery facilities in Africa.” While in Accra Larry met with personalities at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra, the Narcotics Control Board and the Ministry of Health.
Mr. Byron Merriweather spent five months in Ghana in 2011 and is on ten month stay until February, 2013. He is developing more Oxford Houses, heading up the House of St. Francis and carrying 12-step recovery. He says, "I want to continue my work in Ghana to assist in the development of the recovery movement and to do my part in establishing transitional recovery housing in each of the ten regions of Ghana and throughout the African continent.” He adds, "Further development of AA, Al-Anon and NA meetings, as well as, 12 step/sponsorship training and development is needed to galvanize recovery in Ghana.”