Sunday, February 24, 2013

Narcotics Control Board - Ghana

The Narcotics Control Board sponsored the January, 2013 visit of Larry Gaines to Ghana and is expected to facilitate similar visits in the future.  It is also expected that NACOB will sponsor the training in June of three Ghanaians at Serenity Park in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Mr. Sylvester Adu of NACOB received training at Serenity Park in 2012; he currently spends one day a week at the House of St. Francis leading sessions in Recovery Dynamics.  Nine recently employed psychology graduates and employees of NACOB also spent several days at the House of St. Francis to study its operations.  We expect the NACOB to make use of the HSF as part of its efforts to reduce the demand for illegal drugs in Ghana. 

Oxford House in Ghana

The Hopeful Way Oxford House aka "Bill Moore House" located near Accra is maturing and currently has seven residents who run the house pretty much on their own.  Over 30 persons have stayed in the House since it was opened June 20, 2009.  Most of the residents did not find employment while at the house but worked on their recovery by participating in 12-step based programs in the house and by leading AA meetings in hospitals and the University of Ghana.  An evaluation is currently being conducted to see how the House could be adjusted to better meet the recovery needs of Ghanaians who don’t have ready access to 12-step meetings.  It is likely that a simplified version of Recovery Dynamics will be taught at the House by clients who have successfully completed three-month stays at the House of St. Francis.  Another Big Book Study may also be conducted at the Oxford House in March. 

Ghana 2012 & 2013

Recovery Africa/Hopeful Way Foundation Summary for 2012
 Proposals for 2013

by Dan O’Laughlin

2012 Summary


1.      The “Fifth Report to the Hopeful Way Foundation Oversight Committee” was submitted on 26 March, 2012. 

2.      From 18 May – 3 June, Hopeful Way Foundation (HWF) hosted a visit to Ghana of eight students and four staff members from Georgia Southern University and Texas Tech University. 

3.      Byron Merriweather trained for one month in Recovery Dynamics at Serenity Park in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

4.      Memorandum of Agreement signed in September by the Hopeful Way Foundation and the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra.

5.      Dr. Eugene Dordoye completed his-ten month study program at Johns Hopkins University in June.

6.      Sylvester Adu of NACOB studied Recovery Dynamics at the Kelly Foundation and studied recovery at Willingway Hospital and The Healing Place.

7.      Dan and Agnes were in the U.S. from June – November, 2012, and plan on being in Ghana from 12 December, 2012 to 12 August, 2013. 

8.      Met Archbishop Palmer-Buckle Msgr. Stephen Adu-Kwaning, Kristen Harper and Debbie Dungee in New York City on 20 June regarding the House of St. Francis and Oxford Houses in Ghana.

9.      A Fundraising Committee was set up in Washington, DC in November, 2011 and has been tuned into “Recovery Africa” in support of recovery in Ghana and perhaps other countries.  It currently operates under the 501(c)(3) status of Dr. Al Moony’s Willingway Foundation.

10.  The 27 September House of St. Francis gathering at the Embassy of Ghana in Washington, DC was successful and resulted in donations of $5,337.00 (net $2,500), half of which will help fund Byron’s return to Ghana in 2013 and half will go towards the running expenses of the House of St. Francis (HSF).

11.  Dan attended the Oxford House Convention in Oklahoma City from 13 - 16 Sept.

12.  Dan & Agnes studied the Daytop Therapeutic Community International training program in Rhinebeck, New York form 22 - 24 October. 

13.  Dan & Agnes studied the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) in Bridgeport, Connecticut on 25 - 26 October.

  1. Numerous new contacts were made in the U.S. in 2012, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Texas Tech University, Fr. Martin’s Ashley, DePaul University, Howard University, World Federation of Therapeutic Communities, Daytop Village, Connecticut Community for Addiction and Recovery and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. 
  2. The House of St. Francis began taking in residents on 1st August, 2012.
  3. In November, Dr. Shawn Reynolds produced a draft of his research conducted with the assistance of Hopeful Way Foundation and GNAT on “Alcohol Use, Stigma, and Understandings of Policy among Public School Teachers.”

2013 Proposals

1.      Identify and train a Ghanaian manager and staff for the HSF.

2.      Register HSF as an NGO and work with the board of directors appointed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra.

3.      Assist Catholic Archdiocese of Accra develop a recovery structure in support of the HSF.

4.      Larry Gaines to visit Ghana in late January to train House of St. Francis personnel in Recovery Dynamics.

5.      Establish a Fundraising Committee to put in place a permanent source of funding for the HSF.

6.      A fund-raiser and proposal writer, Matthew Brown, to visit Ghana to assist HWF/HSF/Catholic Archdiocese of Accra to develop a funding strategy and campaign. 

7.      Baseline research to be conducted in Ashaiman to obtain data to be used for evidence-based results produced by the HSF.

8.      Work with the Narcotics Control Board and others in ways that will further the HSF and recovery in Ghana.

9.      Byron to end his ten-month stay at the House of St. Frances in February. 

10.  Byron to return to Ghana in April to begin a one-year stay in Ghana to promote Oxford Houses and the House of St. Francis. 

11.  Official Opening of the HSF.

12.  Work towards opening an Oxford House for women.

13.  Obtain a vehicle for the use of the HSF. 

14.  Assist with the formation of an Oxford House Chapter in Ghana.  Help strengthen the Came to Believe Oxford house in Kukurantumi. 

15.  Dr. Al Mooney to visit Ghana for about two weeks in May.  He will be available to assist with training of healthcare workers, peer counselors and others.

16.  Dr. Shawn Reynolds to visit Ghana for approximately two weeks to assist in conducting further research about addiction and recovery among teachers as related to the employee assistance programs (EAP) and the HSF. 

17.  Kristen Harper, two faculty members and seven students from Texas Tech University to visit Ghana from 16 – 29 May.  Hopeful Way Foundation to assist in arranging their program of work with the likes of HSF, Addictive Diseases Unit, Chosen Rehab, Msgr. Bobby Benson in Koforidua, Catholic Archdiocese of Accra and Dr. Cyril Fayose in Ho.

18.  Emily Eisenhart, a faculty member of Georgia Southern University and about five of her students to visit Ghana for the entire month of July to assist in recovery efforts at the HSF, Ankaful Twelve-Step Rehab Facility, Mercy Center and University of Cape Coast.

19.  Enable two Ghanaians to participate in the Oxford House Convention to be held in Washington, DC in September.  Visit Daytop Therapeutic community in New York.

20.  An industrial cooker to be sent to Ghana by Recovery Africa for use in the HSF. 

21.  Enhance collaboration in with the likes of Pantang Therapeutic Community.  Ghana Health Services, Ghana National Association of Teachers, religious organizations and others. 

Family Session at House of St. Francis

On 23 February a group of over thirty family members, residents and others met at the House of St. Francis (HSF) to exchange experiences and thoughts on addiction, treatment and recovery.  The session was led by Dr. Sefa-Dedeh who led a discussion on "not enabling people to remain in their addiction but rather enabling them to move towards recovery".  Discussins were also held on tough love and life after staying in the House of St. Francis for three months.  A resident of the HSF gave the gathering a summary of working the AA Steps through the Recovery Dynamics curriculum being used at the house.  The group decided to hold similar sessions on the thrd Saturday of each month, the next to be held on 16 March, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.  The circular used for the gathering was:

Family Session on Addiction, Treatment and Recovery

Lead Professional – Dr. Araba Sefa-Dedeh, PhD
Please join us to learn how families can be involved in positive recovery from addiction. Share your experiences and learn from the experts. What should happen after a client completes three months at the House of St. Francis? On 23 February we will talk about life for people who are not thinking about recovery, those who may want to stop drinking or using drugs, preparing to stop using, action to obtain recovery and relapse prevention.

- How can the Hopeful Way Foundation/House of St. Francis be of assistance to recovery in your family?

- How long will recovery take?

- If my relative is addicted to hard drugs, can he use a little alcohol like in pito? What about cigarettes?

- Do you want to be a “Friend of the House of St. Francis”?