Saturday, June 14, 2014
Today, June 14, 2014, the 39 year old Delali S. was laid to rest at a service held at City God Church in Accra, Ghana. The hundreds of mourners included seven from the House of St. Francis (HSF) family. Delali had been a much loved resident and alumni of the HSF for over a year; he passed away on May 3 after an illness which got the best of him. A generous and gifted person “with a high IQ, exceptional talents and excellent human relation skills”, Delali will be greatly missed. The pastor at today’s service said: “This is the most honest funeral that I have ever attended. The family asked for forgiveness for the shortcomings of Delali; The Lord says ‘I like that’”.
The program for the funeral paid tribute to Delali’s many achievements and went on to say: “The last 15 years of his life, Delali battled with dependence on Pethidine, a painkiller belonging to the Opiate family. This very powerful painkiller was used in treating the pain of sickle cell borne pain crisis from is teens. He struggled with this dependence for about five years before it came to the family’s notice. Over the past ten years he gave a good fight. Those of us who cared about him felt he should have fought harder but alas we don’t understand the hold of addiction over a person’s life. The last two years of his life, he found a new family in the House of St. Francis, a rehab house for people with drug dependency problems. They were a superb family! They accepted him as one of their own and their rehab programme brought Delali a renewed sense of dignity and self-worth. He also drew closer to God while there.” For more information see tributes at “rememberingdela.com”.
Friday, June 13, 2014
Dr. Gerald Marti Visits Ghana
Hopeful Way Foundation/Recovery Africa was privileged to host Dr. Gerald Marti to Ghana from 10 – 23 May, 2014. Dr. Marti has a long career of working with various forms of addiction and the organizations in the U.S. which are involved with prevention, treatment and recovery. His visit did much to enrich recovery work and to carry the message of recovery in Ghana. As detailed in his report, Dr. Marti participated in over 10 meetings and training sessions during his visit. He often said that “I came to Ghana to learn, to find out how lesions learned in the U.S. could benefit Ghana; how recovery in North America could benefit experiences in Ghana”. He believes that lessons learned from the long time use of marijuana in Ghana could be of use in seeing how the legalization of Marijuana in the U.S. may have unexpected results. He believes that the recovery movements in Ghana and the U.S. could benefit from closer collaboration.
At a meeting with the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), officials expressed a particular interest in obtaining research findings on the effectiveness of drug courts in the U.S. They explained to Dr. Marti their interest in examining the feasibility of establishing such courts in Ghana. Dr. Marti also conducted four training sessions for the staff of Pantang Psychiatric Hospital and their drug and alcohol Treatment Center. Various aspects of treatment and recovery were discussed, with emphasis on the need for after care follow-up programs. Meetings at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital and Valley View Clinic provided opportunities for explaining about the House of St. Francis and Oxford House. In his presentation at the University of Ghana’s Psychiatric Department, Dr. Marti expressed his wish that Ghana and the U.S. could learn by exchanging recovery experiences.
An important part of Dr. Marti’s visit to Ghana consisted of three Back to Basics training sessions conduced for the staff and clients of the House of St. Francis. He also shared his experiences at a HSF family meeting with over 50 clients and family members present. Counseling and the hearing of 5th steps was well received. In a visit to the Kuo Tufo Oxford House and treatment center in Kukurantuim, Dr. Gerald provided valuable information on the medical and twelve-step aspects of treatment and recovery.
Reflecting on his visit to Ghana, Dr. Gerald said that he “liked the people, their culture, their food and the market places”. On a more important note he was impressed by the grasp of the 12th step in their recovery programs. Ghanaians I recovery seemed to intuitively know that they had to give it away in order to keep it. To that end, several individuals are planning on returning to their home areas to start 12 step meetings in order to maintain their sobriety and to carry the massage. Very impressive.