A Catholic nun has saved 120 disabled children from their own families that consider them ill omens.
Ghanaian Sr Mumuni cares for the 120 children currently living in the Nazareth Home for God’s Children with 15 other religious sisters and 35 staff members.
Sr Stan Therese Mumuni and her Marian Sisters of Eucharistic Love have dedicated their lives to rescuing, caring for, and loving these children, who are rejected by their families.
In 2014, little Sarah nearly lost her life when her neighbours in a village in Ghana accused her of being possessed by evil spirits and causing the death of 17 people — simply because she could not speak. Although the government said the victims died due to a cholera outbreak, her neighbours insisted that, since Sarah was disabled, she was responsible.
In a statement released by ACN United States that in many parts of Africa, including northern Ghana, children with impairments are frequently allowed to die if not openly killed. These children are thought to be bewitched or “evil”.
“It is terrible to see a beautiful child condemned to death, just because they cannot speak, or walk, or see. If you have a child who cannot see in the community, their mother cannot farm or fetch water with the other women, because they tell her she has an evil child. And if there is any misfortune in the village, they blame it on the child, and they kill it,” Sr Mumuni said.
These ‘spirit children’ are blamed for deaths in the village, failed harvests, infertility, mothers’ deaths during childbirths, poverty, famine and poor performance of children in school. Babies born when a family misfortune occurs, are also accused of being ‘spirit children’ and killed.
“The traditional beliefs affect the children. If a child is born blind, they are considered evil; if they cannot speak, they are considered evil; if a mother dies in labor, the family rejects the child, because they are considered evil. Even if the child is in the hospital, the mother will run away and leave them, and the hospital must call us to go and save them,” Sr Mumuni said.
With support from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Sr Mumuni was able to construct a convent “Nazareth Home for God’s Children” where 120 children are currently living. The convent also accommodates 15 other religious sisters and 35 staff members.
While the Marian Sisters of Eucharistic Love’s work is having an impact, they still need additional assistance. They require a vehicle to transport kids to the hospital, clothing, and tuition fees.
“My children are prayer warriors. At meals, even though they are very hungry, they stand and wait until everybody is served and pray before they eat. They say the rosary every day. When I am away, anytime I call them they say they have been praying for me, and for this person or that.”
(Picture Courtesy: Aid to the Church in Need)