Christmas in Tamale, a predominantly Muslim city, has a different feel to it. One of the features of Christmas here is the way in which Dr. David Abdulai shares Christmas with thousands of others. Dr. Abdulai is famous as the founder of the Shekhinah clinics and Food Programme. The two clinics offer free basic medical treatment to anyone who comes. In a similar spirit, the Food Programme provides a meal every day of the year for hundreds of prisoners and destitute and mentally challenged people in Tamale.
On Christmas Day several thousand of the poor in Tamale are invited to come to Dr. Abdulai’s residence where every person receives food and drink, as well as a gift of clothing items. The logistics of distributing the food, drink and gifts are formidable. Volunteers start the cooking well before dawn. Many others help out during the day with transport, crowd control, giving out food and so on.
Once again this Christmas the novices had the privilege of spending over three hours helping as part of the volunteer force, which included local people, as well as friends of Shekhinah from other parts of Ghana and other parts of the world – including Canada, the UK and Europe. It was a very special and touching way to share Christmas with others, and it made the meaning of Christmas very real for us all.
|Br Tony, with keen eyes. checks out the clothes for girls before giving out.|
|Francis checks out the boys' clothes before handing out.|
|Big Martin tries on the hats before recommending them to the young boys.|
|Desmond checks out the long que to make sure everyone has a sachet of water while waiting to be served.|
|Lawrence looks on as little Charlie waits to be served.|
|Desmond distributes water as sign of welcome.|
|Other Volunteers from Ghana and Netherlands - giving a helping hand.|
|From left: Philip, Dominic and Volunteer, Margaret serving lunch packs.|