DISOP, and the intrinsic value of all people

The other evening I was at our local Mall shopping.  I came upon several people of all ages who were being chaperoned by other adults.  It quickly became apparent to me that they were physically and mentally challenged, and obviously under the care and supervision of volunteers or employees of a care facility.  It was a joy to watch them enjoying an outing to the Mall, doing the simple things that those of us with no physical challenges do as a part of our normal routine.    I am one who dreads the Mall, but these people were thrilled to be there.

In Ghana the iF Foundation supports DISOP, which is an acronym for “Outreach to the Disabled, Sick, Orphaned and Poor (DISOP).  Our Ghanaian leader, Isaiah Kobina Amissah, established DISOP several years ago when he encountered a woman crawling on the ground begging because she had no limbs.  What she did have was a determination to survive.  Isaiah was deeply moved and vowed to try and help her and others who live such a difficult existence.  DISOP now has some 300-400 members.  In Ghana, the physically and mentally challenged are without any support/safety net from the government and are usually outcasts within their families. While they may have been “tossed aside” by society; in Isaiah’s eyes they have intrinsic value and skills.

The iF Foundation has a special heart for DISOP and the people there who want the dignity that comes from having a job and earning a living.  We have two no interest loan projects made up of DISOP members.  The first is a batik tie dye  group that dyes the materials for making shirts, dresses, etc.  The other DISOP project is a group that makes beautiful bead jewelry in the traditional Ghanaian way.  I hope if you read this you might take a look at these two projects in the Ghana section of our web site.   You certainly would never be able to tell that the people making the beautiful jewelry and material for sewing have any disabilities.  They are justifiably proud of their work.  They are paying back their loans from their sales, and they are expanding their markets.  Of all of the many projects the iF Foundation supports, this work with DISOP makes me the proudest.   Thanks to those of you who choose to support our work.  If you want to do something to give the physically and mentally challenged people of Ghana hope for the future, consider making a financial gift to support their noble efforts, and reaffirm with Isaiah and the iF Foundation, “the intrinsic value” of all people.

Thanks!

The Rev. Canon James E. Byrum

2 Responses to “DISOP, and the intrinsic value of all people”

  1. empotts August 4, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    really cool to know how DISOP was started~ this is a great project to be involved in. Can’t wait to meet Isaiah and the DISOP group!!

  2. Cindy Gamso August 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Father,
    Reading this article about DISOP brought tears to my eyes. I remember getting the priveledge to meet some of the members of this organization once and how the love from the disabled people was freeflowing. They really are Gods precious children.
    What a powerful expression of love you showed through this well written blog.I know this trip coming up will be a wonderful blessing to all involved. I will be praying for you and the rest of the team.
    God Bless,
    Cindy Gamso

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