Thirteen Unitarian Universalist leaders, including UUA President Rev. Peter Morales, will arrive in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday to begin a notable visit with an international human rights partner – the Manya Krobo Queen Mother’s Association (QMA). The Queen Mothers are traditional leaders in Eastern Ghana who organized an effective response to the traumatic effects that the HIV/AIDS pandemic was having on children in their community: they were losing their parents, they were suffering from the disease, they were being ostracized, and they were not attending school. The Queen Mothers responded by organizing an Association that took responsibility for the children in their community who were in need. And, through a partnership with the UU United Nations Office, to make sure that they could attend school.
By visiting with the children in the ECOC program – as well as their teachers, the Queen Mothers, and other local officials – the UUA delegation will learn how this community came together and responded to a serious crisis. They’ll learn about resiliency in the face of injustice. And, they’ll experience how an international partnership based on mutuality, right relationship, and accountability can be tremendously helpful and important.
Following these visits, the delegation will meet with organizational officials in Accra including the US Ambassador to Ghana, the Director of the US Peace Corps in Ghana, the Director of the Ghana AIDS Commission, and the local UNICEF office officials – among others. During these visits the delegation will reiterate the UUA’s attention and commitment to the work of the QMA, and gain a greater understanding of how to continue advocacy and witness work at home after the trip is over.
This visit to Ghana reflects many of the international priorities of Unitarian Universalism. We seek international partnerships that model friendship and right relationship; that promote human rights; that offer opportunities for direct engagement; and which help Unitarian Universalism to be a positive religious presence in the world.