Communication Ministry

SVD GHANA COMMUNICATION

A summary report presented at the AFRAM zonal meeting

27th May – 1st June 2015 at Mokopane South Africa

By Rex A. Vegbey, SVD

“… immersed in the Word of God, we strive together to proclaim this word effectively by using traditional and modern means of communication…”

In line with the above Mission statement of the province the communication office has over the years embarked on different programmes to implement the Mission statement.

What we do
The communication Office runs in two areas: SVD Ghanacom and Verbo Media Ghana.

i. SVD Ghanacom offers communication as ministryin the following:
· Production of the province Newsletter
· Running of an annual communication course for Novices
Care of communication needs of the province: photo/video coverage of important celebrations, production of brochures and magazines etc.

Management of province website, province social media platforms: WhatsApp, Facebook.

· Coordination of confrere’s efforts in communication.

Confreres involved in Communication ministry:

o Bro. Stephen Domelevo is the Director of Communication of the Archdiocese of Accra producing and airing Radio and TV Shows.

o Bro. Pius Agyemang is the Producer and Presenter of a TV Show on Religion and culture which is broadcast on national TV weekly. Also, features on radio programmes.

o Bro. Andrew Kedziora runs an audio studio producing audio CDs for catechetical purposes in the Yendi Diocese.

o Other confreres feature on radio and do presentations on TV.
· Capacity building of confreres in communication.

2012-2015

· Workshops in all District s
o Communication in Community and trends in modern media.
Other Activities:

· Workshop for St. Louis Sisters

· Expert contribution to the Lumen Christi TV, a new initiative by the Archdiocese of Accra.

· As part of the New Evangelization and the contribution of the SVD to it in Ghana, is the production of Catholic Teachings on Video and various reflections on diverse themes. So far ten videos have been shot including Catholic Questions and answers. There are other themes targeted at youth development issues to be filmed e.g, managing anger, the consequences of premarital sex, etc. This would be launched in the course of this year.

· Hymns of Praise: With the proliferation of Ghanaian contemporary gospel music, hymns seem to be giving way in our church services (Not only in the Catholic Church but in the other Orthodox churches as well). We are currently filming churches singing hymns for broadcast on national TV.

i. Verbo Media Ghana
It is a non Governmental Organisation aimed at exposing young people to the effective use of media today either for self development in academics or everyday use and as a means of making the voiceless heard.

Also, it is aimed at giving training to young unemployed girls and boys who have completed the Junior Secondary School and to equip them with the skills in the roles that are possible to acquire in the film industry namely camera operations, multi-camera works, lighting, sound and editing.

Other Activities:

· Workshop for St. Louis Sisters

· Expert contribution to the Lumen Christi TV, a new initiative by the Archdiocese of Accra.

· As part of the New Evangelization and the contribution of the SVD to it in Ghana, is the production of Catholic Teachings on Video and various reflections on diverse themes. So far ten videos have been shot including Catholic Questions and answers. There are other themes targeted at youth development issues to be filmed e.g, managing anger, the consequences of premarital sex, etc. This would be launched in the course of this year.

· Hymns of Praise: With the proliferation of Ghanaian contemporary gospel music, hymns seem to be giving way in our church services (Not only in the Catholic Church but in the other Orthodox churches as well). We are currently filming churches singing hymns for broadcast on national TV.
i. Verbo Media Ghana
This is yet to take off. It would offer media services to the public to generate some income for the province.

i. Other Communication initiatives

a. Catholic Book Centre is engaged in publication and sale of religious books.

b. Production of catechetical materials by some confreres,

c. Production of annual Magazines in our formation houses.
Administration

The office is headed by a full-time Coordinator supported by a team of Board members who meet periodically to offer advice to management and the Provincial on matters of communication in the Province. There are district coordinators of communication who are supposed to handle issues of communication in their respective districts.

Challenges

The communication office takes care of the publication of the Province Newsletter. All attempts to get the confreres and the District Coordinators to write articles for the Newsletter have not been encouraging.

Updating the province website has become a problem due to the pressure of work upon the Coordinator especially generating stories for the province newsletter. Creating a common platform for the various characteristic dimensions to execute a common programme has not yielded results.

Above all, to secure the necessary funding to organise capacity building workshops for District Coordinators and to  recruit a lay collaborator has been very challenging. Any donation is welcome.

Future Plans

Making the SVD communication apostolate to be felt in the parishes where SVDs are working by networking all of them through Communication youth groups. This would soon start in Accra, the capital. It is hoped that this concept would spread to the other Dimensions of the SVD.

It is hoped that the communication office would be taken care of by two confreres; one in charge directly of coordinating communication activities of the province whilst the other takes care of Verbo Media activities.

We are looking forward to secure the necessary funding to produce and distribute 3-minute videos through the social network WhatsApp. This platform is being used by many young people and some adults in Ghana today.
In addition a request has been submitted to ‘Jesus Film Media’ to secure the necessary permission to duplicate Jesus film in the various African languages for the African zone.

Conclusion

Although sometimes I have the feeling that confreres do not seem to understand this ministry of communication, I would like this ministry to be intensified in the Ghana Province. I am happy to say that some young confreres have been identified to join the office sometime after ordination to see to the continuity of the programmes being run by the department. Two of them are currently doing OTP in Brazil to have a feel of Verbo Filmes in Sao Paulo.