Lechaptois Formation House in Balaka put up a good show at the Crossroads Hotel: Lilongwe, March 26th

By Claudio Zuccala, M.AfrClaudio Zuccala 2013

Our students from Lechaptois Formation House in Balaka put up a good show at the Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe on March 26th. In front of a small but very keen audience our candidates presented two plays: “Cheap Labour” and “The Changes Identity of Slavery”. The first depicts a plantation owner in the States who is convinced to buy slaves by an unscrupulous slave trader but who is then convinced by a missionary into looking at them as human beings and eventually granting them their freedom. The second tackles the problem of modern day human trafficking: it’s the story of two young people, brother and sister, who are allured by promises made by an agent based in America only to be savagely exploited once they get to their destination.

After that we had a lively discussion on the broad issue of modern forms of slavery in Malawi with a panel made up by our confrere Jos Kuppens, Sister Florence Mwamba, the director of the Tikondane project (street children), Habiba Osman Norwegian Church Aid Programme Coordinator on Human Rights, and Raphael Sandram, voicing the concerns of the Malawi tobacco tenants. Leading the debate and weaving together the different parts of the evening was TV moderator and journalist Wisdom Chimgwede who did an excellent job.

The only disappointment was the late arrival of Luntha TV. There was some serious hiccup and the TV crew only turned up half way through the show so I don’t really know what will happen to the DVD which they were supposed to produce. Pity really for an otherwise well prepared event. A few minor details can be improved on but certainly not the enthusiasm, hard work and good will of our candidates (plus the staff at Balaka and another couple of confreres) who have given their best.

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New Website of St. Lawrence Home of Hope

St. Lawrence Home of HopeNew Website of St. Lawrence Home of Hope
St. Lawrence Home of Hope is a centre for the homeless children and youth where we receive and give shelter to the homeless that are found on the streets of Lusaka.
It has a dual purpose:
1. A rehabilitation centre where we offer a new home and a new start for the children.
2. It is a “half-way home” where we intend to re-integrate the children back in their families, back to their real” homes and main stream society.
The centre was founded in 1998 by the Catholic Women’s League of Lusaka at the request of the then Archbishop of Lusaka. R.R. Medardo Mazombwe. The project was put in their hands in order to respond to the growing numbers of “street children” in Lusaka. They are in charge of advocacy, sourcing funds, developing infrastructure and taking care of the running costs.  From its inception the Catholic Parish of Good Shepherd was involved in its establishment, development and running of it as it was within the boundaries of the parish. The first basic structures were built within the property of St. Lawrence Community Centre which was part of the Good Shepherd Parish which, in turn, is in the hands of The Missionaries of Africa.
Our goal is to rescue children from the vicious circle of homelessness (street-drugs-abuse-crime), rehabilitate them and their families and to re-integrate them back into their home environment (when and if possible).
The Website includes:
How do we do it?
Children’s Stories

Fighting Genocide and a Crime against Humanity: Cardinal Lavigerie and the African Slave Trade

Africa Must Not Forget
No discussion about the abolition of the African Slave Trade in the 19th century can make much sense without recalling the entire four or five hundred year history of the phenomenon itself. What seems to be a widespread, deliberate, though subtle, effort towards collective amnesia in this matter – the inclination to erase out of consciousnessLaurenti Magesa and from common memory the experience of slavery, particularly in Africa – makes the obligation to remember a fundamental one. Given the extent and depth of the experience and its consequences on the African continent and its peoples right up to the present, and definitely, as evidence seems to indicate, for the future as well, it baffles the mind, and is actually immoral, that people would suggest that the Slave Trade was merely as “an incident in history,” and that the quicker it is forgotten the better it will be for the continent. On the contrary, it appears much more logical and ethical to insist that the reality of the slave trade and slavery be accorded a more prominent part than has been the case so far, not only in the African civic education system, but also in the process of Christian evangelization and catechesis. READ MORE
by Laurenti Magesa, Hekima College Jesuit School of Theology


Interview with Sarah Augustine

Sarah AugustineThis new interview with Sarah Augustine opens our eyes to the current and historical harms fueled by the “Doctrine of Discovery”.  We are invited to break the chains of all the oppressed, in this case the Indigenous Peoples. Sarah unveils with profound honesty how the Church, perhaps inadvertently, paved the way for the creation of unjust social structures still very much active in today’s world.
Just one month ago, African theologian Laurenti Magesa gave a prophetic conference at Tangaza College (Nairobi) on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Charles Lavigerie’s anti-Slavery Campaign. In his speech Magesa said that “except for rare cases such as Cardinal Lavigerie, much of Christian evangelization within Africa itself was reluctant to pronounce and declare unequivocally that the Slave Trade and slavery were “intrinsically evil.” Magesa documents the words of Pope John Paul II recognizing and acknowledging this historical oversight in the history of the Church. In John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter of 1994, Tertio Millenio Adveniente (TMA), he openly apologized for what he describes as the “sinfulness” of the Church’s children on this matter. The Pope further noted that “acknowledging the weaknesses of the past is an act of honesty and courage which helps us to strengthen our faith, which alerts us to face today’s temptations and challenges and prepares us to meet them” (TMA 33). It is in this spirit that this interview takes place. We are invited to strengthen our faith as we openly name the “force without a face” behind the “Doctrine of Discovery.”  
Sarah invites us to choose life. She says: “To choose Life is to decide with one’s whole being to work on the side of Life, promoting human dignity over financial gain, standing in the way of a juggernaut of endless growth at any cost that Western society defines as mundane, conventional, necessary. To choose life is to stand on the side of the oppressed day after day, even if it means becoming oppressed, because this is what will enable us to retain our humanity, or perhaps experience it for the first time, since all of us are dehumanized by the machines of death.” READ MORE

Short presentation of Kasamba Community, Zambia

11 KasambaBeing part of Mansa diocese, Kasamba was started as a parish in April 1997 with 28 outstations. Before it, Kasamba was periodically visited by three confreres who resided temporarily in Lubwe: Jean-Louis Godinot, Bernhard Udelhoven and Martin Grenier. Between 2001 and 2009, pastoral life saw ups and downs due to the lack of personnel. This is the reason why Father Nicolas Mumbi, diocesan priest, was appointed to Kasamba to boost the pastoral team from September 2009 to January 2011. The Missionaries of Africa arrived in Kasamba in 2010.
Jules Roy was Parish Priest up to recently when he moved to Ndola. At the moment, we have two confreres ministering in Kasamba; Dieudonné Rizinde and Patrice Sawadogo. Two stagiaires are also helping the community; Emmanuel Rulinyuma, who is ending his second year, and Jean-Paul Basikaba Evi. All of them are Congolese except Patrice who is from Burkina Faso.

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Ecumenical Palm Sunday 2013 – Misisi compound, Lusaka

The procession of Palm Sunday started from the UCZ Church within Misisi compound to end at St. Lawrence Parish. Thousands of Christians from eight Churches attended the prayer and followed the procession moving through the main but narrow street of the slum of Misisi. The final blessing ended an improvised choir festival from various choirs, some of which gathered 30 singers.

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Easter and the Holy Week in the swamp – Zambia

IMG_0003This article is dedicated to the pastoral work of Father Bernhard Udelhoven when celebrating Easter and the Holy Week at the village of Malawi in Zambia in 2012 (not to be mistaken with the country of Malawi). See the text written in German published by the magazine Kontinente, March/April 2013, in the supplement section devoted to the Missionaries of Africa, pages IV-V. READ MORE 

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Balaka Drama Group – Antislavery

Let us break the chains LogoLechaptois (Balaka) Drama Group – 125 Anniversary of Cardinal Lavigerie’s Antislavery Campaign
As part of the Malawi Sector’s commemoration of the Cardinal’s Antislavery Campaign the M.Afr students in the SAP First Cycle will come to Lilongwe on Monday on 25th March to perform two short plays and a poem at two venues: St Francis Parish and Crossroads Hotel.
Luntha TV will be there to film the plays and discussion on Tuesday.  They will air it and we hope to have a DVD that can be circulated.
Everyone is welcome both at St Francis and Crossroads. 
The events will take place as follows:
Date: Monday 25th March 2013
Time: 3-5.30 p.m.
Venue: New Hall, St Francis, Kanengo, Lilongwe (A25).
Programme: 1. Play 1 – “Cheap Labour”- slavery in the past. 2. Poem – Africa, where are you? 3. Play 2 – “The Changed Identity of Slavery” – slavery / human trafficking in the present. 4. Discussion.
Date: Tuesday 26th March 2013
Time: 6-8.30 p.m.
Venu: The Auditorium, Crossroads Hotel, Lilongwe (A3)
Programme: 1. Welcome – by MC Wisdom Chimgwede. 2.
Opening Prayer. 3. Introduction – Bill Turnbull. 4. Play 1 – “Cheap Labour”- slavery in the past. 5. Poem – Africa, where are you? 6. Play 2 – “The Changed Identity of Slavery” – slavery / human trafficking in the present. 7. Link – just a few words. 8. Panel and open discussion. 9. Closing remarks. 10. Closing prayer. 11. Drinks and snacks.

CfSC Basic Needs Basket Analytical report for January 2013 – Malawi

Rural Basic Needs Basket Analytical report for January 2013 in Malawi shows that the majority of rural households are poor since they are living below a dollar a day.
During the month of February, CfSC’s Rural BNB project conducted a Rapid Rural Appraisal in its operation areas to assess the availability and prices of maize. It was found out that maize prices ranged between MK 7000 and MK 10,000 a bag of 50 kg. This was too much expensive for a rural household. Those who had no or too little maize and money resorted into consuming maize bran. Those who had completely nothing, slept on an empty stomach or could even consume leafy vegetables only. READ MORE
Maize scacity bites rural population
Press statement published in the Daily Times of 21st March, 2013

Interview with David Kreider

David KreiderCharles Lavigerie, in the context of the Anti-Slavery Campaign proclaimed that “few people, too few people have the ultimate vocation: humanity.” In this interview David Kreider shares with us his life’s journey finding our way back to our humanity. He grew up in Israel-Palestine, that seemingly incessant cauldron of conflict, a place that has nurtured his faith and interests in interfaith engagement, conflict transformation and peace building. In this interview he invites us to explore the beauty of sharing ourselves through the language of art. He says that this language “intrinsically engages us at the level of our heart and soul and imagination, with the impulses of our creative talents and energy, and in non violent forms of expression that inspire our reverence and empathic identifications with each other.” He invites us to surrender to the overwhelming beauty of the unknown in which we live. He says that “the beauty of the Mystery is that it drives us together to comprehend it, which liberates us from our solipsistic inclinations to “enslave” others to our narrow absolutist constructs and worldviews.”   READ MORE

Log Smuggling, Illegal Logging, and Corruption in Mozambique

Log Smuggling MozambiqueLog Smuggling, Illegal Logging, and Corruption in Mozambique
February 2013
A report on the illegal flow of timber from Mozambique to China featuring detailed case studies revealing smuggling techniques, specific examples of corruption and the collusion of senior Mozambique politicians with Chinese timber exporters.
This document was produced with the financial assistance of the Department for International Development (DFID) Forest Governance Markets and Climate programme.
The contents are the sole responsibility of Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of DFID.
Conclusion of the report:
Mozambique is a signatory to the Yaounde Ministerial Declaration on African Forest Law Enforcement and Governance, committing itself to 42 indicative actions against illegal logging and associated trade, corruption, and to promote improved forest governance. Given the problems outlined in this briefing, it is clear these commitments have not been met.
The discrepancy in official export/import data in volumes of timber traded between Mozambique to China demonstrates the scale of illegal exports and how they drive illegal logging in the country.
The tax revenue lost to this trade harms Mozambique’s capacity to fund improved forest management and law enforcement, as well as community poverty alleviation schemes.
Government efforts to control the illegal timber trade, by increasing the number of seizures, legislating for greater fines and by increasing the VAT tax on the export of logs, have been undermined by the persistence of the illegal operators protected by political patronage.
These problems should by now have raised concerns from the relevant Mozambican authorities and their Chinese counterparts, leading to an investigation regarding any illegalities involved. The fact that these problems continue to blight the proper management of the forest sector is a travesty forMozambique’s forests and for those poor communities who rely on them for their survival.
PDF Document
Online Document

Launching of Dreams

Dreams: Where do Biblical, Zambian and Western Approaches Meet?  
The first book published by FENZA was officially launched on Friday 15th March in FENZA Hall. Tens of people attended the launching ceremony. Among the attendants were the Archbishop of Lusaka, Telephone Mpundu; the Rector of St Dominic Major Seminary, Fr. Denis P. Phiri; the M.Afr General Assistant, Fr. Peter Welsh and some visitors from Germany.
In his review, Fr. Denis Phiri – who was the external reviewer – succinctly and eloquently stressed that the book rightly reflects on dreams, a banal and yet puzzling, indicative and educative human experience. In this respect, he endorsed the book as a useful reading for all. Then, the authors of the book Gotthard Rosner, Bernhard Udelhoven and Patrick Mumbi, one after the other explained briefly the themes that the book touches.
To combine the practical with pleasure, all the attendants were invited to convivial refreshments after the ceremony.  Meanwhile, copies of the new book were sold and went like hot cakes. All in all, the first book of FENZA was launched in simplicity but with great enthusiasm.
During the questions/comments session, Fr. Justin Matepa, the National Pastoral Coordinator remarked that the book was timely, as the issue of dreams has become a burning pastoral concern today.  So, it is the hope of FENZA that Dreams will be of assistance in shedding light on questions about dreams and hence help in clarifying our understanding of dreams.     Romaric Bationo, M.Afr

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Great day at New Kaloko Parish, Ndola – Zambia

St. John the Baptist -bookWith great thankfulness to our confrere Reinhold Bloching for his pastoral and social work at New Kaloko Parish, Rt. Rev. Alick Banda gave the sacrament of confirmation to 99 young and some not so young people on the 17th March 2013. This first official visit of the Bishop coincided with the launching of a small book of 25 pages entitle: “St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (New Kaloko)” written by our confrere.
When Reinhold came to New Kaloko in January 1996, he had to face a new world even though he was already in Zambia for many years. He started by making a survey of the population, its religious and tribal composition, its social challenges and the history of this newly created compound where people occupied illegally any open space near the industrial area of Ndola. “As I got more and more involved with our Christians and the population at large, I was also challenged. Thus I started various religious and social initiatives”, wrote Reinhold.
Yearly reports over the development in the compound provided the necessary content for the writing of the book answering the wishes to the Christians of New Kaloko. Printed by Mission Press in Ndola, written in Chibemba, the book is well illustrated and can be purchase in Ndola or at the Missionaries of Africa in Woodlands at the price of only 5 Kwacha.
Congratulations to Reinhold Bloching for this beautiful achievement.

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Young confreres meeting in Ndola: 28th January – 2nd February

Young confreres meeting in Ndola 03 - Copie

Florent Sawadogo (Burkinabe/Mozambique), Saju Akkara (Indian/Zambia)
Philip Meraba (Nigerian/Malawi), Patrice Sawadogo (Burkinabe/Zambia)
Jean de Dieu Bukuru (Burundian/Mozambique), Alfred Awogya (Ghanean/Zambia)
Felix Kamunenge (animator) (Zambian/Zambia), Didasio Mwanza (Zambian/Malawi)
Frederic Ajaruva (Congolese/Zambia), Jules Roy (Canadian/resident in Ndola)
and Filianus Ekka (Indian/Malawi)
The SAP Province organised a Young Confreres meeting for all those in their first term serving in the Province. The meeting was convened in Ndola. Those who attended the meeting were hosted in our community in Ndola. Bob Tebri, the Rector of Balaka, and Felix Kamunenge serving in Kitwe Parish acted as moderators. Dioscoro Malugao, the Sector Superior of Zambia, accompanied the group throughout and Christopher Chileshe, the Provincial, was present for two days.
The meeting began with a recollection animated by Dioscoro. He called the participants to reflect upon their vocation and identity as Missionaries of Africa called for a humble service in the vineyard of the Lord. While it is at times difficult to reveal our priestly identity to those we meet for the first time, there has been some reward for doing so.
The most important moment of the meeting was the personal sharing. All the participants, including the animators, were given ample time to share with others their joys, hopes and sources of strength but also their sorrows, challenges and difficulties. After each sharing the participants manifested their interest through questions, comments and clarifications.
The animators of the meeting enlightened the young confreres by an input built upon their personal experiences. The theme was: “The Challenge of being a Missionary of Africa Today”. Bob highlighted the changing nature of our Society as far as age and main sources of vocations are concerned. He underscored the point that our commitment to JPIC/ED must start at home by the way we treat one another and our workers. Our call has a prophetic dimension which must take seriously the challenge of leadership in Africa but also in our Society and in the Church.
The Provincial of SAP presented the vision and pastoral priorities of the Province. The participants were satisfied and enriched by this insightful interaction.
The mood of the meeting was kept high by the good food offered by the kitchen staff with the well appreciated collaboration of Dioscoro who kept himself busy in all logistic arrangements for the meeting. The participants were also cheered up by the two outings to Msogbe Camp and the visit to our confreres in Kitwe.
By Jean de Dieu Bukuru, M.Afr