Contemporary slavery: a modern scourge

P1090116In 1888 Cardinal Lavigerie the founder of the White Fathers joined the worldwide campaign for the abolition of the slave trade. Tirelessly he travelled to many European cities, raising awareness to wipe out all types of slavery. While commemorating this event, his missionaries, together with all people of good will, now have to fight all new forms of servitude and bondage imposed on human beings
By Felix Phiri M.Afr.
Published in the Saturday Post, Saturday 13 July 2013
The Missionaries of Africa (popularly known as the White Fathers) first set foot on Zambian soil, at Mponda in Northern Zambia, in 1889, the first Catholic missionaries to do so.
They were founded in 1868 by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie while he was Archbishop of Algiers (1868 – 1892) to spread the Gospel on the African continent and to enter in dialogue with Islam.
Although Lavigerie never travelled South of the Sahara himself, he was well informed about the realities encountered there by his missionaries. They covered matters of evangelization and the dehumanizing scourge of slavery, ravaging many parts of Africa.
In tune with the wave of anti-slavery campaigns around the world at that time, Lavigerie made a singular contribution to raising awareness about the detrimental effects of slavery through eloquent and powerful speeches made in the main European capitals like, Rome, London, Paris and Brussels, On 23rd December 1888, in Chiesa del Gesù (a Catholic Church run by the Jesuits, in central Rome), he made the following two poignant declarations:
“Slavery, as it is practiced in Africa, is not only, indeed, contrary to the Gospel, it is contrary to natural law. Natural laws do not concern Christians only, they involve all humanity. That is why I am appealing to everyone, without distinction of nationality, party or religious creed. I do not address myself simply to faith, but to reason, to justice, to respect, to love of liberty.”
Lavigerie added: “I am a man, and nothing human is foreign to me. I am a man, and injustice towards others revolts my heart. I am a man, and oppression offends my nature. I am a man and what I would like people to do is to restore to me, freedom, honour and the sacred bonds of family, I want to restore to the sons and daughters of this unhappy race, family, honour and freedom.”
 More than a century has passed since the time when Lavigerie undertook his crusade against the most abominable form of slavery of his time. At the occasion of the 125th anniversary of his anti-slavery campaign, members of the missionary congregation he founded, the White Fathers, are, not only commemorating his ant-slavery campaign initiative world-over but also want to rekindle the fire he ignited, in order to highlight and combat modern forms of slavery which continue to deny and deprive people of their dignity and their right to self-determination even today
Through their long presence in Zambia, the White Fathers have always been attentive to the spiritual and social welfare not only of the Catholic communities but also of all Zambians.
Joining the initiatives of their fellow missionaries inside and outside the African continent on this occasion and in their continue pastoral concern for justice and the promotion of human dignity, they would like to engage in a debate with the Zambian society, highlighting issues that border on modern forms of slavery, some of which are manifest and others which tend to escape the uncritical public eye. That is one of the main purposes of a series of articles which will be published weekly in these columns.
Next week’s article will take a look at the situation encountered by the Missionaries of Africa upon their arrival in Northern Zambia in 1891.
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Many people think of slavery and enslavement only as something of the past, it isn’t. Not only are we still living with the legacies of historical slavery, but millions of women, children and men around the world are trapped in slavery, TODAY. Zambia is both a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and forced prostitution. Most trafficking in Zambia occurs within the country’s borders and primarily involves women and children from rural areas exploited in cities in domestic servitude or other types of forced labour.
Zambia is also a destination for migrants from Malawi, DCR, Zimbabwe and Mozambique who are exploited in forced labour or forced prostitution.
If you witness or suspect human trafficking, the first step is to report it to the police. However, if you are unable to contact the police you can call the free 990 Counter Trafficking Talkline, which is a free, a free, confidential service operated by trained counsellors.

Death of Father Réginald Carrière

Réginald Carrière_modifié-1Father Julien Cormier, Provincial of the Americas, informs you of the death of Father Réginald Carrière, M.Afr.

He died on July 13, 2013, in Sherbrooke (Canada), at the age of 91 years of which 61 of missionary life in Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Canada.

The funeral service will take place on Friday, July 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m., at 100 rue  du Cardinal-Lavigerie, Sherbrooke.

Let us pray for him and his family.

Forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery; three articles from the Saturday Post Online

Human trafficking is modern slavery, says Kapiri DC
By Isaac Zulu in Kapiri Mposhi, Friday 05 Nov. 2010
KAPIRI Mposhi district commissioner Cosmas Musumpuka has observed that human trafficking is a complex phenomenon which involves deception of the potential victims.
21 million trapped in forced labour, says International Labour Organisation
By Mwala Kalaluka in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday 11 June 2012
ALMOST 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally, trapped in jobs into which they were coerced or deceived and they cannot leave, according to a new International Labour Organisation study.
And the ILO says the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories is extremely worrying and remains precarious.
US estimates 27m victims of human trafficking
By Fridah Nkonde, Saturday 23 June 2012
US Embassy acting public affairs officer Adam Jagelski says an estimated 27 million around the world are victims of human trafficking.
Saturday Post Online Logo ILO

Present Magazine May-June 2013

Present Magazine May - June 2013A Newsletter for the Candidates and Students of the Missionaries of Africa

Pape François_modifié-1The Pope to those discerning their vocations             

“You are young people on a vocational journey. You represent the Church’s youth! If the Church is the Bride of Christ, you in a certain sense represent the moment of betrothal, the spring of vocation, the season of discovery … in which foundations are laid for the future. … Today the word of God speaks to us of mission. … What are the reference points of Christian mission? The readings we have heard suggest three: the joy of consolation, the Cross and prayer. (…) READ MORE

Invitation to the priestly ordination of Lowrent Thokozani Kamwaza

Lowrent Thokozani KamwazaI know in whom I have put my Trust, and I have no doubt at all” (2Timothy 1: 12)

In a profound way these words synthesize my missionary vocation journey. The ten years of my initial formation have been in many ways a journey of trust in the One calling me: Jesus Christ. Trust in that voice so deep within me: “Oh! The word of my Lord deep within my being… Before I formed you in the womb I knew you through and through and had called you to be my son.” Everything has been about trust and experiencing the love of God. Trust in those accompanying me and trust in myself that with God’s grace, I respond positively to my sensed call to priesthood as a Missionary of Africa. I pray and believe that this will mark my whole missionary journey: “I know in whom I have put my trust, and I have no doubt at all” (2Timothy 1: 12). Indeed a journey of love and trust in God’s graces that have led me this far in life. I remain grateful to all of you, confreres and friends, who have helped me to experience this trust in the one calling me into his vineyard as a priest of the order of Melchizedeck.

It is on this beautiful note that I invite you all to join me on this wonderful day of my priestly ordination, Saturday 13th July 2013 at Kasina parish of Dedza Diocese in Malawi by His Lordship Bishop Emmanuel Kanyama and thanksgiving mass on 14th July 2013 in my home village Mtenje of Kasina Parish. I look forward to be united with you all in presence and prayers.

Yours fraternally,

Lowrent Thokozani Kamwaza, M.Afr

New Football and Netball Teams in Lumimba, Zambia

Football and Netball Teams in LumimbaWe have extended our pastoral involvement to other aspects of human development through sport activities. With enthusiasm, initiative and creativity Fr Frederic Ajaruva Bedijo is supporting the Pastoral Team with the formation of netball and football teams. They are doing very fine. So far, they won most of their matches. Being coach and manager, Fr Frederic expects more victories. All this has been made possible through the generosity of our confreres. In a special way, we would like to convey our thanks to Fr Guido Stuer. His generosity has indeed been acknowledged not only by us but the community as a whole.

Attached are some of the photos of our netball and football teams. In one of them you can see Fr Frederic making strategic plans before a match. Our hope is to reach the District level. We are planning to get involved in other areas of developmental projects in helping our youth with other skills.

Phelim Malumo, M.Afr

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Vocation team in Lumimba, Zambia

Francis KangwaA vocation team from Directors of various congregations of diocesan and missionary groups visited Lumimba in June 2013. They met students in Lumimba Day Secondary school. It was a great opportunity to see each congregation touching the lives of our youth. Following its presentation, the vocation team encounter with some interested students. The team left after lunch. We were particularly happy to welcome Fr Francis Kangwa, our Vocation Director. In one of the attached photos you can see Francis with some of the students interested in joining us. Please Francis! Come back again. Our mission is to touch all the corners of the earth so that people may experience life, life in its fullness; Jn 10:10.

United in the same mission and vocation

Phelim Malumo, M.Afr

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Death of Mr. Christopher Mahoney

This is to inform you of the passing on of Chris Mahoney in Lusaka last month. Chris came to Zambia as an Associate member of our Society and stayed on after his contract. Dioscoro Malugao, on behalf of the Missionaries of Africa, attended the requiem Mass at St. Ignatius. Chris’s body was cremated and his brother took the ashes back to USA.
May he rest in perfect peace.
Christopher Chileshe, M.Afr


Death of Mr. Christopher Mahoney, USAID/Zambia Supervisory Development Outreach and Communications Advisor

Office of Origin: USAID/AFR
Date of Announcement: June 27, 2013
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Mr. Christopher Paul Mahoney.  Mr. Mahoney joined USAID in August 2008 as the Supervisory Development Outreach and Communications Officer.  Mr. Mahoney passed away early Sunday, June 23, 2013, of a severe asthma attack. 
Mr. Mahoney arrived in Zambia as a Catholic Missionary in 1989 and worked as a studio manager for the Catholic Secretariat Communications Department.  He successfully built his career in Zambia, owning multiple media and production companies.  As an expert in communications and a member of the USAID/Zambia senior staff, Mr. Mahoney spent the past five years expanding the Mission’s development outreach operations, training and mentoring new staff and serving as an interagency leader in public affairs.  Mr. Mahoney was often the go-to person for high-level visits to Lusaka, most recently taking a lead in former President George W. Bush’s visit to Zambia in November, 2011.
Mr. Mahoney’s strong faith, passion for Africa and love of family were evident in his daily life.  Condolence messages from colleagues worldwide are testament to his positive nature and outgoing personality.  A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 28, 2013, at 3:00pm Zambia time at Saint Ignatius Catholic Church in Lusaka.  Mr. Mahoney was passionate about fighting gender-based violence. Donations can be made in his name to World Vision.  Mr. Mahoney is survived by his wife, Patricia Mahoney and stepchildren, Richard and Debra.
For those wishing to make a donation to World Vision’s Gender Based Violence Survivor Support project in Zambia in Mr. Mahoney’s name via mail:  Personal checks may be sent, with a note that they wish their donation to go to the Women and Girls Crisis Fund found in the gift catalogue, to: World Vision, PO Box 70200, Tacoma, WA 98481-0200, USA
All donations made to the Women and Girls in Crisis fund between June 27 and September 31, 2013, will be directed to WV’s Zambia’s GBVSS project.
All questions about this Agency Notice should be directed to Acting USAID/Zambia Mission Director, Ms. Mikaela Meredith. Any questions concerning this notice may be directed to: Mikaela Meredith, USAID/AFR/SA,

Antislavery Videos on Internet

TEDSome interesting links on the Internet. The talks on TED can be downloaded in High-Medium- and low definition, with subtitles in several languages. Click on Download and choose your option.
I have all the videos on DVD-CD-USB pen for those who do not have a decent/good internet connection.
Claudio Zuccala, Woodlands, Lusaka
Kevin Bales: How to combat modern slavery
In this moving yet pragmatic talk, Kevin Bales explains the business of modern slavery, a multibillion-dollar economy that underpins some of the worst industries on earth. He shares stats and personal stories from his on-the-ground research — and names the price of freeing every slave on earth right now. (Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 18:01)
Lisa Kristine: Photos that bear witness to modern slavery
For the past two years, photographer Lisa Kristine has travelled the world, documenting the unbearably harsh realities of modern-day slavery. She shares hauntingly beautiful images — miners in the Congo, brick layers in Nepal — illuminating the plight of the 27 million souls enslaved worldwide.
Sunitha Krishnan: The fight against sex slavery
Sunitha Krishnan has dedicated her life to rescuing women and children from sex slavery, a multimillion dollar global market. In this courageous talk, she tells three powerful stories, as well as her own, and calls for a more humane approach to helping these young victims rebuild their lives. Sunitha Krishnan is galvanizing India’s battle against sexual slavery by uniting government, corporations and NGOs to end human trafficking.
Human trafficking – 21st century slavery: Faridoun Hemani
Faridoun Hemani is a broadcast journalist, and founder of independent production company Linx Productions. He has been in the television news business for 35 years, and has covered major international stories around the world. In 2010, Faridoun co-produced a 6-part series on Human Trafficking (as part of Moonbeam-Linx), that aired on BBC World Television. The series was supported and funded by End Human Trafficking Now (EHTN), a Geneva based organization that encourages businesses to take an active role to stem this modern form of slavery.
Modern Day Slaves – Niger
July 2005. The chains and markets may be gone, but in 21st century Africa, people are still being born as slaves. Produced by ABC Australia. Distributed by Journeyman Pictures.
This is Al Jazeera’s powerful investigative series on modern slavery throughout the planet. No country, officials say, is untouched by this recurring scourge of inhumanity and depravity that enslaves, reports say, some 27,000,000 men, women and children. Although slavery has often morphed in form from classic scenarios, it still shares these common conditions: 1) victims of slavery cannot escape the complete control of their enslavers; 2) they are controlled through violence and threats; 3) They are economically exploited. This series of nine videos will educate and upset you.
The Child Within
To be a pregnant child is to be terrified. Girls between 15 and 19 are twice more likely to die from pregnancy and childbirth than women in their 20s and 25,000 children marry every day, 19 every minute. Camfed is part of the international movement to end child marriage and motherhood. Our film, The Child Within, is an unflinching portrait of three girls, three unique individuals, who are among the statistics.  The Child Within was made in 2011 in rural Malawi, in a district where pregnancy is the prime cause of school dropout in 50 percent of cases.
Hidden Truth
Filmed by the first women’s filmmaking collective in rural Zambia, Hidden Truth is an intimate portrayal of the effects of domestic violence on women and children in Samfya, a remote region of Northern Zambia.

Timber rackets, gas booms in Mozambique

Africa Confidential 02
As the gas industry opens up the north, generals and politicians are smuggling hundreds of tonnes of timber and ivory to China
As the booming trade in smuggled ivory and timber devastates northern Mozambique’s environment, Attorney General Augusto Paulino has launched an investigation into the claimed involvement of Agriculture Minister José Pacheco and his predecessor Tomás Mandlate. Both face accusations of involvement in timber smuggling in cahoots with Chinese companies. Both Pacheco and Mandlate deny all wrong doing. READ MORE
7 June 2013 • Vol 54 – N° 12 • Africa Confidential

No one innocent in human trafficking, UN official says

Daily News Turkey
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says almost every country in the world is complicit in human trafficking, urging them to fight against it
Almost every country in the world is complicit in human trafficking, as each one is an origin, transit or destination country for the trade, the executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, has said, adding that the victims of the crime are being exploited in almost every part of the world. (…)
Turkey a transit route
However, Fedotov heralded some good news, as the number of countries criminalizing human trafficking increased from 78 to 95 percent of the total considered in the report between 2008 and 2012. “The improvements are encouraging, but they are coming too slowly to help the millions of victims. A catalyst is needed. We need an inspirational, but totally realistic goal: a decade of concrete action to try to end human trafficking. Action built on cooperation and coordination,” he said. READ MORE

Priestly ordination of Norbert Nkingwa in Tanzania

diacre_Norbert_R_NkingwaArchbishop Jude Thadaeus Ruwa’ichiDear C. Chileshe,
It is my hope that you are doing well and carrying on with your daily activities. I wish to invite you for my ordination to priesthood on the 25th July 2013 in Malya Parish, Mwanza Archdiocese in Tanzania by the Archbishop Jude Thadaeus Ruwa’ichi.
I understand it might not be possible for you to attend but, at least, I am assured of your prayer. Mwaiseni
Norbert Nkingwa, M.Afr

Interview with David Pruett

David Pruett 02David Pruett is the author of the book Reason and Wonder. A Copernican Revolution in Science and Spirit. This interview invites us to a journey of transcending human narcissism. As we deconstruct our egoic mechanisms of control we surrender to our real identity in Christ. 
David PruettThe author says: A thesis of Reason and Wonder is that we humans have embarked upon a third great “Copernican” revolution, now in its infancy. The first, which originated with Copernicus, has redefined our physical place in the cosmos. Copernicanism exploded our perceptions of the physical extent of the universe. The second revolution, which originated with Darwin, redefined our biological place in the cosmos and exploded human perceptions of its temporal extent. I believe that the third “Copernican” revolution will ultimately redefine our psychical (or spiritual) place in the cosmos. Moreover, I believe that, like its predecessors, it will explode our perceptions of the depth and reach of consciousness within the cosmos.
The journey of transcending human narcissism: Awakening to our Real Identity (Part 1)
The journey of transcending human narcissism: Awakening to our Real Identity (Part 2)
David Pruett 03

Diaconate May 19, 2013, Kinshasa

Remi Nyengere 08The Lord has done marvels, holy is his Name!
Coming to the end of my third year in theology, I remembered our favourite slogan when I was at Mlale Minor Seminary in Lilongwe Archdiocese, Malawi: “I run strait towards the goal.” It’s very surprising to see that many years have gone since I left Mlale but these words still remain engraved in me.
I made my final oath on the 2nd May followed by my ordination as a deacon two weeks after. Nevertheless, I continue meditating upon the same slogan: “I run strait towards the goal.” Thanks to you all who accompany me up to where I am today : my parents, my brothers and sisters, the members of the entire Nyengere family, my formators starting from the moment I was aspiring up to the moment I made my final oath and all the family friends who kept me in their prayers. My missionary life has just begun. Therefore, I continue imploring for your prayers so as to remain strong in my drive to discover how best to serve the Lord.
Remi Nyengere, M.Afr
The ordination took place at Marie Auxiliatrice Parish, Commune de Masina, Kinshasa, by Mgr Edouard Kisenga, auxiliary Bishop of Kinshasa.
SAMSUNGFrom left to right, on the picture:
Deacon David Doo Songo from Nigeria, Deacon Michel Ouedraogo from Burkina Fasso, Father Tshibangu Fortunat, Deacon Emmanuel Imani Mwanga Mwanga from DRC, Deacon Remi Nyengere from Zambia and Deacon Bernard Ndiritu Gachuru from Kenya.

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See also:

Missionary Oath of Remi Nyengere Ziffa, Malawian, in Kinshasa