SAP JPIC-ED Coordinators Meeting, Beira 2016


The annual meeting of the JPIC-ED coordinators of SAP, was held at Nazare Centre in Beira, Mozambique from the 22nd to 23rd June 2016. Due to some travelling complications that one or the other encountered on the way, we had to start the meeting a day later. There were the 4 of us: Christophe Boyer (South Africa), Philip Meraba (Malawi), Romaric Bationo (Zambia) and Fidel Salazar (Mozambique).

JPIC-ED Beira 016bBecause of the many reshuffles that happened in the province last year, this meeting could not take place as per planning. So it was imperative that we come together, get to know each other and do some planning this year. The objective of the meeting was threefold:  1) to make known to each other what is happening in our respective sectors, 2) to review the resolutions that were made in previous meetings and 3) as a result, to design some follow-up and planning.  

From our sharing, it was evident that in our province we are involved in various JPIC-ED undertakings although our commitment in ED seems weak. Despite this variety of involvement there is little sharing and discussion about them. We seem not to know how to tell our stories. It was also noticed that in every sector the JPIC-ED team is trying to establish itself and get to animate the sector.

Considering the present various endeavours and situations, and the plans that were decided by the previous meetings, we resolved to prioritise or revive our commitment to fight the new forms of slavery, our care for creation in line with “Laudato si”, our effort to promote reconciliation and empower the impoverished. We should do all this in the spirit of Encounter and Dialogue. In addition, we believe that the increasing presence of Islam in Southern Africa that is causing apprehension, fear with prejudices among some Christians, calls us to take a lead in the encounter and dialogue with Muslims. The provincial Coordinator and the sectors JPIC-ED teams will make every effort to animate and stimulate our M.Afr communities in these areas.

After the meeting, we had a guided tour of Nazare Centre and the city of Beira. Everything considered, it was a good meeting; not only did it give a kick-start to our SAP JPIC-ED team that had stalled for some time, but it helped us to pick things up where our predecessors left them, and draw a roadmap that will guide us . It is our hope that with the collaboration of every confrere and community we will be able to implement the resolutions taken.

Many thanks to the staff of Nazare Centre for hosting us and making our stay enjoyable.

Romaric Bationo, M.Afr, SAP JPIC-ED Coordinator

Together in the eradication of modern slavery – Day of recollection


Recollection-25-05-2015-bThe Missionaries of Africa in Lusaka, Sisters, Brothers and Priests, gathered for a day recollection on Monday the 25th May 2015 under the theme: together in the eradication of modern slavery. Prayers, sharing from the Word of God of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 30-33) and the inspiring presentation of todays’ slavery in the world given by Jacek Rakowski, gave us the opportunity to remind ourselves that modern slavery is widespread all over the world. This form of abuse is incompatible with our dignity as children of God. The root causes are many; poverty, lack of education, corruption, conflicts, violence and criminality. The global scale of slavery is calling for a global answer whereby governments, business people, international organisations and so on have a crucial role to play in the fight against modern slavery. As Christians, we fight also for our common fraternity.
Traffickhing sheet logoThe recollection took place at Retreat and Renewal Centre of Assisi House situated on the compound of St. Bonaventure University College in Lusaka. This College offers Diploma in Psycho-Spirituality and Religious Studies under the care of the Franciscan Spiritual Family.

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Revealed: Qatar’s World Cup ‘slaves’


The Guardian LogoDozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died in Qatar in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses, a Guardian investigation has found, raising serious questions about Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar Nepal Composite -This summer, Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day in Qatar, many of them young men who had sudden heart attacks. The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of labourers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organisation, during a building binge paving the way for 2022.
According to documents obtained from the Nepalese embassy in Doha, at least 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August. More than half died of heart attacks, heart failure or workplace accidents. READ MORE

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Slaves. They are still among us!


Fenza conference 07-09-13 02 copieFENZA Conference: September 17, 2013
This was the theme of the conference organized by the FENZA team on Saturday 17th against the backdrop of the Antislavery Campaign celebrations and commemorations which are coming to an end this month.
Four inputs were given. Claudio Zuccala, the JPICED Provincial Coordinator,  presented the historical background in which the campaign was launched by cardinal Lavigerie -with specific references to the situation encountered by the first White Fathers when they arrived in Zambia at the end of the 19th century-, and the link with contemporary forms of slavery. Brother Jacek Rakowski, director of the Home of Hope, spoke about the slavery inherent to the life of children living in the streets. Sister Sabina Namfukwe, of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Child Jesus, currently matron at the Zambia Catholic University, shared her experience in the field of fighting Human Trafficking in rural areas in Zambia, especially in villages near border towns. In her presentation she explained the methods used by the traffickers and the main causes and contributing factors that lie behind the problem.
Fenza conference 07-09-13 01 copieFinally, Mr Francis Chivuta, coordinator of the National Freedom Network in Zambia and directly involved in human trafficking awareness raising  and victim support,  illustrated the aim, the goal and the methodology used by the NFN which was launched in South Africa in 2011 but is now operating in different countries.
The conference was made lively by PowerPoint presentations and short video clips on the topic. Some of the participants raised interesting questions and gave their own enriching contribution to the debate.
One of the strongest outcomes of the conference is the necessity to create a network of all the parties interested and committed to fighting modern slavery. That would enable us to pool together our resources and plan for the future. We are all convinced that it’s absolutely necessary to keep high the alert level and to do whatever is within our outreach to try and stop any form of slavery. It’s good to keep that in mind as the FENZA team will draw up a table of contents for the next series of conferences.
N.B. Most of the material used during the conference is readily available. Please contact Romaric Bationo at director@fenza.org or Claudio Zuccala at c_zuccala@hotmail.com

Interview with Joanne Lauterjung Kelly


Joanne Lauterjung Kelly 00Welcome to this new interview with Joanne Lauterjung Kelly. We explore enslavement as fear of change. She invites us to be aware on how situations of enslavement affects our capacity to decide and to act. She shares with us insights and skills so to engage in the demanding task of building a just and peaceful world. She says: “At the core of slavery is the dehumanization of other human beings and a denial of our interconnectedness.”

Joanne Lauterjung Kelly 02Joanne Lauterjung Kelly 01

New FENZA Conference on the 7th September 2013


FENZAOur next FENZA Conference will take place on Saturday 7th September 2013.
Venue: Faith and Encounter Centre (FENZA), Bauleni near Mathia Mulumba Catholic Church or Yatsani Radio.
Time: 14:00 to 17:00 hours

Theme: Slaves! They are still among us!

Slavery or enslavement is not just something of the past! Today, millions of men, women and children are trapped in slavery, around the world, including in Zambia.
Yes! Around us, many of our brothers, sisters and children are victims of modern forms of slavery such as: Human Trafficking, Forced Labour, Child Labour, Early and Forced Marriage.
The victims are innumerable! The facts are shocking! But the good news is: some people are already working with the victims to stop these new forms of slavery.
There is still more to be done to fight and stop modern slavery.
Come and get the facts! Let’s us debate the issues and solutions to this human plight. Come and be part of an antislavery campaign.
“I am a human being and I am no stranger to anything affecting humanity. I am a human being and injustice towards other people makes me heartsick. I am a human being and oppression offends my nature. I am a human being and cruelty towards such a great number of my fellow human beings inspires me with nothing but horror.” (Cardinal Lavigerie, Founder of the Missionaries of Africa)
The panellists are activists and victims of modern slavery. We have also invited several of them to be with us.
Your presence and contribution will help in “breaking the chains”.
We hope to see you on Saturday 7th September 2013.
The FENZA Team

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition: August 23


logo-wikipedia-free-encyclopediaInternational Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, August 23 of each year, the day designated by UNESCO to memorialize the transatlantic slave trade. That date was chosen by the UNESCO Executive Board’s adoption of resolution 29 C/40 at its 29th session. Circular CL/3494 of July 29, 1998 from the Director-General invited Ministers of Culture to promote the day. The date is significant because, during the night of August 22 to August 23, 1791 on the island of Saint Domingue (now known as Haiti), an uprising began which set forth events which were a major factor in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
UNESCO Member States organize events every year on that date, inviting participation from young people, educators, artists and intellectuals. As part of the goals of the intercultural UNESCO project, “The Slave Route”, it is an opportunity for collective recognition and focus on the “historic causes, the methods and the consequences” of slavery. Additionally, it sets the stage for analysis and dialogue of the interactions which gave rise to the transatlantic trade in human beings between Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.
The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition was first celebrated in a number of countries, in particular in Haiti (23 August 1998) and Senegal (23 August 1999). A number of cultural events and debates were organized. In 2001 the Mulhouse Textile Museum in France conducted a fabric workshop entitled “Indiennes de Traite” (a type of calico) used as currency in trade for Africans. The International Slavery Museum opened its doors on August 23, 2007 in Liverpool where Slavery Remembrance Day events have been conducted since 2004.
Source: Wikipedia

Slavery, witchcraft and fear


Slavery, witchcraft and fear 03Bernhard Udelhoven 03By Bernhard Udelhoven, M.Afr

Published in the Saturday Post, Saturday August 10, 2013

Breaking Free from Witchcraft – Exposing the Bondage to Demons – Prayer Points to Break the Chains of Satanism.

These are some book titles in our Christian bookshops that remind us of spiritual forms of slavery that hold us hostage today. Thousands of new deliverance ministries witness in Zambia to bondages to witchcraft and demons. The need for liberation from the slavery to evil forces seems enormous. Many people testify to the inner freedom and the new start which they found after undergoing sound deliverance services.
P1090122Yet, while the number of new churches and deliverance ministries has been multiplying steadily over the last decades, sometimes coming with the promise of a fast-track to divine blessings and prosperity, demons and witchcraft are in no way diminishing. The opposite seems true. Demonic entities are increasing. This is strange. One should think that the demons surely must be useful to some of us; else they would hardly hang around given that they are beaten, cast out and insulted so often by so many churches. Is it not also pastors, prophets, and churches who profit? READ MORE

Ministry of Michel Meunier on modern slavery in South Africa


OIKOS LogoOn the 2nd August, I gave a talk to students & professors of Cedara (St. Joseph Institute) where our theology students go. There were about 50 people; the biggest attendance they ever had! A proof that modern slavery is a very hot topic! It had been organised by the OIKOS group, of which Antony Alckias is the Secretary. He is one of our students who should be ordained deacon in December.

As I was speaking to philosophy & theology students and teachers, I started with a quick overview of the attitude of the Church towards slavery through the ages followed by a brief history of Lavigerie’s antislavery campaign.

The big question is: what is the Church doing? The Counter Trafficking In Persons (CTIP) Office at the Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) published all kinds of posters & flyers to bring more consciousness. They had a 3 day seminar in April and started a Truck Drivers’ Anti-Trafficking group. They will soon publish a small book “The Church and Anti-Trafficking”. The Sisters seem to have more roles to play, as most trafficked people are women and children.

United in the same Mission,Michel Meunier

Michel Meunier, M.Afr

Also: South Africa Human Trafficking Bill Signed Into Law

Article of Nzimeni Jeremiah Gama, OMI

Are Women Today’s Slaves?


Evans ChamaBy Evans K. Chama, M.Afr
Published in the Saturday Post, Saturday August 3, 2013

Slavery was made illegal a long time ago but it has never been abolished. It is still here today in various forms and women are among its victims. It may sound exaggerated to label the violence that women suffer as slavery. Nonetheless, the situation of gender relations shows sufficient traits that are typical of slavery. That is why we must be aware of this violence which goes often unnoticed.

P1090121Firstly, let us refresh our understanding of slavery. Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property, traded and subjected to forced work.  It is also a relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another, controlling his/her life and liberty. We speak of chattel slavery when people are treated as property that can change hands like commodities. In bonded labour a person is in some kind of debt which he/she has to pay by fulfilling certain roles. And we have forced labour when one is obliged to work or do something against his/her will. READ MORE  

Slavery: not just a thing of the past


Pierre_LafollieBy Pierre Lafollie M.Afr
Published in the Saturday Post, Saturday 20 July 2013

When the White Fathers arrived in the north of Zambia in 1891 they discovered that the slave trade was still thriving in spite of having been abolished by many countries. Their reports, together with other witnesses coming from different parts of Africa, prompted their founder, Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, to launch an antislavery campaign whose 125th anniversary is being celebrated this year. But the fight is far from over since slavery is still with us.

P1090118The White Fathers in Northern Zambia
When Brazil abolished slavery in 1888, it was the last Western country to do so. Thus, when the first Missionaries of Africa (popularly known as the White Fathers) settled in July 1891 at Mambwe Mwela, along today’s Tanzania – Zambia border, the Western slave trade had ended since its market, essentially across the Atlantic, had disappeared and the slaves had already been freed. In this corner of Africa though, the missionaries arrived in a country devastated by a still active campaign of slave raiding. READ MORE

Interview with the Iranian Muslim scholar Seyed Amir Akrami


Seyed Amir AkramiNew interview of the antislavery campaign with the Iranian Muslim scholar Seyed Amir Akrami
Amir shares with us his understanding of how Islam faces the challenge of slavery in its old and modern force. He says that “Muhammad was not able to eradicate or abolish the institution of slavery because that was tantamount to making such a radical revolution in his society that his time was not prepared for it. (…) It would be anachronistic to expect the Prophet of Islam to abolish slavery in his time. Drastic social or political changes need time and the confluence of many historical factors and elements to make it possible for them to occur (…) To me the fact that the Prophet of Islam was not able to abolish slavery is not problematic at all but what is problematic is for a Muslim individual or society in our time to argue from that historical fact for the impossibility or undesirability of abolishing slavery in Muslim societies now.”
Amir talks about the challenge faced by religious minorities in Muslim countries, also the situation of women when saying that “injustice or discrimination against women in many societies, and especially in Muslim countries, are modern forms of slavery that we need to be abolished.” He invites us to welcome the mystical tradition of Islam so to be enriched again by its core values.
READ MORE

Pre-Islamic Arabia, including trade routesPre-Islamic Arabia, including trade routes

 

 

Slavery in South Africa between 1830s and 1850s


Illustrated history of South AfricaThey called their slave Inboekselings
In those stormy years between 1830s and 1850s the majority of Voortrekkers in the Transvaal were involved in a reprehensible though highly profitable occupation: the kidnapping of African children. It was a practice that sparked waves of terror in African homesteads. READ MORE
Slavery at the Cape
Jan Van Riebeck set foot at the Cape on 6 April 1652. His instructions from the Dutch East India Company were clear: he was forbidden to enslave the indigenous people of the Cape. However, slaves from elsewhere were another matter and in May 1652, only weeks after arriving at Table Bay, he asked for slaves to be sent to help erect the fort and till the land. For the first five years the only slaves at the Cape were stowaways or gifts from the captains of passing ships. In 1658 there were 11 slaves, eight women and three men.(…)
A History of South Africa to 1870Slavery – the imposition of enforced servitude by a powerful group on another group – inevitably breeds fear in both groups, and resentment in the oppressed. There was also tension among the whites, who constantly feared a mass rebellion and death at the hand of a slave. There was always the fear that slaves who had run away might return to rob and kill, and so large rewards were offered for their recapture. READ MORE
Thanks to Didier Lemaire, M.Afr for sharing those articles with us.

 

Antislavery Workshop in Chipata


Dave CullenBy Dave Cullen, M.Afr
The Association of Religious Men of Zambia (ARMZ) here in Chipata decided that on the occasion of a meeting of members to elect a new executive it would be fitting at the same time to hold a day’s workshop on ‘Slavery in our midst’. It was our way of linking up with the 125th anniversary of Cardinal Lavigerie’s tour of Europe to campaign for the end of slavery as also to commemorate the birth of Livingstone 200 years ago.
there were 12 members of ARMZ present at the workshop, 4 of them Missionaries of Africa. Others who accepted our invitation to attend were 2 representatives from five Sister’s Congregations, 2 Dutch volunteers very much concerned with helping prostitutes in Chipata plus representatives from the local clergy, Caritas and Radio Maria. There were four very good presentations, on prostitution, street kids, child labour in rural areas and exploitation of the vulnerable through cheap labour. After each presentation there was group sharing on just one question: what can we do to overcome these forms of slavery in our midst? Hopefully we will take up the challenges presented and work through such bodies as ZAS, Caritas, NGO’s as well as those groups and individuals who show particular concern in these areas, amongst them presenters of these problems to us who were clearly concerned and actively committed to find solutions.
We shall hold another meeting next year at which we shall ask: what did you actually do about those resolutions you took at last year’s workshop? Hopefully there will be some positive progress recorded. If there is we shall share the good news with you.

Saint Anselm; one of the first opponents of the slave trade


Saint Anselm of Canterbury SealAnselm lived from 1033 to 1109. Having decided to enter a monastery, he was attracted to Bec in Normandy by the reputation of the great teacher, Lanfranc. Anselm became a monk at 27. A student and close friend of Lanfranc, he eventually succeeded him as prior and abbot of Bec, and became a still more famous teacher.
After the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, William I replaced the English hierarchy with Normans, and Lanfranc was sent as Archbishop of Canterbury. Three years after Lanfranc’s death, Anselm was in England (1093) and was forcibly made archbishop. He was not be nature either an administrator or a politician, but persevered in difficult times and, through his encouragement of English devotions, helped heal the wounds of the Conquest on the English.
Anselm’s fame lies in his role as theologian and philosopher; his argument for the existence of God still holds strong appeal for many. His spirituality greatly influenced the Church and in his concern for the oppressed, he was one of the first opponents of the slave trade. Never formally canonized, he was made a Doctor of the Church in 1720.
From: Living with Christ, April 2013, pages 171-172
Other reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anselm_of_Canterbury

Interview with John Lynch


John shares with us his understanding of addiction as a form of today’s slavery. He says: “I believe that it is a form of slavery in that it takes away freedom of choice within the individual. When one is driven to act by anything that is taking away freedom of choice, then I think it is appropriate to speak of it as a form of slavery.” Slaves of addiction

He concludes the interview with wise words saying: “In reality there is “no gain without pain”. The only constant in our lives is change. When the addict recognizes the addiction and is willing to accept it and try to live in the present moment seeking in faith and trust in the higher power, he or she can honestly live as “a wounded healer”, seeking each day honesty, openness and willingness, which are the essentials of recovery.”  READ MORE

Human trafficking conference in South Africa, April 9 – 12, 2013


CTIP Human Trafficking LogoA Human Trafficking Conference, organized by Sr. Melanie O’Connor HF, Coordinator of the Counter Trafficking in Persons Office (CTIP) of the LCCL/SACBC, took place at The Good Shepherd Retreat Centre Haartbeespoort from the 9th till the 12th April 2013. During the Conference there was the launch of the TRUCKERS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING” campaign for which we congratulate FRUIT SPOT as being the first trucking company to engage in this project. Various speakers exposed the dangers of human trafficking, pointing out that truckers can play a significant role in safeguarding victims and potential victims in transportation by reporting offenders sometimes encountered especially at truck stops.
The role of the Church in the pastoral care of truck drivers who face long and hazardous journeys was emphasized. It was stressed that the Church should move from its traditional way of evangelization of waiting for people in church buildings to the new evangelization emphasized in the recent African Synod. Africa has become a continent where millions of people are either willingly or unwillingly daily on the move thus transforming African roads and streets into privileged places of evangelization and education. Therefore our Church should be seen as the Church on the Move.
The presence of over 15 Police units who man the borders of the Northern Cape was acknowledged and highly appreciated by all present as a source of strength in the fight against Human Trafficking. With many of the participants coming from different African countries and representatives from different agencies – NPA, US Embassy etc., religious and lay people, it became obvious that  networking is central to the success of the fight against this hydra-headed evil of our time.
One of the outcomes of the Conference was the commitment of each member to further the Truckers against Human Trafficking campaign in their various regions and countries.
A  COUNTER TRAFFICKING NETWORK COMMITTEE (CTNC) was established for easy and effective communication.
Sent in by: Sr. Melanie O’Connor (South Africa), Sabina Namfukwe (Zambia), Sr. Patricia Ebegbulem (Nigeria)
Picture below: participants of the Conference
Human trafficking conference SA 2013