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Burundi: New assistant director for SYM

Fr Pierre Célestin Musoni SJ from Rwanda has been appointed assistant director at the Service Yezu Mwiza (SYM) in Bujumbura. He shares his first impressions:

Last May, as I was coming back from theological studies at Hekima University College in Kenya, my Regional Superior appointed me as assistant director of SYM. I was ordained priest on 8 August this year. Oh, I am sure you are going to say… hummm a young priest. Yes, now I am a three-month-old priest. And since last August, I am working in SYM, a Jesuit organization working for and with people living with HIV in Burundi. 

When my Regional Superior broke the news of my future work in Burundi, I felt my heart sink. Around that time, civil unrest was raging in the capital city Bujumbura, and many people had fled the country. However, the reality on the ground was other than what I expected. I met a courageous team, which dealt with the difficulties at hand to come daily to work and to help those in need. 

In a remote area where our mobile clinic took me, I cannot forget some of the stories of resilience of those living with HIV. Although some clearly struggle to get by from day to day, their courage and generosity is perceptible. It is touching to see how they understand that their fight is well fought together. When one is sick, it is amazing how the others bring her booklet to the clinic, so they can take her the medicine she needs; when one has given up, how they help him to stand up again; and when one of them is defeated by this sickness, the way they are one to support the family in that terrible moment. I saw hope… oh yes!

 

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