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The Brief: AJAN Apostolate to the African Child

In this AJANews Newsletter, June issue, we take time to celebrate the International Day of the African Child that was held on June 16th, 2023. A significant event that honors the courage, resilience, and potential of African children. Targeted at raising awareness about the challenges faced by African children, including poverty, lack of education, high rates of infant and child mortality, severe under-nutrition and HIV infection cases, low school enrolment, limited or no child social protection, child marriages, teenage pregnancies and child labor among many.

Young Children during AHAPPY Training Session in Nairobi
Young Children during AHAPPY Training Session in Nairobi

The celebration of the International Day of the African Child provides an opportunity to celebrate the resilience, talents, and potential of African children. We get to remind ourselves the importance of empowering and offering equal opportunities for the African children. We acknowledge their rights, amplify their voices. And we commit ourselves to building a better future for all children in Africa.

On May 29th, 2023, Pope Francis had an audience with children from various African nations to commemorate Africa Day, the Holy Father highlighted some of the “enormous challenges” the people of God in Africa are facing. Against such backdrop, he told the African children, “You may feel helpless and discouraged, and think that your future is bleak and without prospects. Yet you are young and richly talented, you have lofty ambitions and great dreams: pursue them. Keep seeking at least partial or imperfect ways to live what you have discerned to be your real calling.”

In this same month of June, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, the patron saint of the youth that was on June 21st, we derive main lesson on the importance of serving others. St. Aloysius was known for his selflessness and his willingness to put the needs of others before his own. He would often spend time visiting the sick and the poor, and he was always willing to help anyone in need.

This is a powerful example of what it means to live a life of service, and it is something that we can all strive to emulate in our own lives. He ultimately died at a young age while caring for the victims of a plague outbreak. This willingness to sacrifice is a powerful reminder that sometimes the greatest acts of love are the ones that require us to give up something of ourselves.

“One day at a time sweet Jesus,” is what the African Child is praying for. He is praying for strength for the daily life struggles and for hope for a brighter future. Let us join hands and work towards ensuring that every African child has access to quality education and a brighter tomorrow.

You can support our work for the African children by donating funds, books, educational materials, or volunteering your time and skills. Write to us at AJAN@JESUITS.AFRICA

Inside this issue get to read about AJAN’s statement on the International Day of the African Child 2023, Forum on Breaking the silence against sexual violence in times of conflict attended by Peer educators at Le Centre d’information sur l’éducation et l’écoute in Bangui, Central African Republic and the celebration of St. Aloysius Day at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya.

By, Dennis Owuoche

AJAN Communications Officer

Ismael Matambura



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