In this AJANews Newsletter, March issue, we take time to honour the wonderful women in AJAN Network. They are a true reflection of strength, courage, goodness, and resilience as they continue impacting change in the life of our beneficiaries within the Church and the Society of Jesus’ service to the mission of Christ.
Rooted in Ignatian spirituality the presence of women in our workspace is essential and that together we can realize the vision of a world where the dignity of each person is respected. Since his election to the papacy on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis has often promoted a greater place for women in the Church, calling for “a Church in which the role of women is central.” According to him, women are “the protagonists of a Church that is emerging.”
As Pope Francis advocates for Peace in his 10th Anniversary, Peace is also more likely to last when women are made part of the process, we can rest, be assured, matters pertaining to the protection of the vulnerable people in the society, provision of food and quality health services and education for the girl child and for all is met and achieved.
Just like Sr. Marie Clementine Anuarite although she did not have all the intellectual gifts that others had, her love and zeal in her selfless service, by caring for the girls was enormous. Her motto “serve and make others happy” is what motivates us Caring for the vulnerable in society and accompanying young people in the creation of a hope-filled future as the universal apostolic preference n. 2&3 invite us. These two universal apostolic preferences respectively guide us in the creation of open spaces in society and in the church with them and for them.
As we celebrate our women this month of march, we still acknowledge all the many ways in which women are disadvantaged in Africa, particularly in the following countries where we have gender-based violence against women that is highest: in DR Congo (47%), Equatorial Guinea (46%) and Uganda (45%). We pray for them, we work for and with them, those who have been displaced and subject to some of the same fears and brutalities that St Bakhita and Sr. Marie Clementine experienced.
We take this opportunity to recognise the women all over the world that are silently serving in simple yet extraordinary ways every day, the religious women that act selflessly, yet their actions are overlooked across the globe as they fight for what is right, those who go out of their way to care for the less fortunate and make great sacrifices for others.
May this month of reflection teach us to search for those stories that are different from our own, to be hopeful where we are lost, and open where we are shut.
Inside this issue get to read about the AHAPPY ToT for the youth mentors/teachers/supervisors (les encadreurs) and members of staff of Service Yezu Mwiza (SYM), that took place at Centre Spiritual Emmaus (Emmaus Jesuit centre) in Bujumbura- Burundi, AHAPPY Training for Prison Officers and Inmates at Naivasha Women’s Prison, Kenya and Fr. Ismael Matambura visit to CIEE in Central Republic of Africa for the “AJAN Youth-for-Youth Initiative” project being undertaken by the centers and testimonials from some of the Peer Educators.
AJAN Communications Officer.