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Echoes of the Maisha Center(Kisangani)

The Maisha Center carried out in September 2021, three activities namely:

  • Distribution of books to the young people of the Christ-Roi parish for their intellectual support;
  • Meeting with the Presidents of the parish youth commissions and some peer educators trained by the Maisha Center;
  • The day of reflection with the pastoral agents of the vicariate city of Kisangani.

Distribution of books to young people for their intellectual support

This is one of the priority activities that the Maisha Center has been carrying out within the framework of the Ignatian Jubilee Year 2021-2022 “Initiating young people to reading”. The first Catholic parish to benefit from this initiative is the Christ-Roi de Mangobo in Kisangani, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This initiative is timely because of the school vacation period. The young people of the “Wanarah” group of the Christ-Roi parish each received a book which will be used individually before the end of each meeting.

This distribution will affect in perspective the groups and movements of the parishes of the city of Kisangani, partners of the Maisha Center, which promote the education of young people.

Meeting with the Presidents of the parish youth commissions

It was this second meeting that finally put the train on the rails. During this meeting, the activities planned by the Maisha Center on the sidelines of the Ignatian Jubilee Year will soon be effective, namely:

  • The fight against alcoholism and other drugs
  • Introducing young people to reading
  • The environmental Protection
  • The fight against gambling

The participants in this meeting proposed to the Maisha Center preventive and educational messages which will be reproduced in banners. To this end, 48 banners are being produced for the 12 Catholic parishes of the city of Kisangani.

The day of reflection with pastoral workers

The Maisha Center also organized a day of reflection dated 29/09/2021, for pastoral agents from different parishes of the vicariate city of Kisangani, held at the Pastoral Center.

The Encyclical of Pope Francis “Fratelli Tutti” which appeared on October 3, 2020 served as a backdrop to challenge the participants on this day. It is all the more regrettable that the deficiency of a true fraternity and the absence of a true friendship which goes beyond our geographical and tribal borders undermine the fight against the AIDS epidemic, especially in its component. support for people living with HIV / AIDS. Last June UNAIDS acknowledged it in these terms: “Stigma and discrimination, lack of equal access to health services and harmful social norms are among the obstacles which still hamper progress in health. elimination of new infections ”.

 Four themes below were developed during this activity:

  • The presentation of the encyclical “Fratelli Tutti”: “All brothers”.

This theme was presented by Father Dieudonné KAMBALE, Chaplain of the Saint-Esprit university parish of the Archdiocese of Kisangani. Like Pope Francis, Father Kambale invited the participants to promote a true fraternity and to be close to those who are on the margins of our society: “to welcome, protect, promote, integrate and develop the awareness that, or well we all run away, or else nobody runs away ”.

  • The recent UNAIDS meeting in June 2021 and its involvement in the fight against HIV / AIDS in Kisangani.

Mr. Rufin Bokelo, Permanent Executive Secretary of the National Multisectoral AIDS Control Program (PNMLS), summarized the high-level meeting on HIV / AIDS held in Newyork from June 8 to 10, 2021.

Thanks to a historic “Program of Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity”, African Union member states have made tremendous progress in the fight against the AIDS epidemic. From less than 100,000 people on antiretroviral treatment in 2002, Africa now has 11 million people on treatment. AIDS-related deaths, new HIV infections in children, new infections in adults and AIDS-related tuberculosis are all on the decline, and it seems possible to end AIDS on the continent.

However, the progress made remains fragile because complacency on the part of certain African states and governments risks reversing the progress made over the past decade.

  • Sexual violence, a major challenge for the Church of Kisangani.

A presentation by Doctor Roger KETA, in charge of the management of sexual violence and HIV / AIDS at the Prince ALWALLED Health Center. Dr. Roger began by giving the different definitions of violence, according to the WHO and the United Nations. Then he talked about the types of violence; verbal, psychological, social, economic, physical and sexual. Then he addressed the issue of the causes of sexual violence and its consequences. Finally he concluded his presentation by inviting the participants to cultivate the tree of life by avoiding violence as a means of solving problems, encouraging dialogues as a means of solving problems or conflicts, encourage the victim to denounce, even make the victim that she is not responsible for what has happened. And uproot the tree of death, by denouncing executioners (unfortunately arrangements between families far from legal structures still favor cases of sexual violence), rejecting the stigmatization of victims, discouraging certain harmful ancestral practices and early marriages.

  • Fratelli Tutti challenges our perspective on people living with HIV / AIDS.

Presented by Father Séverin Mukoko, Sj (Director of the Maisha Center).

From his daily contacts with the sick, Father Séverin shared with the participants the ordeals of people living with HIV / AIDS that the Maïsha Center supports and invited them to contemplate the beautiful figure of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10, 25 -37) that Pope Francis proposes to us in the second chapter of ‘Fratelli Tutti’ to come out of our protective cocoons in order to open ourselves to the great surprise that is “social friendship” which, according to the Pope, allowed the good Samaritan to interrupt his journey, to change his plan and to get ready to help the wounded man who needed him.

We must be next to our brothers and sisters living with HIV / AIDS. Let us be Good Samaritans on their way.

The questions asked by the participants demonstrated the particular interest in this day of reflection.

There are many who wish that Center Maisha regularly organizes such a beneficial initiative for their permanent formation as pastoral agents.

Caleb Mwamisi

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