Regenerate Africa by Africa itself
I am filled with joy and gratitude to God through St. Daniel Comboni as I A realisation of his passion and dream
shares of my life on this ground which saw Comboni’s birth.,, ‘touched’ his love for the Africa and the Africans and marvelled at the unfolding mystery of Christ’s unlimited love.
In my search for God’s will in my life, I got in touch with about five congregations. I however lacked the enthusiasm to join any of them. At the age of 15, I got to know the Comboni sisters and the responsible gave me a book on the life of Comboni. When I read it my heart set ablaze with a deep love for Comboni. His desires, dreams and experiences seemed to feel the whole of my life and I started to share with those that came my way about a man who loved us so much.
What struck me was his
- love for and trust in the Africans in a time when the Africans were seen as evil and ignorant
- determination to do God’s will no matter the cost
- his appreciation of women ( The Catholic woman is everything…The Sisters are everything in African.(4075)
I was convinced that I had found my life and in 1996 I joined the Comboni sisters.
After my first profession, I was sent to Karamoja a mission in the N. East of Uganda where I have worked as a teacher in a school of over 850 girls for almost 8 years.
My first journey to Karamoja awoke in me the fact that the essence of regenerating African is inserted in the mystery of the Cross and I remember telling to the sister who picked me from Kampala that to go to Karamoja was not a matter of ‘ romantic love’ but ‘ A crucified love’ This I said few minutes before an attempted ambush.
Amidst the challenges of this mission, for me to live the plan of Comboni has been to instil in the minds of the pupils and of those that I encounter that they are responsible of their own lives and that they have in them the capacity and the ability to improve on their lives. I liked telling the pupils to repeat the words ‘ I CAN’. In other words to help them develop confidence in themselves and take responsibility of their studies and what they are to be in future. I have seen this bear fruits in some but remains a big challenge.
In the context where I work as it is in the rest of the missions, there is a lot being done in the formation of leaders, promotion of women through the instilling of skills necessary for improving their lives. I can therefore say that our energies are geared towards the empowerment of the people.
The greatest challenge has always been that of helping the people walk on their legs without being solely dependent on the missions.
Comboni was very practical about helping the Africans to regenerate themselves. He said “ Make it easier for the Africa to generate herself by developing necessary trade and craft work
The Comboni family has done a lot and continues to bring into reality the dream of Comboni to Save Africa with the Africans. There has been however some situations of risking to degenerate those that we are meant to regenerate especially through the giving of material goods. Charity is always a value but if not reflected upon, it can bear the fruits of dependency and a begging attitude which deprives the person of the human dignity. Besides, there is the categorisation of people and often a rejection towards the one who doesn’t give for one reason or the other.
For me the question for each one of us wherever we work should be:
I’m I helping the people that I work with and to be protagonists of their own lives and their history or I’m I making them dependent on me?
Collaboration with other congregations and the laity.
Comboni wanted the whole church involved in the regeneration of Africa. (The work must be catholic… All initiatives existing will have to be brought together…).
When people are involved in laying down the goals of any given project, the result is the responsibility to implement whatever decisions taken and geared towards the realisation of the set goals. There is also the owning of the reality hence a sense of belonging to the enterprise.
While efforts are being made to ensure the involvement of the entire church in our work of evangelisation I feel that we are challenge to move from working for the others to working with others so that even in our absence the mission cam be carried on.
I wish to thank the entire Combonian family of which I feel proud to belong to and all the of you present. May God through the intercession of Comboni continue to bless us in His work of evangelisation that we may become true witnesses of His love for the people we are sent to.
Sr. Emma Wachira