Brother Jonas Dzinekou Yawovi: “Ministry in Social Entrepreneurship”


Monday, September 14, 2020
“For the Comboni missionaries the Year of the Ministeriality (2020) is a call to renewal and to see whether we are living our ministry in the way Jesus wants us to live it. “This year of ministeriality is a way of revitalizing our ministry,” says Bro. Jonas Dzinekou Yawovi, current director of the Institute for Social Transformation of the Tangaza University College in Nairobi, Kenya. [Video]

The magisterium of Pope Francis insists upon the vision of a ministerial Church by which is meant a fraternal Church that is steeped in the “odour of the sheep”, that is synodal, collaborative and one that witnesses to the joy of the Gospel by its proclamation, by its style of life and by service; a Church that embarks on a journey of conversion, overcoming clericalism and the pastoral criterion: “We have always done it this way” (EG 33). The XVIII General Chapter of the Comboni Missionaries took up this directive of the universal Church and made it its own, in the hope of undertaking a journey of regeneration and requalification of our missionary commitment as regards ministeriality (CA ’15, 21-26; 44-46).

2020: Year of the Ministeriality

Brother Jonas Dzinekou Yawovi:
“Ministry in Social Entrepreneurship”

Ministeriality is the way we think, perceive and live our ministry, as individuals and as a community. Ministeriality is people centered. If you remove the people, then you remove the meaning of ministeriality. The year of ministeriality for the Comboni missionaries is a call for renewal, to see whether we are living our ministry in the way Jesus wants us to live it. It is a way of revitalizing our ministry. We need to shift from ministry seen as status, and power to service. Namely, what is the focus of our ministry?

I also believe that it is an opportunity to reorganize ourselves for our mission to the people. We have already seen that social entrepreneurship can be a ministry to the people. A social entrepreneur is called to serve the people and, by doing so, try to solve their problems. So, there is a very important and deep link between social entrepreneurship and ministeriality. This is one of the pillars of what we do at Tangaza University College. Training people to create enterprises that will solve social problems.

Over the last few years, we have been reflecting on the meaning of social entrepreneurship for us Comboni Missionaries and for our work. I am glad that now, as Comboni Missionaries we are taking it as a very important dimension of our ministry. We have started an organization called Comboni Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship, based here in Kenya, but which it is going to support different social enterprises across Africa. I think this is a very interesting approach to ministry. We know that in many of our missions we have major challenges. How do we want people to face them and transform them so that they become opportunities for better living?

For us Comboni Missionaries this is a great moment, a new journey. But we also know very well that Pope Francis is a strong advocate of a social economy This social economy is going to be a very important dimension of mission. By embracing social entrepreneurship, the Comboni Missionaries are basically stating that they are part of the change which taking place.
Bro. Jonas Yawovi