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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Music – Folila

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  Followers of World Music have known Amadou and Mariam for over a decade, before they became popular in France and, later, in the rest of Europe. Their single Je pense à toi was a hit on French radio, and their album Dimanche à Bamako was well received throughout the old continent. Amadou and Mariam are in their…

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East Africa – The changing face of pastoralism

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  Pastoralist groups have controlled the savannahs of East Africa for centuries. These are arid and semi-arid lands that cannot easily be used for agriculture, but do sustain grazing. Besides, until the early XX century, the population of the region was small, allowing for great swathe of land to remain unoccupied. Demographic changes and the…

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Madagascar – Feast of life and death

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  In the south of Madagascar live the Bara, a cluster of 18 ethnic groups that share language and culture. They live in a arid land, where agriculture cannot thrive, and so they developed an economy based on husbandry. They also developed an interesting relationship with death and the deceased. The Bara claim that death…

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DR Congo – Bye Bye, Gorilla

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  UNESCO director Irina Bokova received in March “worrying information” concerning the resumption of oil exploration in the Virunga National Park by Soco International. Similar concern was expressed on March 28 by the Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders during his meeting with President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa. José Endundo, the Congolese Minister of Environment who…

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World Communications Day – Silence and Word

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  May 20th is World Communications Day. Pope Benedict XVI wrote a message for the occasion. Excerpts. I would like to share with you some reflections concerning an aspect of the human process of communication which, despite its importance, is often overlooked. It concerns the relationship between silence and word: two aspects of communication which…

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African Synod – From theory to action

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  During a trip in Africa in November 2011, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated his summary of the Synod’s deliberations in Benin in his Apostolic Exhortation Africae Munus, where he highlights and confirms the major points presented to him as Propositions. About one thing the Exhortation is clear: the fundamental objective of the entire process of…

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Pope – Cuba libre

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  Ii was a good trip for the Pope to Mexico and Cuba at the end of March. Both countries have seen terrible confrontations between Church and state and political wounds still need to be bound up and peace promoted. “The light of the Lord, has shone brightly during these days”, Pope Benedict declared, “may…

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South Sudan – Healing

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  A medical doctor and a surgeon by profession, Rosario Iannetti joined the Comboni Missionaries as a Brother in 1992. He has been working in South Sudan, Africa’s newest country, for the last 15 years. Since 2002, he has been in Mapuordit, where he transformed the small mission dispensary into a hospital with more than…

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Gerewol – The love festival

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    In the vast savannah in central Niger, from October to June there is no rain. Ponds become dry and the water table falls. During the day, the harmattan – the dry wind from the desert – blows incessantly, bringing dust and cold weather. Then the rainy season and summer follow. It is time…

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Wodaabe – Freedom I seek

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    They are reserved, but jovial and with refined manners. The Wodaabe know how to be courageous and behave like warriors; an important characteristic to have in a region where continuous tensions and ethnic fights endanger life. The transhumance takes them close to the bellicose Tuareg in the north, and sedentary farmers in the…

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Wodaabe – Never still

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Wodaabe’s culture is a culture of transhumance. One of the myths of origin tries to explain why the Wodaabe are always on the move. The nomadic Fulani, it says, are the descendants of one unlucky boy. His parents had a quarrel and the mother, in a fit of anger, abandoned the boy in the bush.…

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Wodaabe – People of the plains

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  The Wodaabe are an ethnic group belonging to the large Peul family. Their origin is still a mystery, giving birth to many theories, at times bordering with fantasy. Some say they come from Mesopotamia or that they are the descendants of a group of Jews and Egyptians sent away at the time of the…

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Advocacy

Living as Advocacy.

As members from diverse religious traditions, or even from an a-religious society, we all share a dream to end extreme poverty. The world has achieved remarkable…

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Baobab

How the Leopard Got His Beautiful Spots.

One morning, once upon a time, the tortoise had a very pleasant surprise when he came out of his hiding place under a rock. He found…

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Youth & Mission

2018 - The Synod of Bishops. A New Questionnaire For…

A new questionnaire invites people from ages 16-29 to help the world's bishops prepare for their 2018 Synod gathering on "Young People, the Faith and Vocational…

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