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Monthly Archives: July 2014

The youth can change the world

Last year, in July, addressing a crowd of over 3 million young people gathered on Copacabana beachfront for the concluding Mass of the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Pope Francis  said: “What do I expect as a consequence of the Youth Day? I expect a mess. There will be one. There will…

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Tanzania – Symbolism among the Maasai

Leeyo, the first Maasai had two wives. Each wife had her own house. The cattle of the first wife were all red and her house was known as the house of the red cattle, or simply as the ‘red house’. The cattle of the second wife were all black and her house was known as…

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Puerto Rico – ‘Bomba’ dancing

If you take a walk at sunset along the northeastern beach of Puerto Rico at the end of July, you can hear the sound of drums giving the welcome to nightfall. Groups of black people get together in front of their houses or under coconut trees ready to dance to the rhythm of the drums.…

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Music – Fatoumata Diawara

Being nominated one of the most listened-to people (in a broad sense) of an entire continent when you are just 31 is no easy thing. Succeeding in it when you are a pop singer with just one album released is even harder, but Fatoumata Diawara did it. Indeed, if she was included in the New…

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Book review – A Good African Story

Andrew Rugasira was a man with a dream, and he fulfilled it. A Good African Story is the account of how this Ugandan coffee entrepreneur managed to turn a small African-based company into an international brand with a promising vision, in less than ten years. Rugasira.s project, as his book does, started with a figure:…

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Turkana today

Lodwar has changed over the last two decades, and continues to change. Lately, its transformation has become hectic. New people are streaming in every day from all parts of Kenya and from abroad. New houses, shops, bars and offices open almost every week. New commercial and financial companies arrive. Fly540 Kenya, the premier low-cost airline…

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Animals as ‘humans’…

Three elements make up the world of the Turkana: human beings (ngitunga), animals (ngibaren) and Akuj (God). The animals (cattle, camels, goats, sheep and donkeys) are central to the political, economic and religious experience in their life. Cattle are highly regarded, and are only seldom slaughtered, since they provide milk, blood, skins, dung (used as…

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Initiation

A boy cannot become an adult unless he undergoes the rite of initiation. Before this ‘rite of passage’, he may not wear the traditional mud cap, possess animals, sit in a circle with the men, kill ritual animals, possess a spear, sing or dance for a bull, raid enemies or get married. If he were…

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Kenya – Turkana, the last warriors

When visitors reach Lodwar, the capital of Turkana County, a town of about 50,000 people, the first thing they are invited to see is the prison cell where Jomo Kenyatta, the founding Father and first president of Kenya, was restricted to house arrest for two years in 1959, at the height of the country’s independence…

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South Korea – A New Pentecost

Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Republic of Korea from 13 to 18 August 2014, on the occasion of the Sixth Asian Youth Day. He will preside over the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs. A meaningful visit not only for the country but for all of Asia. In a message commenting on…

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Msgr. Oscar Romero: sainthood now

San Salvador Archbishop Oscar Romero will soon be beatified by the Roman Catholic Church, but he is already a saint to Latin American peoples. “Pope Francis strongly invited us to start an attentive document examination regarding Msgr. Romero’, says a source working at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who wishes to remain anonymous.…

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The Catholic Church in Mauritania

A small diocese, whose nuns and priests have endeared themselves to the local population with their social commitment and support. Mauritania is a Muslim country: 99.5% of the 3.4million inhabitants are Muslims. Catholics, mostly foreigners, represent just 0.1% of the country’s population. The number of non-immigrant Christians is unknown. Conversions to any religion, but Islam,…

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Advocacy

A Museum for advocacy?

A Museum can surely be an action of advocacy, if it provides awareness towards empowerment. The National Museum of African American History and Culture that ex…

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Baobab

Why the sea is salty.

Long ago, the sea was not salty. People got their salt from the mountain of salt across the sea. One day, the people in the village…

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Youth & Mission

Bennie was the wrong person, in the wrong place at…

Bennie had a thin, hollow face, the picture of malnutrition at 22 years of age, he had never been to school for more than a few…

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