Monthly Archives: October 2014

Music – Papa is back

Sixty-five years, have marked the age of retirement in many countries, including DR Congo, for a long time: but don’t tell Papa Wemba about it. Although growing old, the “king of Congolese rumba” – as he has been known for years – is still at work, and not willing to abdicate. If as some feared…

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Brazil. Justice on the rails

Seven years ago, the Comboni missionaries founded the network “Justiça nos Trilhos” (Justice on the rails). They collaborate with a number of other groups and social organisations to carry on with the evangelical challenge “taking care” of Creation and Life. We are a small Comboni community, feeling like family. We live in Piquiá, a small…

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Reportage – Africa. Weapon tracing

Tracing illicit weapons and ammunition in conflict areas is essential to identify the entities involved in international sanctions violations and the primary sources of illicit weapons’ trade. We have followed an expert carrying out investigations on the ground. Mary Helen has just arrived in a small town in the province of North Kivu where a…

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City population to reach 6.4 billion by 2050

According to the 2014 revision of the World Urbanization Prospect, global urban population is expected to increase by another 2.5 billion people by 2050 from current levels of 3.9 billion or 54% of population, with the greatest growth expected in India, China and Nigeria. The updated U.N. report notes that India, China and Nigeria will…

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Burundi – The land « time-bomb »

In 2011, a new land code was adopted. But it didn’t defuse tensions around land access issues which are exacerbated by population growth and conflicts between current owners and returnees from exile. As a result of demographic growth and land division, land has become an increasingly rare commodity, sparking an increasing number of conflicts which…

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The Ebola epidemic, a major threat to Africa

The Ebola epidemic which started in Western Africa last March has become a major threat for the entire continent. Scientists predict that 100,000 people could be infected. The economy, and the freedom of movement of millions of people are also at stake. Since its first outbreak, in 1976, in the Equator province of the Democratic…

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Zambia at 50. The catholic church’s contribution

The Catholic Church has been an integral part of the Zambian Society, walking and growing together with the Nation. In the last fifty years, the clergy has increased in both numbers and quality. And most of the dioceses are becoming self-sufficient in clergy. In most of the Dioceses, the promotion of vocations is taken seriously,…

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Aristide, a leading voice for Haiti’s poor majority

Then Jean-Bertrand Aristide came on the national stage. An educated former priest who was born into poverty, managed to inspire the people to participate in building a new democracy in Haiti. As a priest, Aristide began to recruit youths to attend church, so he organized weekly youth masses. In 1986, he founded an orphanage for…

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Kenya. Maasai : ‘Hold onto your own life’

Every Maasai from an early age is part and parcel of many groups. Each of these with its own rules, customs and traditions, which regulate his or her social life. When a Maasai child is born and its umbilical cord is cut through, either the mother or the assisting midwife will say: “Hold onto your…

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Malala. A girl with a mission

Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai has a mission in life and that gives her the strength to take risks and live with death threats at a very young age. Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who defied the Taliban’s ban on girls’ education and was shot in the head but survived, has been recently granted the…

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Burundi. Three lives for Africa: Olga, Lucia, Bernadette

Three Italian missionaries, Lucia Pulici, Olga Raschietti, and Bernadette Boggian, members of the Xaverian Catholic order, were murdered in the mission of Kamenge, a district in the north of Bujumbara, capital of Burundi. It was a Sunday afternoon when Sister Bernadette went to the office of Fr. Mario Pulcini, the superior of the Saverian missionaries…

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World Mission Day – A Celebration of Grace and Joy

This year’s World Mission Day falls on 19th October under the theme: ‘I will build my church’ (Mt.16:18). In his message Pope Francis said that “World Mission Day is a privileged moment when the faithful of various continents engage in prayer and concrete gestures of solidarity”. A synthesis of his message. Today vast numbers of…

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Money as a mission.

St. Basil the Great, in the 4th century would call money ‘the devil’s dung,’  an epithet reused by Pope Francis last year. Oscar Wilde said…

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The Hare, the Hippo and the Fire.

The hare and the hippo were great friends. They walked together in the veld and visited each other in their homes. The hippo was very proud…

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Youth & Mission

The Virus of Racism.

The world is seeing once again the upsurge of a vicious “virus” that has spread to every corner of the world. This time, the “virus” is…

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