Monthly Archives: September 2015

Africa. Warbugia ugandensis: a miraculous plant

Warburgia ugandensis (family Canellaceae) is also known as the ‘Uganda Green Heart Tree’. This evergreen tree is a dominant species in Uganda, Kenya and in some parts of Ethiopia. It is considered an integral part of African traditional medicine by many traditional healers or herbalists across the continent. The tree can grow to 5-30 mtr…

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Kenya. Giving back the dignity

Kibera is one of the largest slums on the outskirts of Nairobi. A small missionary community has been living there for almost twenty-one years. They have created the ‘Bank of Trust’. The idea is ‘to encourage people and push them towards economic independence’. A man stands by a big garbage pile. He wears ragged clothes,…

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Myanmar. Kachin, the forgotten people

Kachin people are one among many racial groups in Myanmar (Burma), South East Asia, and were a nomadic community. They had a separate country before British rule but then it became a part of Myanmar after their regime. It is located in the northern part of Myanmar adjoining the Peoples Republic of China in the…

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The Pope in Cuba. A new wind is blowing in Havana

The Argentine Pontiff will be the third Pope to travel to Cuba in 18 years. Now, the scenery has changed in the island: the rapprochement with the US and the unprecedented trust in the Church open new challenges. Three papal visits to Cuba in 18 years show the Church’s interest in the evolution of the…

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Mozambique. Government imposes ProSavana agricultural project on farmers.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Mozambique (MASA) is to grant 102 thousand square kilometers of fertile land (more than 10 million hectares of land) to the private Consortium ProSavana, an agriculture project of the governments of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan. Activists of civil society organizations and in particular, farmers associations, oppose the…

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Economics of climate change: the ecological debt ?

Climate change has many dimensions: physical, social, political and also economical. Mitigation is a challenge to our economies. Waiting is not longer an option. We tend to associate climate change with phenomena such as typhoons, floods or droughts. But it has economic implications too and the purpose of this article is to look at some…

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To give purpose and meaning to human existence.

The peace and compassion, freedom and dignity championed by Jesus of Nazareth, are ideals that give purpose and meaning to human existence. Slavery, the selling or abduction or control of humans for exploitation, of any kind by any means is a deprivation of what makes us preciously human: thoughtful free choice. When this unique attribute…

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Monsignor Christophe Munzihirwa. The saint of Africa

At the end of June, in a letter, the Archbishop of Bukavu, Mgr. François Xavier Maroy Rusengo, presented Mgr. Christophe Munzihirwa’s beatification cause, inviting the Christian communities and the people to bear witness of the late Archbishop’s works and deeds. “In order to facilitate the inquiry in the framework of the beatification process – the…

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The Conflict in Kachin Land

The Kachin people were living between the Burmese and Chinese Kingdoms as if sandwiched between these two powers.Whenever the Burmese kings wanted to cross to China, they had to consult with the Kachin chiefs first. Living in this buffer zone, the Kachin people controlled this borderland from time immemorial and during the pre-colonial era the…

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Burundi. Nkurunziza sworn in amid increased violation of human rights

President Nkurunziza was sworn in for a third term on 20 August despite the chaos in the country and worsening human rights situation. The inauguration ceremonies were brought forward by a week amid fears of rebel attacks. The president took the oath of office without any foreign leader in attendance and under tight security. The…

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Burma. Pa-O. The forgotten People

The traditions and customs of the ethnic group Pa-O are little known and gradually disappearing. Telling children that they are descendants of a father who was a weiza, a supernatural being, and a mother, who was a dragon, may make for a good story, but for the ethnic Pa-O it is more than a fable.…

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The Problems: economic and social perspectives

Farming is a way of life for all Kachins and even the Chief is an agriculturist but has no specialization. The Kachins do the following: their main livelihood is agriculture, they have animals like pigs, goats and so on for supplementary income. They are also hunters and manufacturing was virtually unknown until recently. In common…

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Rely on one own strength first.

We are in Pikine, a Dakar suburb, Senegal. Father Armel Duteil, is the one telling the story. He is an 80-year-old Spiritan missionary. French by…

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The Water-Buffalo and the Tiger.

Once there lived a hard-working farmer in a small village who had a water-buffalo. Every day, with his plough on his shoulder, he led his water-buffalo…

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Youth & Mission

Nine Challenges Facing Young People in Syria.

For over nine years, violence and displacement have devastated opportunities for youth across the country. Here are nine of the most pressing challenges facing young people…

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