Violent conflict in South Sudan has resulted in famine in several parts of the country and fueled the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis. St. Mary’s Cathedral in Wau, South Sudan’s second largest city, has become a sanctuary for thousands of people in need of shelter from the ongoing civil war, but with fighting close by, help is scarce and food in short supply.
Our concern for Africa is shaped by long term relationsips between Maryknoll missioners and the people of Sudan and South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia. We honor their strength and wisdom and believe that African cultures and traditions often suggest solutions to seemingly intractable local and global problems.
In Africa our Global Concerns work is at times country-specific, focussing, for example, on the slow process toward peace between Sudan and South Sudan, or the genocide in Darfur; the political and economic collapse of Zimbabwe; the introduction of genetically modified seeds or the political situation in Tanzania; efforts to stop corruption in Kenya, among other issues. We also address transnational issues of great concern to all people in Africa: deep and endemic poverty; the HIV and AIDS pandemic; the call for the cancellation of illegitimate and overwhelming debt without conditions that worsen poverty; just trade agreements; the rights of women and children; and environmental degradation.
Articles, alerts, events
There are numerous influences in Africa pushing and pulling people to migrate either within their country, or across, away from, or into the continent, spreading new ideas and changes in culture.
A new Pan-African movement is gaining momentum in an effort to build strength by joining forces to work for peace, justice and dignity across the continent.
In advance of the general election in 2018, the Zimbabwe Catholic bishops issued a pastoral letter calling on the government and citizens to respect the Constitution and reject the use of violence and coercion.
For the first time in six years, the United Nations has declared that a situation of famine exists on the continent of Africa.
On January 31 several news organizations reported the African Union (AU) had agreed to a strategy of mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.
Maryknoll Father Dave Schwinghamer writes that, as Donald Trump begins his U.S. presidency, many in Washington, Dar es Salaam, and Harare can only speculate on what direction the new president will take in regard to Africa.
The following reflection on the growing protest demonstrations in Zimbabwe was written by Maryknoll Sister Janice McLaughlin, former president of the Maryknoll Sisters and a longtime missioner in Zimbabwe.
Maryknoll Sisters in Zimbabwe ask for prayers as a nonviolent campaign by church leaders and citizens against systemic corruption and economic mismanagement by the government grows.
Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN), Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network (AEFJN), Caritas Nigeria, and Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) issued the following joint statement.
The following article examines the evidence supporting Pope Francis’ startling warning in Laudato Si’: “the warming caused by huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world, especially Africa, where a rise in temperature, together with drought, has proved devastating for farming.”
Last June, Congress mandated that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman examine ways to advance trade relations with African nations beyond one-way trade preferences. In response, Ambassador Froman held a hearing in Washington, D.C. in January.
Just days before Congress votes on the Electrify Africa Act, 18 African civil society organizations issued a statement calling on African governments and public and private financiers to find socially and environmentally sustainable solutions to Africa's energy needs.
On December 11, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns was one of 17 faith-based and food security organizations who wrote to Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative, calling for a change in the Obama administration’s trade policy, leading into the tenth ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The following reflection was prepared by Fr. Dave Schwinghamer, who spent much of his mission life in Tanzania. He currently serves with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
Former lay missioner Marj Humphrey writes about an experience when she worked in Kenya.
Marj Humphrey is a former Maryknoll lay missioner who served in Kenya for many years.
Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International, is a Maryknoll Affiliate, and served as the director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns from 1997-2012.
Sr. Janice McLaughlin spent much of her mission life in Zimbabwe; in 2008 she was elected to a six-year term as president of the Maryknoll Sisters.
Sr. Theresa Baldini, MM, who writes this week's reflection, was a member of the Maryknoll Contemplative Community in South Sudan.
Curt Klueg writes this week's scripture reflection on the great gift of forgiveness.
This week's reflection was prepared by Marj Humphrey who spent many years as a missioner in East Africa.
Fr. Jim Noonan, who spent much of his missionary life in Asia, now serves God's people in South Sudan.