During his first visit to Africa, Pope Francis gave two important speeches to non-church groups that were remarkable in their global message about peace, poverty, and the environment.
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
Just prior to the arrival of Pope Francis for his first pastoral visit to Kenya, a network of Catholic justice and peace organizations met in Limura, Kenya, for a major conference on land grabbing and just governance in Africa.
The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Society Center in Nairobi recently hosted a five-day interfaith conference to orient primary and secondary school teachers from diverse areas of Kenya to the potential for interfaith-based religious education, as a vehicle for peace-building in Kenya.
On October 8 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the Electrify Africa Act (EAA), legislation that aims to bring 20,000 additional megawatts of power to sub-Saharan Africa by 2020. Tehre are major concerns that this plan will fail to reach the more than 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who have little to no access to electricity.
Recently, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns staff member Sr. Claris Zwareva visited her homeland of Zimbabwe. Sr. Claris serves as Maryknoll’s representative at the United Nations where the Maryknoll Sisters and the Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The death and displacement that occurs in the out-migration from Africa and the plight of internally displaced peoples across the continent were the subject of a recent hearing before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. What emerged in the testimony of several governmental and NGO experts was a picture of tragic human suffering.
An excerpt from the article “What does the environment encyclical mean for Malawi?” written by Alex Muyebe, SJ, director of the Jesuit Centre for Ecology and Development, Lilongwe, Malawi, and Peter Henriot, SJ, who works with Loyola Jesuit Secondary School, Kasungu, Malawi, and published in in the August 28 issue of the British Catholic magazine The Tablet.
President Obama visited Kenya and Ethiopia, probably for the last time as head of state, from July 24-28.
In January, Tanzania published its Draft National Energy Policy 2015, which, despite its length, devoted little attention to the challenge of bringing electricity to the country’s roughly 11 million residents who live in poverty in rural areas.
The essential role of infrastructure is being rediscovered worldwide as a key component of a comprehensive development strategy. However, in order to be sustainable and deliver real benefits to the communities and the environment directly affected, infrastructure projects need good governance, meaningful civil society participation, and real accountability.
According to the IMF’s April 2015 report "Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa Navigating Headwinds," Africa’s economies are predicted to grow at about 4.5 percent during 2015, yet African economies face enormous uncertainties and risks.
Despite indictments by the International Criminal Court in 2009 and 2010, Sudan's President Bashir remains in power and has not been brought to justice, and the killing and displacement of Sudanese by their own government is again on the upswing.
At its April 2015 meeting, in light of President Obama’s summer trip to East Africa, the Washington, D.C.-based Advocacy Network for Africa (ADNA), of which the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns is a member, adopted a final draft of a statement on several important U.S./Africa policy issues
In mid-March, Amnesty International released the following statement on the situation of human rights activists in Angola.
The life story of South African Anglican priest Michael Lapsley, a friend to many Maryknoll missioners, is an inspiration for forgiveness.
Coralis Salvador, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Kenya, reflects on the presence of the Holy Spirit during her regular visits to the homes of families affected by HIV and AIDS.
Maryknoll Father David Schwinghamer recalls a chance encounter with someone who, like the Samaritan woman at the well, demonstrates that even ordinary folk, once baptized, are meant to be messengers of the good news.
Michael Leen, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner tells the story of a friend in Mwanza, Tanzania who did what can seem impossible – offer love and mercy to his enemies.
Maryknoll Sister Theresa Baldini, who was on mission in South Sudan, reflects on the biblical call to forgiveness and reconciliation for justice to be restored in our relationships.
Maryknoll Sister Veronica Schweyen describes how God has chosen each of us and we can put our trust in God.
Teresa Villaruz, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Kenya, reflects on seeing the light despite the darkness.
Maryknoll Lay Missioner Ashley Leen in Tanzania writes this week's reflection on the meaning of family.
Curt Klueg, a returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner, writes this week's Scripture reflection on the great gift of forgiveness.
Curt and Anita Klueg, along with their children, served as Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Kenya.
This week's reflection was prepared by Marj Humphrey who spent many years as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in East Africa.
This week's reflection was prepared by Father Tom Tiscornia, who served the people of Sudan/South Sudan for many years.