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.
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
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.
In 2015, 14 African nations will hold presidential and legislative elections; by the end of 2016, 25 countries will have held elections.
Marj Humphrey, who spent many years as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in East Africa, reflects on the well-known but still challenging Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Maryknoll Sister Teresa Hougnon in Kenya reflects on the transformation that happens when we enter into conversation with our enemies.
Maryknoll Father John Barth in Uganda reflects on Jesus' teachings on the framework for Christian living
Dr. Anne Berry, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Tanzania, reflects on the beauty in Tanzania of extending compassion and care beyond typical American cultural norms.
When asked, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus replied: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this,’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Mark 12: 29-31).
In this week's Gospel reading, Jesus uses actions more than words to teach us about love, respect, and compassion.
Maryknoll Sister Veronica Schweyen, who served in Tanzania, reflects on the power of forgiveness.
Maryknoll Fr. David Schwinghamer, currently working at the Palabek Refugee Camp in Uganda, home to many refugees from South Sudan, reflects on the great faith of the people of Africa.
Maryknoll Father Tom Tiscornia in South Sudan reflects on the need to engage in new beginnings and challenges as one community and with trust in God's goodness.
Maryknoll Father John Barth reflects on the light of Jesus shining in all corners of the world, even in refugee settlement camps for South Sudanese people.
Maryknoll Sr. Mary Frances Kobets in Zimbabwe reflects on Jesus' example of letting one's clean heart beat for others.
Maryknoll Father Michael Snyder asks, as followers of Christ, how will we respond to the challenges life, knowing that God resides within us here and now?
Maryknoll Sister Jareen Aquino applies Jesus' call to the Apostles to "come and see" to the girls and young women in need of education and empowerment in Tanzania.