Rome (Fides Service) – Out of 122 education projects in 20 countries presented to the Harambee 2002 Office (a solidarity programme started to mark the canonisation of the founder of Opus Dei, Saint Josemaria Escriva) 18 have been chosen by a special jury. This was announced on the occasion of the first liturgical feast of the new Saint 26 June. Funds (about 700,000 Euro) collected mainly among participants at the canonisation of Saint Josemaria Escriva in Rome and many other people will help finance 18 education projects in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The projects adopted by Harambee 2002 (Harambee in Kiswahili means ‘all together’) all focussed on education, meet different needs emerging in different African contexts. Fort Portal diocese in Uganda will modernise and enlarge a secondary schools, paving classroom floors, putting in doors and windows, desks and chairs for pupils and teachers, organising a school library. Quite different is the project proposed by the Family Home Movement in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where the funds donated will serve for the social reinsertion and education of former child soldiers in the civil war which lasted 11 long years. At least 218 boys aged between 6 and 18 will attend primary, middle or high school classes as well as taking part in a programme for their reinsertion in the local community. Among the projects chosen there is also a programme of basic education for young people in Ruhengeri, (Rwanda) and another project in the same country but in the province of Cyangugu to help families who give a home to children orphaned by war and genocide to start small pig farms.
Other projects include scholarships for girls at Johannesburg university, four small professional training schools for primary school dropouts in Mozambique; access to clean water in schools, and for women and children to improve the sanitary situation of at least 281,000 people and 44,000 families in Enugu state, Nigeria. Harambee 2002 will also collaborate with projects promoted by social and educational institutions in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Kenya, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau. See list at www.harambee2002.org. The organisers of Harambee have announced, besides a new contest for education projects in Africa (2004), an International Communications Award for videos on Africa and an international Congress on the theme “Communicating Africa” (in 2004) SL (Fides Service 20/6/2003 EM lines 31 Words: 411)