AFRICA/SOMALIA - The director of Caritas Somalia: "To remain faithful to the Lord makes our life fuller"

Friday, 16 March 2018 caritas   humanitarian aid   education   faith   christianity   women  


Djibouti (Agenzia Fides) - Maria Josè Alexander is a young Mexican Catholic, always attentive towards the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of society. After collaborating in the humanitarian sector, between Mexico, Colombia and Lebanon, she is currently the director of Caritas Somalia. In an interview with Agenzia Fides, she says: "Love for God has taken me to the most remote and dangerous areas of the world, first in lay and government NGOs and then collaborating with the Church". She arrived in Somalia in August 2017 and ended up in Djibouti where she is responsible for coordinating the projects that Caritas brings to Somalia. These projects mainly concern education and emergency humanitarian aid.
"In Somaliland - she tells Fides - we have an ongoing educational funding project for 40 children living in camps for internally displaced people. We try to give them continuity in their studies and what they need to be able to live a more dignified life. In the south, in Baidoa, we built a school in a refugee camp, where education and nutrition are provided to 50 boys and 50 girls".
Born in Guadalajara, Maria deepened her studies on indigenous communities in Mexico and has been involved with some NGOs: "Mar Adentro", "Fundación León XII" and other independent research projects. After studies on International Development, she served in Colombia among the indigenous ethnic groups Misak. An experience in Lebanon, then, in the refugee camp of Shatila, in a totally Islamic context, first as a volunteer and English teacher to refugee women and then in projects for the promotion of women. "But in the meantime I felt the desire to commit myself to a Catholic NGO and to offer a service to the Church", she reports.
Now she is in Somalia: "Djibouti is a very difficult place to live in: many times I thought about going back home, but I trust God. The Lord is faithful and so I am convinced that remaining faithful to His love makes our life fuller. Thus, in times of despair and anguish, or when there is the temptation to take the easy way, one must remember how faithful the Lord is, and how great his love is. I feel blessed by God every day", concludes Maria. (MJA/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 16/3/2018)