AFRICA/TOGO - Coronavirus pandemic: missionaries also suffer due to restrictions

Tuesday, 28 April 2020 coronavirus   faith   missionary institutes   missionaries   indigenous   animism  


Sokodé (Agenzia Fides) - "We are also confined, no more Sunday and weekday masses. So no more collections on Sunday. We used to do two: one for missions and one for the church. For two months we have not received any donations and we must continue to live in addition to maintaining the fixed costs", writes Father Silvano Galli, priest of the Society for African Missions (SMA), to Agenzia Fides.
"Here in Sokodé, too, we are all under control since the epidemic spread from a Rasta Center in the village of Kuvon, on the outskirts of the city. The center, which has accommodation for visitors, is a well-known place for animistic religious practices", the missionary said. The facility, which is also known abroad and has been designated by the operators as a center of spirituality, recently had a meeting with delegates, some of whom came from the United States and Canada. "Some foreign guests were infected with corona virus and were transferred to Lomé, where around 180 participants of the meeting were tested, but the test was negative", said Father Galli. Father Galli quotes the director of the center, who emphasizes that "apart from the already known case, who was a Togolese, the entire community was subjected to controls and was negative". However, they were all quarantined and an emergency medical team tried to determine when the quarantine could be ended. "With the grace of God whom we all implore", says the operator of the center, "the coronavirus will quickly end in Sokodé. We hope that soon everyone will be able to resume their normal activities calmly" .
Meanwhile, in Sokodè, in addition to the nationwide preventive measures, there is a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. "The problem of domestic isolation is a little more complicated", Father Silvano emphasizes. The government has promised monthly aid of 12500 francs (20 euros) for women over the next three months and 10500 francs for men. In order to receive the grant, one has to present an electoral ID. However, some are already saying that if they continue to be locked up, they may die of starvation rather than coronavirus".
In conclusion, the missionary emphasizes that "the people here live thanks to their daily work. If they are not allowed to go to the fields, if they cannot go to the market, they will not survive. But here everyone is used to fighting and living with death every day and have a smile on their face even in tragic situations". (SG/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 28/4/2020)