AFRICA/KENYA - The Orionine missionaries: "A new project to help the Masai"

Saturday, 13 February 2021 missionary institutes   religious institutes   indigenous  

Kandisi (Agenzia Fides) - "The goal of the project is to start a cultivation of 'yellow beans' in the Masai territory: the idea arises above all from the need to create new revenues for the Center and, at the same time, to share good agricultural practices that we have acquired over the years". This is what Father Jeremiah Muchembe, priest of the Sons of Divine Providence, of Kenyan origin reports to Agenzia Fides, speaking of the new agricultural project that the Orionine religious of the Kandisi community are carrying out in collaboration with the indigenous Masai, who live on the highlands on the border between Kenya and Tanzania.
The realization of these projects is possible thanks to the contribution of some benefactors who support the initiatives of the Orionine fathers, who in this part of Kenya are in charge of a parish that welcomes many villagers of the Masai ethnic group. In Kandisi, the Don Orione Opera runs a day center and a development school for disabled children and young people with a horticultural center: "The challenge linked to this initiative - explains Fr. Muchembe - is not only to use processing techniques that respect the environment, without the use of chemical pesticides, but also to break down prejudices against one of the oldest African populations, such as the Masai, who risks being mistreated because it continues to maintain ancient customs and carries out an indigenous lifestyle".
"It is important to sensitize the government to finance projects of this type, because they have a profound cultural value" - observes the missionary. "For several years - he says - we have been implementing horticulture projects that directly involve some disabled children who attend the facility. They thus have the opportunity to study, graduate and do a 2-year apprenticeship in the agricultural sector. At the end of the training course - continues Fr. Jeremiah – they are employed on the Centre's farm which sells its products to various supermarkets and the local community. In doing so - he concludes - the children become independent, socially integrating themselves into the community".
In Kenya the Church manages 2,805 health and assistance facilities, of which 86 centers for the elderly, the disabled and the disabled. ,(ES) (Agenzia Fides 13/2/2021)