Dosso (Agenzia Fides) - "I had to leave the city of Gaya and now I am in Dosso, about 140 km, from where I cannot move, for safety reasons", writes to Agenzia Fides Fr. Rafael Marco Casamayor, religious of the Society of African Missions (SMA).
"However, I remained in contact almost daily with those responsible of the Center for Initiatives and Social Assistance (CIES), whose mission is to welcome and train the blind children that we had created in Gaya. I had heard of these children attending an inclusive Catholic school in the city, and during one of my visits I was deeply touched by Hamida, a girl who recited a poem for me entitled 'Tomorrow the light', says the missionary who settled in Dosso a few weeks ago.
"I went back to this school quite often until the headmistress told me that I had to go and meet the education inspector. From this meeting the CIES project to help children from very modest families was born. It involves food, transport, clothes, school supplies. We started with a group of volunteers, some teachers and other trainers. I also discovered that there are many blind children in the region, especially due to onchocerciasis, and that many of them are a disgrace for the family, a curse, kept hidden and locked in their homes, deprived of any social life except begging".
Fr. Rafael reports of the house rented to accommodate them, equipped with tables, chairs, bunk beds, kitchen. Braille reading and writing courses, orientation exercises, games for the blind, learning musical instruments; "a whole workshop set up over the last year, both for the children and for us, animators and founders, who were discovering a new world".
"A few days before Christmas, all the people involved in CIES, trainers, guides, those responsible came to greet me in Dosso and we celebrated the meeting, the difficulties overcome, the effort made and the joy of having realized a dream full of a humble pride that enlarges our souls", concluded the SMA missionary. (RC/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 7/1/2022)