AFRICA/TOGO - Comboni Missionaries: support for young people to live "a Christian and missionary dimension"

Saturday, 30 July 2022 orders   missionary institutes   mission   evangelization   youth  

Lome (Agenzia Fides) - "The goal is to create a farm for the production of corn, cassava and the processing of peanuts. The idea arises from the need to create a source of livelihood for our community and to introduce unemployed young people to work; at the same time we want to share the good agricultural practices that we have acquired over the years". Thus reports to Agenzia Fides Father Pierre Larvi, a Comboni missionary, speaking of the new agricultural project that the spiritual sons of St. Daniel Comboni are carrying out "above all to accompany young people towards a Christian and missionary dimension", he stresses.
In an economic and social context that is increasingly affected by growing inflation, the missionaries try to bring their support: "We do our best to help our people - says Father Pierre - among the many daily challenges; God is giving us strength and courage to go forward". "First of all - he explains - we try to carry out our ministry by celebrating Mass every day with the faithful, trying to meet the working needs of the inhabitants who are mainly farmers. Furthermore, given the large number of villages, we are unable to celebrate Mass on Sundays in all places; so we go around during the week, visit the sick in their homes, pray with them, give Communion, celebrating the sacrament of Confession". Father Pierre observes that "the majority of the population is illiterate and does not see the need to encourage their children to study. Others who wish to do so do not have the economic meanss and therefore go to work. All this - he continues - affects the development of the villages in which we operate, but we try to help them understand the value of education and take care of the environment in which they live".
The schools in Lome were built by the first missionaries and are now run by the government. "Currently – Fr. Lattie told Fides - we Comboni Missionaries are responsible for one of the primary schools, where most of the students come for free education since most of them cannot afford to pay school fees. Moreover - he continues - not having any means of transport, we help the sick to reach hospitals and it often happens that when transporting pregnant women they give birth in our car before arriving. Our school bus becomes the main means of transport for everyone, whether it is to take coffins to the cemetery after funeral masses, or for community activities, retreats, workshops, in some of the peripheral stations".
"The challenge linked to this initiative - explains Fr. Latevi to Fides - it is not only that of using processing techniques that respect the environment, but also that of reducing the unemployment rate, hunger and poverty and, last but not least, that of helping young people to take responsibility to find a role in society".
"For several years - says the Comboni Missionary - we have been carrying out horticulture projects that directly involve many young people who frequent our community. To date - continues the missionary – due to lack of financial means we are looking for benefactors and NGOs to finance this project. It is important to raise awareness so that the government finances projects of this type, because they have a profound cultural value". (ES) (Agenzia Fides, 30/7/2022)