AFRICA/NIGER - Missionary reports on the current situation and the everyday life of the people

Thursday, 31 August 2023


Dosso (Agenzia Fides) - "Father, please do not think about leaving with what is happening in the country. - No, my son, I am staying". Father Rafael Casamayor, missionary living and working in Dosso since 2021 and active on the African continent for 50 years, reported on the current situation in Niger after the July 26 military coup.
"The country is moving forward, society, ordinary people do not seem to be concerned, even if they do not know where this military coup could lead, which puts in question the peace that seemed to have reigned in the country for ten years," said the religious of the Society of African Missions (SMA) and talked about the everyday life of the small community in which he works. "We do all our usual activities, I do the Dosso mission, the communities, the groups, working with blind children with whom we want to do training courses, eye care," he says. "We are thinking about this in a special way at the moment, how to deal with the famine that threatens the country in the coming months and that is already looming. The harvests are bad, the rains have arrived late.In addition, the neighboring countries have closed their borders because of the coup and the prices of basic foods have skyrocketed and will continue to rise", the missionary continues, "We discussed this at a meeting of the parish committee. The verdict is unanimous: hunger is just around the corner, in some places it is already there, and something needs to be done. But what can we do? Pray and ask friends to help us."
Father Rafael concludes by talking about the work with blind children and the progress made with them (see Fides, 7/1/2022). "we cannot forget the privileged ones. We have been working with them and for them for four years, both in Gaya and in Dosso, and I think we can be happy, not only for them, as their faces and gestures show, but also for their parents. We want to achieve even more in the years to come, namely, recognition by the state, establishment of an adequate education and training program, and provision of adequate eye care".
"Long live Nigeria. The Niger of the little ones, that of every day Niger", concludes the missionary.
(RC/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 31/8/2023)