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Sunday, June 26, 2016

End of school year. 2

End of school year.  2
After examinations, homework, meetings of teachers and professors, comes the moment of giving to the students the reports cards! Sunday afternoon, from 02.00pm on, the mission is flooded by a crowd of children and adults. With a bit of hard work the teachers of our school "Isidore Bakanjia" and the kindergarten can settle all students (850 elementary, 150 asylum, eighty of the syllabary course) and we begin the ceremony.
The teachers call pupils of their own class, and then proclaim the approved to the next step, the rating achieved and the classification. In addition, the first 10-15 of each class receive a little prize: a small plant of citrus! It is an initiative that I launched a few years ago, to remedy the shortage of fruits in Bozoum. The children are very proud of that little plant, which then they will plant, along with their fathers, close to home or in the countryside. This year where our friends of National Team of Parmigiano Reggiano that have helped us to realize this little dream!
The most beautiful and moving thing is to see the parents participation. During the reading of the school results some moms and dads run to embrace their children to congratulate them! For a family the cost of the school is heavy, but it's good to see the interest and the sacrifices that moms and dads afford allowing a good formation for their children!
Monday comes the moment of closing the syllabary course. It is a school that over a period of three years can have back some eighty children in the school system. These are children who have never started school and are already too grown up to start from zero, or are kids who have dropped out of school.
In the meantime, the construction site of Bozoum church continues.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

End of school year. 1

Piccoli fotografi
les petits photographes

End of school year. 1
With the month of June here too, in Central Africa ends the school year and begin the holidays which come with the rainy season and with the hard work on the fields.
Sunday we celebrate the feast St. Antony. Besides the Parish Church in Bozoum there are 3 chapels in which we celebrate Mass once a week. On Sundays we celebrate in one of the three alternately, at 06.30. The St. Antony’s Chapel is the first that has been built and later in 2008 also expanded. The feast is time to pray, celebrate, but it’s also an opportunity for our people living in surrounding areas to remind themselves of their faith.
Monday I leave for a quick trip up to Bouar (250 km): I visit the various communities.  I meet a capuchin Friar from Ngaundaye  a small mission at the border with Cameroon, where unfortunately are back the mercenaries of Seleka, in revenge for the killing of some Peul (pastors) who wanted to enter armed with a large flock of cows (most possibly stolen). Thank God, and also to the many contacts and friends, the UN peacekeepers finally intervene just in time to avoid a massacre. The Seleka, before running away, have “only” the time to burn thirty houses, killing and injuring several people.
Tuesday I spend the night in Baoro leaving on Wednesday at 4.00am to go back to Bozoum where I arrive at 7:15, just in time for a coffee, a visit to the construction site of the church, and most of all to preside the Mass in the occasion of the end of School year, with and for pupils and teachers of our Middle school and High school "St. Augustin". Wednesday morning is schedule the Reunion of Board of Education. For about 5 hours we try to evaluate boys and girls of our school. The Third class (equivalent to the Second High) has just undergone the Public School tests. All did pass the tests (and ours students are among the top ten in the entire area!). To the top of each class we assign a scholarship. This year, thanks to CDVM (Club Executives Sales & Marketing) of the Province of Cuneo, we can guarantee the next year free of fees to the most worthy!
Thursday afternoon we close also the Orphans Centre activities "Arc en Ciel". Over 200 children enrolled, to which we guarantee the school, one meal a day, medical care, playing opportunity, education and training to small manual jobs. In the future they will have a great opportunity to build up a small business. Sister Christine, the coordinator, attends yje closing moment organizing dances, games, helping in giving a small gift to each child.
Behind all this, there is a lot of work, but also many people who help giving themselves here, in Italy, in the world. Thank you!

la cappella di St.Antoine

Sr Chistine

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Mother's Day and surroundings

Mother's Day and surroundings
Theoretically May 29 we should celebrate Mother's Day. But for years, in Central Africa, being able to follow the   calendar it’s too often a dream. The reason?  The politicians’ extravagances. Many festivals dates change in order to make easy for the Government Ministries to attend the ceremonies in the Provinces, but in practice the celebration often skips or loses its meaning. Anyhow on Sunday June 5th we wanted to celebrate in our parish the greatness and the beauty of the woman. At the end of the Mass the girls of Aita Kwe (Catholic Action Kids) did perform for them a song, a poem and a dance, offering some simple gifts to the mothers. After the Mass, we had a simple party and dances.
During the week we continue with the works for the extension of our Church. The daily works and different commitments of our Italian friends continue: Mario and his wife Luigina, and Elisabetta, a girl from Milan who will spend a period of time in Central Africa to help out and give a hand.
The doors to provide help are open; there is room for people of good will.

Luigina ed Eleonora

Monday, June 6, 2016

A busy week…..

foglie di Frangipane
feuilles de Frangipanier
A busy week…..
This week it was a very busy one! Sunday morning we reach the end of the catechesis year, and hundreds of adults, youth and children receive the oil of catechumens, which marks the entry in the year of preparation for Baptism.
Also on Sunday the "Legion de Marie", a catholic movement of the Parish, the most numerous and lively, celebrates the promises of some new members. And with them, and other people of the parish, on Tuesday May 31st we  climb the Bozoum hill, on top of which there is a statue of the Virgin Mary. Here we conclude the marian month of May, and asking the Madonna for a blessing on the city of Bozoum and the Country.
On Thursday we organize a “open house" for our school "Isidore Bakanjia": here, last September with the SIRIRI NGOs of Prague, we have begun  an educational experiment among the first elementary classes, with a very participatory and joyful approach (the project It is titled "learn while having fun") and with the introduction of the national language, Sango. Some directors of Catholic and Public schools (from Ndim, Bocaranga, Bossemptele and Baoro) spend time in the morning  in the classroom, and in the afternoon they met discussing and analyzing the new system. They were all amazed because pupils are very cute, know how to write and read, and in a surprising calm behavior.
During this week the works at the construction site for the  extension of our church are progressing well. Monday and Tuesday it's time to demolish the sacristy. Wednesday comes the great Mario Mazzali, and in two days we can assemble and lift off the ground two large beams (9 meters and 300 kg each).This is a big step forward!
Here some small video:

Sr Lydie e Sr Chrisine salgono sul Mont Talo

I maestri a scuola... per imparare
les enseignants apprennent