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Sunday, July 31, 2016

The wealth of Central Africa

The wealth of Central Africa
Is true that in Central Africa there is not much money, but at least some little certainties there are. Wages, especially for a number of officials and teachers, a few shops, many informal businesses, and the fruits of agricultural work allow the population to have enough to live on. One of the difficulties of the people is to have a safe place to deposit their savings. Often you need to have a small credit for school tuition, or to start a small business.
And for this very reason in 2007 we founded the Bozoum Savings Bank and Credit. At present it is recognized by both the government and by COBAC, the Central African authority who supervises microfinance institutions. The Bank has 5 branches: Bozoum, Bocaranga, Koui, Ndim and Ngaundaye. In addition to the savings service, the Bank grants also loans and provides the possibility to transfer money among branches and, which is great, between Bozoum and the Capital.
Last Saturday the Bozoum headquarters held the General Assembly. The results that have been presented are impressive. Only here in Bozoum there are 2,253 members with an active account. If each account matches one family, it means that there are between 11,000 and 13,000 residents that have an account in our Fund. The reality is that more than half of the population is reached by this service! The total amount of money deposited exceeds 186,000 Euros!  It is such a great job to serve the people, raising with this help the ability to save and create development.
This week we go ahead with the extension works of the church, despite the rain.
On Wednesday I leave toward Bangui, along with a French Carmelite, Fr. Jean Baptiste, who came for a period of training for our youth. Thursday morning we gather together for common prayer and the Mass. It is exciting to see our lovely group of committed youth: there are students of philosophy and theology, novices, postulants and our young seminarians from YolĂ© seminar. There are also our students from Cameroon. At 8.30 am Fr. Jean Baptiste begins his conversation on St. John of the Cross our founder. A St. John of the Cross sentence stands out in the large room: “At the evening of life we shall be judged on love".

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