Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Greetings from the participants of the Solidarity and Mission (SOMI) training, Yaoundé. We were 25 participants comprised of Claretian Laity and Religious, from the Claretian Major Organisms and missions in Africa (Cameroon, Charles Lwanga, Congo, East Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Mother of Africa, Padre Xifré, West Nigeria). The training was organized in the Anton Probst Claretian Novitiate House, Ekali , Cameroon, from June 10 to 14, 2019, by the General SOMI team. As we are aware, SOMI is a new dynamism in the Congregation constituted of General Secretariat of JPIC (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation), Claretian presence at the United Nations (UN) and the General Mission Procure.
The purpose of the training was to strengthen the capacity of Claretian organisms to promote justice, peace, sustainable development, and to establish a workable SOMI network at local, regional and global levels. To achieve this goal, inputs were provided on the current realities of Africa, the environmental threats faced by the globe, our commitment to JPIC and its spirituality, the functioning of UN System and its Instruments, SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and their incorporation into our life and apostolates, and the new design and implementation of projects.
Our convictions: We feel the urgency to improve the living conditions of people as mandated by the Gospel. In a context of the crises of, collective belonging to African culture and weakening of democratic institutions, we recognize the rise of violence and the emergence of the new marginalized in Africa. In addition, the environmental degradation has serious impact on the vulnerable population in the region. Being called by the liberating mission of Jesus and animated by the passion for JPIC, we want to raise structural questions, and seek solutions having Right Based Approach (RBA) and Sustainable Development. To sustain in this commitment, we require the contemplative gaze of reality of the suffering around and to develop mystic action after the model of our Founder.
Priorities of SOMI-ACLA: To achieve these aspirations, we have identified two priorities that will guide our action as SOMI of Claretians in Africa (ACLA): the promotion of PEACE-RECONCILIATION and the safeguarding of the ENVIRONMENT. On the one hand, as missionaries present in the context of armed and interethnic conflicts and structural violence, we shall work for peace and reconciliation as a privileged means of witness and proclamation of the Gospel. On the other hand, we encounter especially the marginalized becoming victims of environmental degradation which calls for strategic cum synergic intervention towards the preservation of the biosphere.
Proposals for organizations:
- We shall constitute at the level of ACLA, a Coordination Team, comprised of two Claretians and a lay Claretian. This shall be created by ACLA Council of Major Organisms.
- There shall be a SOMI team at the level of each Major Organism.
- Let there be a SOMI team or a representative at the level of community/ parish/school/institution/ formation house.
- We shall arrange in each Major Organism an office for Mission Procure with necessary materials for the effective performance of the office.
- We shall revise our apostolates in the light of Right Based Approach (RBA) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- We shall prioritize projects incorporating the SDGs and the cure of the structural problems. In other words, we shall avoid the realization of isolated projects.
At the end of the training, we are happy to share with you the fruits of a work of reflection, learning and dialogue that renewed our passion for the Kingdom of God and His justice. We greet you by wishing you peace and unity in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Participants of the Regional Meeting of SOMI, Yaoundé, Cameroon. June 14, 2019.