9 Mar 2016 • EAB PRESS
Reconciliation, a Way of Healing
During his visit at the beginning of March the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby met with the President of Burundi, Peter Nkurunziza. After an audience held in Kayanza in the northern part of Burundi, the Archbishop said that they had had an honest and fruitful discussion. It was an opportunity for Archbishop Justin to talk about the necessity for reconciliation for the people of Burundi.
Speaking to national and international journalists, Archbishop Justin said that the situation in Burundi is serious and there needs to be a real commitment to reconciliation. He stressed that reconciliation doesn’t mean the absence of disagreement, but involves forgiveness and inclusive dialogue. That dialogue must include women and children since they make up the majority of victims of the crisis.
Archbishop Justin also expressed concern about the critical economic situation and said that Burundi needs to be supported. “When I visited some parts of Bujumbura and up country, I saw how people are facing the challenge of poverty”, said Archbishop Justin. He said that he will contact people who might be able to contribute to the relief of the current situation in Burundi.
Ecumenical Service for Peace in Burundi
Christians from different denomination gathered at Holy Trinity Cathedral for an ecumenical service for peace in Burundi.
The Anglican Church hosted the service and was honored to welcome a delegation led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, one from the World Council of Churches (WCC) and another from the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).
The WCC General Secretary Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit said that the purpose of the visit was to express solidarity with the Church in Burundi and to encourage the efforts of those who are seeking and working for sustainable peace in the country.
In his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury mentioned that Christians are constantly facing challenges and crises that test their faith. Speaking about the present situation in Burundi Archbishop Justin said that Christians need to plant a seed of love in their hearts that is nurtured until it bears the fruit of reconciliation with others.
After the service, the delegations met with members of the Government, members of political parties and religious leaders.
Learning Life Skills in Rumonge and Nyanza-Lac
Since January young people who have been trained in life skills have been sharing their knowledge within their communities and especially with students. Several meetings have been organized to help young people understand how they can face the challenges in their lives.
Generating incomes to fight against poverty, fighting against HIV/AIDS, discouraging early pregnancy, commitment to peace building, and promoting hygiene and sanitation were the main subjects they focused on.
More than 10,000 young people have been reached in Rumonge and Nyanza-Lac with the impact already visible to churches, schools and households as stories have been shared about changed behavior.
Many young people, especially students have been voluntarily tested for HIV. Hygiene has become a priority in households that were visited. It has been noticed in Nyanza-Lac that the number of students giving up their studies has decreased since the end of last year when the training started.
International Women’s Day
Mothers' Union joined other partners to celebrate International Women's Day. The ceremonies took place in Bubanza Province.
Women trained in the literacy program by the Mothers' Union Department in the Diocese of Bujumbura took part in the procession.