Reflections of African SNDs on Our Experiences in Nairobi

World Forum on Theology and Liberation and World Social Forum
January 2007

groupWe are very grateful to Notre Dame for giving us the opportunity to participate in both the World Forum on Theology and Liberation and the World Social Forum. We have been enriched by the experience and are challenged to return home and promote Justice and Peace issues in a responsible way. We invite everyone in Notre Dame to join us in “Making Another (better) World Possible.

Srs. Isabelle Izika Tsamba and Marie Therese Mbongi (Congo)
Sr. Beatrice Auma (Kenya)
Srs. Eucharia Madueke and Rosita Iwuanyanwa (Nigeria)
Srs. Elizabeth Chinamo and Melta Thaka (ZimSa)
Sr. Maura Browne (Justice and Peace Coordinator)

Justice and Peace Reflection on our experiences

  • Large number of people working together made us feel that we are not alone in creating a better world
  • Varieties of different viewpoints
  • Eagerness to learn of the real situation from all the participants
  • Unity in Diversity
  • Freedom to be free – Liberated
  • People came from all continents
  • Focused on Africa in a positive way
  • People opposed Empire and George Bush
  • Everyone was equal
  • Everything was centered on LIFE
  • Human Rights is the Foundation of Development
  • Noticed the apparent lack of support of local authorities and media for WSF and local church for World Forum on Theology and Liberation
  • World Forum on Theology and Liberation and the World Social Forum were both well planned
  • Church was very supportive of the World Social Forum
  • Ability to adjust to unexpected and changing circumstances
  • We were comfortable in having Sr. Maura with us during the two forums
  • Communication before arrival of two forums was good

What we want to do when we go back to our own countries

  • Study the Constitution of our country, because we need to educate ourselves in order to practice Justice and Peace
  • Educate ourselves to know the laws of our countries and the Church
  • We also need to study Human Rights law. (Maura will send each Sister a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Declaration of Human and Peoples’ Rights plus the Earth Charter.)
  • As we study the above we need to include them in our prayer
  • To “Make Another Possible World”, we need to work together and with the whole Notre Dame World.
  • In light of our Justice and Peace commitment to follow “I have come that you may have Life and have it to the full”, the new possible world must be life-giving. We realize that change starts with us and grows to cover the whole world. Therefore we will work to do the following:
    • Another me is possible
    • Another community is possible
    • Another Notre Dame is possible
    • Another Church is possible
    • Another world is then possible.
  • To make this happen we need to educate ourselves in order to know what to change to make another world possible and how to do it.

How are we going to do the above?

  • Give greater attention to Article 17 of our Constitutions as a basis for building another possible world
  • Understand what Justice and Peace means
  • Share our experiences of the World Forum on Theology and Liberation and the World Social Forum with our own provinces.
  • Encourage Sisters to attend local Social Forum in our own countries. Congo in June, USA in July and other countries still to be determined.
  • Charitas Internationalis is very much involved in the World Social Forum and has good material on their website. It would be good to check with local Charitas office for dates and places of Local Social Forums.
  • Include in our budgets money for Justice and Peace meetings
  • Have in each country a named Justice and Peace Coordinator or Animator.

Formation of an SND African Justice and Peace Network

  • It would be helpful of we could share with each other as a network once we return to our own countries
  • In order to do this a few things would help:
    • Better internet access
    • Help with translation
    • Training in Technology
  • We did agree to report to each other as needed
  • We also agreed to check with Charitas and Justice and Peace Offices in our countries.

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