Africa: War and Peace

Africa, the world?s most pristine continent, is today ridden with conflicts and torn apart by wars Keeping in mind the cycles of violence that mar this beautiful land and in an attempt to oppose the growing acceptance of the ?culture of death?, Jesuits have chosen Peace and Conflict-Resolution as the theme of a three-day international conference they plan to host in April 2005 after Easter, probably in Nairobi. It will be convened by JESAM, the Conference of Provincials of the Africa and Madagascar Assistancy, and participants will include JESAM Major Superiors, and representatives from all the apostolic sectors of the Assistancy such as the social apostolate, ministries commission, and vocation and formation commissions. The aim is to have 30 participants, 25 from Africa and 5 from other peace building and reconciliation centres around the world. Possible areas for papers are: how wars and conflicts affect development in Africa; main dimensions of peace-building initiatives in Africa; positive experiences that promote peace and prevent conflicts; how Churches, and Jesuit centres (social, educational and pastoral ) contribute to the process; and other relevant issues. The steering committee comprises Fr Valerian Shirima SJ, JESAM Moderator; Fr Antoine Berilengar SJ (Assitancy Coordinator of the Social Apostolate); Fr Ferdinand Muhigirwa SJ (Provincial Delegate for the Social Apostolate in Central Africa and Director of CEPAS, the Kinshasa based Centre for Social Action), with Fr Elias Omondi SJ as Secretary. Finally, and very importantly, money matters. As Fr Berilengar reminds us, ?the main unknown factor is now to get money for this first and important meeting not only for the Society in Africa but for other Jesuits working in this field. So any help is important?. [HL40601] Fr Antoine Berilengar SJ, Coordinator of the Social Apostolate for Africa and Madagascar, dberilengar@yahoo.fr