A Third Annual Magazine for ACN Canada – The Heart of Africa
Montréal, Wednesday, March 31, 2021 – Aid to the Church in Need Canada (ACN) is launching its magazine. At the heart of the magazine are the initiatives of the local Church in the many areas of Africa where unprecedented terrorist attacks are taking place. The Church’s work in support of the local populations is admirable. (acn-canada.org/africa-2021/)
“Africa is making headlines because of the many attacks on civilians by terrorist groups, militias of all kinds and the corruption of numerous governments, among other things,” says Marie-Claude Lalonde, National Director of ACN Canada. “We forget that, in that respect, there are also many initiatives aimed at reconciliation, dialogue and real support for citizens.” An international ACN campaign is currently underway to support all projects that promote this. The magazine Healing the Wounds in Africa would like to publicize some of these reconciliation projects to the people here.
Much psychological and spiritual education is offered to pastoral staff: priests, Brothers and Sisters, lay catechists, etc. “These people are on the front lines when a disaster or terrorist attack occurs, if they themselves are not victims,” says Lalonde. “They have to come to their senses very quickly – to accompany people who have been injured or who have seen a relative die before their eyes,” she says.
“In addition to prayer, which is very powerful for these believers, learning to acknowledge their own trauma and the impact it has on their own lives becomes essential,” she explains. In addition to helping pastoral staff, a unique project to support the general population will be developed in Nigeria, in the diocese of Maiduguri.
Learning to Live Better Together
West Africa has been plagued by an unprecedented wave of terrorist attacks linked to Islamic fundamentalist groups for at least twenty years. “In Nigeria, the situation is getting worse and worse, not to mention countries like Mali and Burkina Faso, where there is a risk that tolerant Islam will be replaced by extremism and an increase in acts of revenge by the victims. I can’t imagine what will happen next,” sighs Mrs. Lalonde.
This is why ACN also intends to support the Institute of Islamic-Christian Formation founded in 2007 by the White Fathers of Africa. There is also the development of a café project where people can socialize and the support of the community of the Fraternité des Servantes du Christ. This community was founded in Niger by Sister Marie Kingbo and has been supported by ACN for several years. “The work of these Sisters, especially with the most destitute women, is extraordinary. They make village chiefs aware of the difficulties faced by their wives and daughters, who are often the first victims of early marriage and domestic violence. They dare to defend the most fundamental human rights in very traditional environments. This is why ACN supports them on a regular basis, and, of course, they are part of this campaign,” explains Ms. Lalonde.
To find out more about this campaign and the projects to be supported, visit the official page at acn-canada.org/africa-2021/.
Or call 1-800-585-6333, ext. 222 to make a donation.