This is an inspirational month for Christians Aware.
It was thirty years ago on August 29th, 1989 that we were registered as
a charitable company.
In 1989 we made one of our many visits over the years to the Diocese of
Mount Kenya South. The visit was organised by Timothy Ranji, who is the
bishop of the diocese, until he retires in December this year, after which we
hope to see more of him. In 1989 we planted trees as part of the Kenya
Greenbelt Movement, we stayed in family homes and also visited the rift
valley. We have just completed our 2019 summer school. The title for the
school was ‘Dignity, Peace, Well - Being through Sustainable Goals.’ It was
particularly special that two members of the summer school came from the
Diocese of Mount Kenya South. We enjoyed meeting Geoffrey Mungai,
Provost of Kiambu, and Paul Mpishi a parish priest. Paul is a member of the
Maasai people and his home village is in the beautiful area which lies between
Ngong and the Tanzanian border. A visit was made to Paul’s home area in
1992, but we didn’t know him then. Hopefully another visit will be made
soon. Geoffrey and Paul gave a presentation at summer school this year
when they tackled some of the difficulties surrounding poverty and its
alleviation in Kenya. The population in Kenya in 2018 was 51, 368, 732.
At summer school we learnt that 75% of the people are farmers, 44 million
people are poor and 14.2 million people are extremely poor. This is partly
due to failed rains in 2016 and 2017 and 2019. The Church is working at
health and education.
Another visit made in 1989 was to Barbados and a member of the group
wrote, ‘We were given a thorough introduction to the life of the church and to
the people of the island. We spent Holy Week and Easter in St. Christopher’s
parish and we learnt about relief and development work throughout the
Caribbean.’ Our host in 1989, William Dixon, has been in touch with us this
year, and would like another group to visit Barbados in 2020 or 2021.
Summer school 2019 faced participants with many challenges. The
achievement of dignity, peace and well-being for all the people of the earth is
no easy task, but is being tackled by many countries; and as individuals,
members of churches and Christians Aware we can all play our part.
Suggestions of what can be done were made, including more informative
leaflets and study guides, which we will be working on. A full report of the
summer school will be included in the Autumn magazine. The magazine
is received by all members so If you are not a member do contact the
office and arrange to join.
One contributor to the summer school was Mike Capel, who gave a history of
our link with Zambia, which has continued since our first visit in 2001. There
have been many visits and the last one was in May this year. Many projects
have been tackled including wells, hospital equipment, houses, and perhaps
most important of all, toilets. Summer school members discussed toilets, and
the need for toilet twinning to give many more people the safe and healthy
toilet they currently lack.
In 1989 the summer school title was ‘Listening to Refugees.’ We had
presentations from all over the world. We have continued to listen to refugees
and to produce prayers, books and resources, the latest being the refugee
leaflet for prayer and action which is available from the office.
In 1989 we had many more study groups than we have in 2019, and it would
be good if members could offer to start and run a group focusing on an
issue they are passionate about. Our groups in 1989 included the Middle
East, India, South Africa & Namibia, Eastern European Issues, European
Consciousness, Caribbean issues, Multi-faith dialogue and women’s issues.
There are many challenges as we approach our 31st year and we look forward
Flyers for newly published books from Christians Aware "Just Food:
Food and Farming for a Sustainable Future", and "Rosa" by Susi
Bechhofer, can be viewed via the buttons below.
2 Saxby Street, Leicester LE2 0ND,
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