Africa/DR Congo – Formation and animation for Missionary Childhood educators
“Today, June 21st, the third formation session for the diocesan Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), the animators and educators of the PMS of the ecclesiastical province of Kinshasa and Mbadaka-Bikoro”: this is what Sister Roberta Tremarelli, AMSS, Secretary General of the Pontifical of Missionary Childhood Society writes to Agenzia Fides, who is in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a series of meetings with local ecclesiastical organizations dedicated to formation and missionary animation. Previously, similar formation sessions were held for diocesan Directors and PMS animators in the ecclesiastical province of Bukavu and Lubumbashi (9-11 June) and in that of Kananga (17-19 June).
As Sister Roberta explains to Fides, “the themes of the conferences of each session are the same: the Pontifical Missionary Childhood Society, history, charisma and challenges; the role of the family, school and consecrated persons in the missionary formation of children and young people; Baptism, which confers Christian identity, makes us missionary disciples. In the various sessions there was also a celebration with children, youth and missionary Childhood animators, and the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 was also discussed.
As part of her visit to Congo, the General Secretary of the Pontifical Missionary Childhood Society met the Bishops gathered in Kinshasa on June 13 to visit CENAM (Center for Missionary Animation) in Kinshasa and to lead a meeting of formation for consecrated men and women of the Pedagogical Institute of Kinshasa, 15 June.
The population of the Democratic Republic of Congo, about 82 million inhabitants, is mainly composed of young people.
In addition to food shortages due to widespread poverty, most children do not attend school because of lack of financial support, and are forced to work, often in the mines, for survival. Poverty is also at the origin of the phenomenon of abused and sexually exploited street children, early marriages, as well as delinquency and recruitment in armed militias or banditry. The situation worsens in rural areas and has worsened with refugees from neighboring countries. The Church is therefore faced with a series of challenges that affect children and young people, fortunately there are few who want to go to school and learn to build their future, which must therefore be supported and helped.