AIC/JMV Partnership in Cameroon
Started in February 2012, the partnership between AIC Cameroon and the Vincentian Marian Youth is going well, even if the distance between the different national councils makes it difficult to meet to discuss the terms of the partnership.
In 1830 the Virgin appeared to Catherine Labouré, a Daughter of Charity, and asked her to create a Marian association to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds a human and Christian education in accordance with the Marian spirit. This is how the Vincentian Marian Youth movement was born. In Cameroon JMV collaborates with AIC; AIC participates in training sessions and meetings and makes gifts-in-kind so that these meetings run smoothly, especially in the west of the country. The partnership is also present through joint services undertaken among those living in poverty and missionary journeys. It responds to the Vincentian Family’s desire that the different branches work together to create synergies, while each keeps its unique features, because as the African proverb says, “a single hand cannot tie up a bundle of wood”.
AIC Madagascar: 25th anniversary
AIC Madagascar has just celebrated the 25 years of existence “ Last Saturday was a GREAT DAY for us ,AIC volunteers from Madagascar , 34 volunteers from the 14 groups werepresent , very happy to share this JOY with us; As our Bishop said : it’s the beginningof many other greater actions toward the poorest ones and the medal wehave just received is in fact a” cross” because the task is heavy and only theHOLY SPIRIT will help us”.
Keynote of the seminar:
Change the world...women can. African women...actresses for a change
New photo galery
During those four days (13-18 July 2009), the AIC volunteers coming from Madagascar, Tchad, RDC, Congo Brazzaville, Nigeria and Cameroon (a total of 40 delegates) took part on the works based on the systemic change.
Maybe a new word, maybe not! What one should remember from that new approach, is the process used by the trainers, a participative process which brought each participant to get involved in the definition of the systemic change, in its interpretation, and in its integration into our different activities on the field. In a question/answer play, works in groups or role-playing, the volunteers as well as the trainers tried, starting from examples of activities on the African field, to analyse the elements of the system, the relations existing between them as well as the mental blocks, the structures of the system and the place of the African woman which is an essential element in the system.
What we can say is that the system is made of various elements; those elements being inter-related, a small change in one of the relations can get to a change in the whole system, and we can also say that the system is bigger than the total of the elements that go into it.
Therefore, if we want to change the system, we need to start changing ourselves before changing other people. We do not need to change what we do but “how we do” and to look towards the coming time, the future.
In view of its importance, this African seminar, the first one on the African continent, has the merit not to bring a definitive solution to the AIC problems and to the difficulties encountered on the field, but to allow the participants to have a critical view on the way we are acting, to question our certainty on the process we generally use in our activities, in our relations with the beneficiaries and with the links of the AIC chain.
To end, the African AIC network, already operating for several years, has been reinforced and stimulated, it is now stronger to act more.
Responsible for the North Region
Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of AIC Madagascar in Manakara
This Sunday was Thanksgiving Day for all the volunteers in Madagascar.
Together with the parishioners of St Vincent de Paul Church, volunteers from Manakara and Vohipeno celebrated this jubilee with Monsignor Ramaroson Benjamin, the Bishop of the Diocese, and the regional chaplains. It was a joyful Mass, shared also with beneficiaries, mothers and all the children from the home.
There was a celebratory lunch for the guests, in particular those in charge of the various branches of the Vincentian Family, as well as benefactors from the town, project partners and others who contribute. As our Bishop said, the twenty years which have passed are just a step towards a new future which will require even more effort and courage from us, because nothing is easy when you are helping the poorest of the poor.
With faith in Providence, our actions will be even more effective.
« The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor … » Luke
Some figures :
| 1988=>15 street children,
one group, 4 volunteers
| 2008=>5000 children now in school,
15 groups, 130 volunteers
Manakara 30 March 2009
From Traditional weaving to the watercress culture
In this country that offers a warm welcome, a new group, recently recognized by AIC, developed local well-organised teams where the activities run smoothly. As evidence, hundreds of women today benefit from multiple projects, which are as varied as they are effective. Those with nimble fingers give a new lease of life to a traditional culture, which was being lost, the art of weaving. Others create bracelets and necklaces. Some women, who were taught hairstyling by a volunteer, operate a hairdressing salon. Other than traditional farming, which includes rice, manioc, date and palm oil, an original project was set up which was to cultivate watercress. It can appear incongruous in Africa but this plant is sold at a very high price to the tourist hotels and the other places. All these projects have a remarkable common point. Production with sale, great freedom is left to the volunteers in their choice of management: purchase of material, taking orders, publicity. It is no longer made up of passive beneficiaries but women who have taken in hand their own small company. Among these initiatives undertaken thanks to a micro-credit, here is one, so easy and yet brilliant:
To finance her medical studies at University a young woman set herself up at the market with two mobile phones bought with a loan, she charged people who did not possess a mobile phone to make calls with her phones