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May, 2008:

Scusate, e il Dialogo?

And the Dialogue?


A shocking news: the yearlong full time academic course in Islamic Studies at Tangaza College of Nairobi has been suspended because of a lack of students. The course started in Rome in 1989 at the prestigious Pontifical Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (PISAI) founded by the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers). The course objective was to give a basic formation for pastoral agents of the church working in Islamic regions. In one year participants learned a substantial knowledge regarding Islam and were prepared for encounter and dialogue.

After noting that the majority of students were from Africa, and after a prolonged evaluation, it was decided in 2000 to transfer the Islamic Studies course to Tangaza College of Nairobi. In the first three years in Nairobi, only two or three students were full time and for the past few years there were none. The teachers—all highly qualified—now offer only elective courses in the school of theology. Even if these elective courses are well attended and appreciated, it is evident that they are unable to prepare individuals for a specific responsibility.

Is this a sign that Christian-Muslim dialogue is still not considered a priority more than 40 years after the promulgation of the Vatican Council II document, Nostra Aetate?

This distressing question seems justified when reading the Lineamenta for the next African Synod. In the printed version circulating in Kenya, there is a single page of text dedicated to Islam and only one question in the final questionnaire. This out of 66 pages. A really paltry preparation for a synod on a continent where Islam has a considerable presence in a good many countries and has an enormous majority in countries such as Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Gambia, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia, Senegal, Somalia, and Sudan.

I spoke with Missionary of Africa Father Paul Hannon concerning this issue. Father Hannon has dedicated his entire life to the encounter with Islam, and, until a few weeks ago, was the Coordinator of the Department of Islamic Studies at Tangaza College. Currently he is preparing to return to a large parish on the outskirts of Khartoum, where he believes he may be able to exercise a ministry more useful to the Christian community and to his Islamic friends.

Why wasn’t the course in Islamic Studies successful at Tangaza? “One reason might be the high cost of living in Nairobi,” said Father Hannon, but, he added immediately: “we need to say, however, that the principal reason is that the encounter with the Islamic World is not a priority for the bishop and religious congregations, especially in places like Kenya where Muslims are a minority. While there are some Muslims, they are not the menacing kind—there is no urgent need to confront ourselves with them. And thus, we lose a great opportunity to develop relationships. In countries like Sudan, where the Church has suffered marginalization and persecution at the hands of the Islamic majority, the Christian community prefers to maintain a certain distance. I understand this reaction, and I certainly don’t judge those who have endured tremendous sufferings, but it seems to me that we must go beyond these incidents. Notwithstanding all this, we need to increase opportunities for encounters and showcase agreements which already exist.”

And yet some dialogue with the Islamic World seems to have started, even if the atmosphere is not very relaxed. After the provocation of Pope Benedict XVI at Ratisbon, there followed the October 2006 Open Letter of 28 professors at the Academy of Amman, and then, there were several high level meetings squeezed into the calendar; the last one was held in Rome. Eight delegates of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization of Teheran met and discussed with the leadership of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on the topic: “Faith and Reason in Christianity and in Islam.” A real “civil dialogue” is slowly emerging, which is quite different from the “clash of ignorance” fed by those on both sides who rely on stereotypes and stock arguments.

According to Father Hannon, we shouldn’t overlook the possibilities of Islamic-Christian collaboration that emerge in daily life. “At a very basic level, before we begin to speak of dialogue,” he sustains, “we need to speak of encounter. First of all, we need to become aware that throughout Africa there are Muslims all around us. We need to ‘see’ their presence, recognize it and promote opportunities for encounters, not necessarily on religious themes, but on topics of common interests, such as, justice and peace, human rights, economic development and social equality. For example, the serious problems in Kenya recently could have become an occasion for common reflection and action. In Kenya there are some open and illuminated Muslims with whom it is possible to meet and begin a fraternal assessment on these themes.”

The Christian-Islamic encounter is potentially easier and more fruitful right here in Africa, where the Islamic community has absorbed often a spirit of tolerance and the capacity to live in harmony with neighbors, which is typical of traditional African cultures. It is enough to bring to mind the Islamic community of Senegal and the Sahel region in general.

Father Hannon speaks enthusiastically about the efforts of his confreres in Tandale, a suburb of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and about the Interdenominational Association of Kenya organized just a few years ago. Also, in Uganda, despite the resistance and misunderstanding of some Muslim leaders, the editorial board of the Ugandan interdenominational magazine, Together, was finally able to convince the members of the Supreme Council of the Uganda that dialogue is not a secret strategy of the Catholic Church to convert Muslims. Of even greater consequence is the experience of dialogue at Hajj Yousif on the periphery of Khartoum along the road to Kassala. It is here in August 2005 following the death of John Garang in a helicopter crash that there was lootings, violence and homicides. Garang was the leader of the fight for the liberation of South Sudan and many believed that Garang’s death was organized by the most intransigent Muslim forces. Nevertheless, though difficult, it was in this parish where authorization was given in 2006 for the first time in Sudan for decades to construct a church.

The theme of the next synod is “The Church at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.” A first elemental reflection on these great themes reveals immediately two possible “movements” in regards Christian-Islamic relations in Africa. First of all, reconciliation between the believers of these two religions must start from acknowledging one another, to look each other in the eye, to  actively discuss divisions, conflicts and pass massacres (where these have taken place, like the one on the coast of Kenya) in order to learn how to look at our common origins and at the one God. The diocesan initiative in Mombasa, Kenya for street children did just that. The street children project had the inspired name: of “Sons of Abraham.”

The other movement would be an activity which would bring the faithful of these two great religions together in service of justice and peace for all people. This is not a dream. An understanding in this field is achievable, if there is reciprocal resolve. As Father Hannon stresses, when he speaks of the progress in the last few years, “it is important to say that where we see abundant fruit, it is because individual Christians [and Muslims] with courageous efforts leapt into action, allowing the Spirit to guide them.”

Returning to the Lineamenta for the synod, we can hope that this painfully inadequate text, even if it is only an initial reflection on the possible encounter and collaboration between Christians and Muslims, may have been substantially improved by the contributions of the African episcopate. Maybe the Instrumentum Laboris, the text which will serve as the basis for synod discussion and whose publication is expected within the next few weeks,will offer a vision better articulated and at the same time may it be more prophetic.

Arrendersi al Male

Leggo in internet le sconsolanti notizie dall’Italia. Ancor piu’ sconsolanti perche’ sono pochi quelli che come don Vinicio Albanesi scrivono “io sto con i cani e gli infedeli”, o chi come don Gino Rigoldi dice semplicemente “il razzismo e’ peccato”. Ma dove sono i vescovi? Non ho trovato una dichiarazione, omelia, pronunciamento. Spero solo che sia perche’ non vengono riportate dai siti che riesco a vedere qui a Nairobi.

In Kenya si e’ riunito la settimana scorsa per la prima volta il megagoverno di coalizione. Quarantadue ministri, incluso quello ”Per la visione del 2030”. Diverse persone indicate dalla voce popolare come i principali responsabili dell’ incitamento alla violenza post elettorale sono in questo gabinetto con posizioni importanti. Il primo grande dibattito e’ stato se si debba o no concedere l’amnistia a chi e’ in prigione accasato di aver perpetrato atti di violenza, che complessivamente secondo le stime ufficiali e conservatrici hanno causato almeno 1,500 morti e 500,000 sfollati, senza contare i danni alle cose. Significherebbe il perpetuarsi del clima di immunita’ che negli anni recenti ha permesso agli uomini politici di commettere azioni criminali senza mai pagarne le conseguenze. Assolutamente immorale. Eppure sembrano tutti d’accordo, mascherandosi con una finta volonta’ di perdono.

In Sudan i “ribelli” del JEM (Justice and Equality Movement”, si autodefiniscono) hanno attaccato Khartoum. I fatti sono cosi confusi che ci si chiede addirittura se l’attacco a Khartoum non sia stato in qualche modo una manovra governativa. Certamente non sono un messa in scena gli scontri intorno ai pozzi petroliferi di Abyei. Le due parti che si sono combattute dal 1983 al 2005, SPLA e l’ala fondamentalista islamica del governo di Khartoum, sono tornate a scontrarsi. La firma della pace in Sudan sembra ormai gia’ un episodio del passato. Stiamo andando irreversibilmente verso un Sud Sudan indipendente e in permanete situazione di tensione e conflitto armato col Nord. E nel Nord la violenza degli scontri in Darfur non accenna a diminuire.

In Uganda la pace fra LRA e governo si allontana sempre piu’, anche se negoziatori eccessivamente ottimisti e alla ricerca finalmente di un successo l’ hanno annunciata come imminente piu’ di una volta. Il mediatore principale e’ il dottor Riek Machar, vicepresidente del Sud Sudan, uno che di pace se ne intende, perche’ di negoziati di pace avviati, firmati e sconfessati piu’ di uno. Altri morti, altri bambini rapiti e brutalizzati, altre vita innocenti violate. Ma a chi interessa? Ormai e’ una storia vecchia che va avanti da oltre vent’anni. I ribelli dovrebbero inventarsi qualcosa di nuovo, di piu’ atroce del solito, se non vogliono cadere nell’oblio, loro e le loro vittime.

In Zimbabwe continua la violenza nata durante il recente scontro elettorale e in preparazione alla nuova tornata. Ormai la lotta si e’ cosi incancrenita che non si riesce piu’ a risalire alle cause. E’ stata l’ innegabile stupidita’ di un regime tanto corrotto quanto dispotico? O sono stati i coloni inglesi e la politica intransigente sostenuta dalla parte piu’ razzista dei mass media britannici?

In Sudafrica, il paese arcobaleno, gli immigrati sono cacciati e uccisi. Ancora una volta i poveri scatenano sui piu’ poveri le frustrazioni e le rabbie che nascono dalle promesse mancate e speranze fallite, dalla poverta’ crescente, dai prezzi del cibo che continuano a crescere a dismisura. Visto che e’ impossibile perdersela coi potenti, e che i potenti controllando l’informazione riescano a far credere che la responsabilita’ sia degli immigrati, il capro espiatorio diventano i piu’ deboli. Cosi, come in Italia si sono inventati i Rom, in Sudafrica gli zimbabwani, in Sudan i darfuriani, in Kenya le streghe.

Alla fine degli anni sessanta, una volta la settimana lasciavo per qualche ora lo studio della teologia a Venegono e andavo ad insegnare disegno tecnico in una scuola delle Acli di Varese. Ricordo l’ assistente delle Acli che usava dire, “Oggi abbiamo di testimoni, non di profeti o di eroi. Tanto meno di quelli che sanno di esserlo. Ancor meno di quelli che credono di esserlo”.

Oggi in Africa, in Italia, dappertutto, abbiamo bisogno di gente vera, buona e semplice che faccia quotidianamente cose vere, intelligenti, semplici e buone. Con costanza. Ammiro sempre piu’ i miei confratelli anziani, quelli che hanno dieci o vent’anni piu’ di me a che continuano a fare semplicemente per amore della gente quello che hanno sempre fatto: stare in mezzo a loro, condividendo il cuore e la fede. Ammiro le nonne africane che si prendono cura dei nipotini perche’ i figli sono morti nell’epidemia di AIDS. Le vedo all’ imbrunire andare con passo determinato a comperare una manciata di fagioli per preparare la cena ai nipoti, con i pochi scellini guadagnati durante il giorno lavando i panni degli altri o vendendo pannocchie di mais abbrustolite. Vedo che quel passo fermo cerca di nascondere la fatica e l’ eta’, ma non si danno per vinte. Sanno di essere loro a fare andare avanti il mondo.

Ieri mattina sono andato a vedere la decina di bambini di strada che si trova nella casetta di prima accoglienza, Ndugu Mdogo, a Kibera. Li trovo che stanno guardando le notizie sulla piccola televisione che ci hanno regalato. Si vedono le vittime emaciate del ciclone di Burma. C’e’ un bambino dal volto smunto, di fianco alla mamma seduta e piangente. Kyalo, che avra’ otto anni e che solo da qualche settimana mangia regolarmente tutti i giorni, mi tira la manica della maglietta per richiamare la mia attenzione. Non dice niente, mi indica lo schermo.

Cosa possiamo fare? Possiamo forse alzare le mani, sventolare bandiera bianca e lasciare che l’ ingiustizia e il male vincano senza neanche piu’ tentare di dar battaglia? Dopo la colazione dico a Kyalo e agli altri che intanto si impegnino a riprendere la scuola, imparino a rispettare gli altri, cerchino di seguire l’insegnamento di Gesu’, e poi loro saranno capaci creare una societa’ piu’ giusta. Vorrei anche dire che dovranno affrontare difficota’ e dolori grandi, ma che comunque non si devono scoraggiare, perche’ vivere cercando di rendere il nostro mondo piu’ umano, buono e giusto e’ comunque il modo piu’ bello per spendere la propria vita. Ma mi fermo, non vorrei caricare sulle loro spalle un peso troppo grande. Hanno bisogno ancora di crescere per capire certe cose e portare certi pesi.


Ho voglia di scrivere, ho tante cose da raccontare, ma troppo spesso non trovo il tempo. Riesco a farlo solo quando qualche amico mi tormenta fino a quando non rispondo alle sollecitazioni.

Nei giorni scorsi a svolgere questa funzione sono stati gli amici di Matera, specialmente quelli dl gruppo di musica tradizionale Terragnora. Quasi tutti loro sono venuti a Nairobi, alcuni piu’ di una volta, e naturalmente hanno subito fatto amicizia con i nostri percussionisti, coristi, danzatori e acrobati dei Nafsi Africa. Lo scorso anno ne hanno invitati alcuni a Matera ed insieme hanno suonato a cantato per ore e ore, finche’ e’ nata una cosa originale, un fusion matero-rirutiano che hanno pensato di offrire ad un pubblico piu’ vasto, con l’ indovinato titolo di MaterAfrica. Nell’ occasione della pubblicazione del CD mi hanno chiesto di scirvere un testo, che riproduco qui sotto, insieme alla copertina del CD. Ho fatto del mio meglio perche’ – pur essenso stonato ed incapace di muovermi a ritmo – capisco che la musica e’ una grandissima forza per costruire comunita’.


Il battere dei tamburi e la voce umana sono gli elementi fondamentali della musica africana tradizionale. Koinonia, che in tutti i campi vuole mantenere vivi i valori della tradizione, ha sempre apprezzato il potenziale di costruzione di pace e di comunità insiti nella musica, ed ha incoraggiato un gruppo di giovani a costituire i Nafsi Africa, “l’Anima dell’Africa”.  E’ un gruppo musicale che ripropone le percussioni, le danze e i giochi comunitari tradizionali; cosi ciò che viene sempre meno eseguito nelle piazze dei villaggi viene riproposto nelle strade di Nairobi, con le inevitabili contaminazioni della modernità, che non vengono percepite come una minaccia, ma come un arricchimento.

La musica tradizionale, pur reinterpretata, resta quello che e’ sempre stata: un momento di incontro, di costruzione di comunità. Ciò che all’ascoltatore superficiale può sembrare il monotono ripetersi di un ritmo sempre uguale, per chi vi partecipa e’ invece un crescendo di comunione ogni volta che una nuova persona entra nel circolo e vi contribuisce cantando, battendo le mani o i tamburi, danzando. Anche i piedi fanno musica.

Un grandissimo missionario comboniano e etnomusicologo di fama mondiale, Filiberto Giorgetti, usava dire che “dopo qualche minuto di percussione dei tamburi, il cuore di tutti i partecipanti in un canto africano batte all’ unisono; tamburi e cuori prendono lo stesso ritmo”. Forse non e’ una verità scientificamente dimostrata, ma esprime bene quanto la musica africana esiga e crei  coinvolgimento e comunità. La musica africana non e’ fatta per essere ascoltata, ma per essere partecipata.

Tanta della musica popolare e tradizionale nel mondo e’ basata sugli stessi principi. Per questo l’incontro fra i Nafsi Africa e i Terragnora e’ stato fecondo. Entrambi i gruppi sono fatti da persone che, pur vivendo in questo tempo, vogliono mantenere vivi i ritmi della tradizione ed entrambi sperimentano le tensioni che ne nascono. Entrambi vivono la loro musica come un momento comunitario e come strumento di costruzione di comunità e solidarietà.



Una Gita in Scozia

Zambia. Sole, verde e i ragazzi di Mthunzi che si preparano all’ inizio del secondo trimestre scolastico. Ci sono venuto domenica mattina, dopo aver partecipato sabato scorso a Nairobi alla giornata dei giovani dedicata alla pace che vi avevo preannunciato. Anche sabato tanto sole e tanta voglia di ricominciare, come come racconta Phillip Emase, giornalista di Koinonia, nell’articolo in inglese che ho postato pochi minuti fa.

Ieri pomeriggio a Mthunzi ho informato i ragazzi che quindici di loro piu’ due educatori sono stati invitati in Scozia dal 29 luglio al 27 agosto per un giro di rappresentazioni. Tanta gioia per i prescelti, un po’ di delusione per gli esclusi. Ma quattro di loro si sono consolati confidandomi subito dopo che appena finiranno la scuola superiore, fra due o tre anni, vogliono andare in seminario… La sera stessa, tutti insieme, prescelti ed esclusi, hanno incominciato a preparare un nuovo spettacolo che combina teatro, danze, mimi, giocoleria, pagliacceria e acrobatica. Ci mancano solo qualche cavallo ed un paio di leoni e poi piu’ che un missionario con un gruppo di ex-bambini di strada potro’ dire di essere direttore di un circo.

Young People Speak out for Peace

A Youth Open Day Forum organized by Africa Peace Point, Koinonia Community, Kutoka Network, RSCK, KCS, Comboni and Consolata Missionaries and MAFRI was held on Saturday, May 3rd, 2008 at the City Council Grounds in Dagoretti, Nairobi. This is an account of the event. By Phillip Emase

“The message we wish to send out is that the vulnerability of Kenya’s young people should not be abused easily by interested groups such as politicians,” Fr. Fred Stringer, a missionary who teaches anthropology at Nairobi’s Tangaza College, remarks after listening to a robust  discussion by the youthful participants, many of whom have come from  various Nairobi slums.

The date is Saturday, May 3, 2008. Fr. Stringer and the several hundred young people are attending a Youth Open Forum at Dagoretti Corner, Nairobi. Organized by various religious, civil society and grassroots organizations, the event seeks to get young Kenyans to speak out with regard to the country’s recent political crisis, where an electoral dispute fuelled ethnic bloodshed that was largely perpetrated by the country’s vulnerable youths.

The day begins early, with young men and women streaming into the venue from as early as 7 A.M. By about 10 o’clock, venue and the adjacent Dagoretti township are teeming with enthusiastic youths donning either black t-shirts with the Swahili word “Amani” (peace), or the more conspicuous white ones emblazoned with a pigeon holding an olive branch over the inscription, “It’s a new dawn”.

Hundreds of young people mill around the main podium as Africa Peace Point Director Michael Ochieng makes his opening remarks. Popular radio presenter Titi Nagwalla then chirks them up, urging them to revel in the pounding music playing from the heavy duty public address system. The youths dance to the music and watch a few select performances to set the mood for the forum’s rallying theme, “Youth United for Peace in Kenya.”

Presently, all activity shifts towards discourse. A number of thematic tents are set up, and candid discussions on various composite issues threatening peace and unity in Kenya’s kick off in earnest.

A shuttle between the various tents makes it clear that Kenya’s young people are in fact acutely aware of the root factor behind ethnic tensions in the country. They desire for lasting peace and a chance to move from the sidelines into the mainstream, which would install them into their rightful position as the guardians of the nation’s future.

The participants at the “Ethnicity Tent” are by far the boldest. They point out that political instigation is to blame for the periodical escalation of ethnic tensions, citing Kenya’s recent post-election violence as a perfect case example.

“We need to ask ourselves this question, is there a nation called Kenya?” moderator Leah Kimathi poses. Various views spring up as the audience strives to carve out the identity of the Kenyan nation. Through consensus, they agree that although Kenya has 42 ethnic communities, all the diverse identities melt into one proud “nation” under the country’s national flag.

At the “Active Non-Violence Tent”, participants are split into two groups: those who believe in total nonviolence versus those who view violence as a necessary intervention in certain situations. Each group is challenged to define and defend its standpoint, and after a spirited debate, the discussion bridges into a recognition of dialogue, justice and tolerance as fundamental ingredients for conflict resolution.

United Nations estimates indicate that over 1,500 Kenyan lives were lost and 300,000 became internal refugees during the country’s recent post election. A “Counselling Tent” at the forum seeks to confront the deep-seated human factors that may have helped fuel this unprecedented spate of violence; young men and women from various ethnic groups sit with their chairs arranged in a ringe, candidly sharing their experiences and tackling issues that local society often elects to sweep under the carpet.

The youngsters discuss derisive tribal stereotypes, ethnic discrimination and even cases of parental opposition to intertribal marriages. It emerges, from the candid exchanges, that the young people generally view ethnic profiling as a carryover burden from their parents’ cultural pasts, and that the young people’s perspectives are largely out of touch with those of their fore bearers.

Could this mean that a new generation of “detribalized” Kenyans is emerging?

“Yes, I think so,” Janet Wabwile, a 19 year old college student from Woodley says, “I believe tribalism will weaken with time given that most of us grew up with people from many other tribes.” Quite an optimistic thought, but she is from urban Nairobi. What of the vast majority of young Kenyans who live in their rural tribal homelands, will they also have this cosmopolitan outlook? Or will they be the proverbial wet blankets that will prevent intertribal harmony from becoming a reality?

Moses Moreku, a young South African studying counseling in Nairobi, points at a handful of counselors seated separately behind the main tent. Each counselor is attending to one young man or woman.

“They are counseling perpetrators and direct victims of the violence who prefer to receive personalized counseling,” he explains before darting off to continue with his role as one of the moderators in the group therapy session.

In the “Good Neighborliness Tent”, discussants seek to understand how people got to the point of persecuting neighbors and friends they have lived with for years, suddenly ruling that they are from the “wrong tribe”, burning their houses, shedding their blood and relegating them to a squalid life of uncertainty in makeshift displacement camps.

Young Kenyans in the “Youth as a pillar for Development Tent” focus their discussion on ways in which they can fight the hopelessness that so commonly afflicts the youth in Kenya, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds. A pervasive inability to meet basic human needs often breeds crime, violence and even prostitution as these vulnerable youths seek to extricate themselves from the smothering web of desperation and self hatred. 

Joseph Thuo aptly defines the young people’s predicament. “It is not that we are bad people,” the young man from the Kibera slum says, “It is the harsh situation often leads us into unlawful activities, and periodically, vice becomes an integral part of our survival.”

His friend Nicholas Otieno agrees. “Our difficult harden us, our desperation makes it easy for politicians to use us for their dirty work,” Otieno adds. It is interesting to note that Thuo and Otieno are from two tribes, Kikuyu and Luo, whose rivalry was the centerpiece of Kenya’s recent post election violence. They say they are best friends, having grown up together. Watching the two young men jokingly taunt each with stereotypical depictions of their respective tribes, one question comes to mind – will these tribal stereotypes they are laughing about one day obliterate their friendship and make them to hold machetes aloft “in defense of the tribe?”

The thematic sessions wind up and once again, entertainment takes centre stage. The Eagle Dancers enthrall the crowd with their titillating gyrations; the Koinonia children’s choir sings a song admonishing tribalism and later on, the crowd gets onto its feet to dance to a ragga-flavoured rap song performed by 14-year-old Raphael Pizarro, a resident child under rehabilitation at Koinonia’s Kivuli Centre.

The KU Comedians duo from Kenyatta University- comedians duo use “mchongoano” – a common game in Kenya primary schools where boys jokingly deride each other for fun – to chastise Kenyan politicians for allowing their political disagreements to end up in violence between their supporters.

Shades Classic, Kayamba Africa and Zindua, amongst other groups, keep the crowd entertained. At one corner of the forum grounds, tens of youths are voluntarily donating blood in response to an initiative in which Hope International has mobilized blood donations for the Ministry of Health’s national blood bank.

The day’s crowning moment finally comes, and every participant is given a small piece of paper to write any action, misdeed or thought they may have committed that could qualify as a threat to peace.  The whole crowd then assembles at the open field in the middle of the forum grounds, all holding hands to symbolize unity and togetherness. Two big circles are then formed, with children forming the inner circle while the older attendees make the outer circle.

Everyone is asked to fold their small piece of paper, and without disclosing the content to anyone else, throw it into a small bonfire lit at the centre of the double circle to symbolize total forgiveness of past ethnic hostilities and herald the beginning of a new dawn through healing and reconciliation.

The young people bow their heads together, still holding hands, in a prayer for peace in Kenya. The words of St Francis’ prayer sum up the message and spirit of the day:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;

Where there is hatred, let me sow love….


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