Missionaries of Africa
A NewsLetter of JOHN PAUL II JUSTICE AND PEACE CENTRE
November 07. No. 1
DEAR FRIENDS and COLLABORATORS,
Cordial greetings to all from the " Pearl of Africa", flooded these days by rains and filled with CHOGM visitors! Uganda remains always a very hospitable Country.
Thanks for your support and for sharing with us News from your side and activities concerning Justice and Peace (JP).
We want to start sharing regularly with you, our close collaborators, the news and activities from our JOHN PAUL II JUSTICE AND PEACE CENTRE in Uganda.
1. OFFICIAL OPENING OF JPIIJPC.
One year after the five Provincials (BOG )signing their Memorandum of Understanding,
our JPIIJPC is officially open..
"The 10th Nov. 07 will remain a historical day for us", said Arch. Paul Bakyenga. About 130 invited visitors representing the whole Church and peoples of Uganda, attended the Official Opening at St. Augustine's Institute, Nsambya, Kampala.
We started with an animated Eucharist presided by His Em.E.Cardinal Wamala who reminded us that true Peace is not just absence of war but includes Justice and Reconciliation.
Arch. John B.Odama, Chairperson of the UEC Justice and Peace Commission, started by commissioning the five Staff members of JPIIJPC to implement faithfully the objectives of the Centre in the spirit of the Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and the Gospel.
He entrusted to us five symbols: the Compendium of the CST, the Statutes of JPIIJPC, a picture of John Paul II, our inspiration , a burning candle and salt, saying: : "you shall be salt of this earth and light of this world".
Arch. Paul Bakyenga, Chairperson of AMECEA, challenged us all to a deeper commitment to JP so as to build more human, just and compassionate relationships. Are we now more human than a hundred years ago, said Arch.P.Bakyenga .?
This Centre will guide and empower all the peoples of this Country to be more fully Human and Alive.
2. OUR LOGO
The LOGO of JPIIJPC enshrines the deep belief of the Founding members concerning the identity of our Centre.
- THE NAME: John Paul II Justice and Peace Centre.
John Paul II was chosen as a source of inspiration for our Centre for several reasons:
-First J.P.II was an Apostle of deep Faith rooted in Jesus Christ. Christ was for him the only true way to each other.
- Second, J.P.II was a Pope who was deeply focused on the dignity of the human person. Right from his first three Encyclicals on each Person of the B.Trinity, we see his Faith and commitment to promote the true human dignity for all peoples.
-Third, J.P.II was a promoter and defender of Justice and Love as the way to Peace. He spoke of creating a "a new civilization of justice and love".
- THE MAP OF UGANDA:
Justice and Peace, like Faith, Hope and Love must be always contextualized! There is no justice in general! There is only justice for concrete people living in concrete places and circumstances. Our Faith must bring about justice and peace in our daily attitudes, relationships, work, business , education and the whole life. Is our faith doing Justice, Reconciliation and Peace in our Country ?
- TWO PERSONS IN SOLIDARITY
We chose the symbol of two persons sharing food with each other, both giving and receiving in equity, acting in true solidarity.
This is a beautiful symbol and challenge to our way of living.
3. THE STATUTES
You have most probably seen already our Statutes which we sent to you, together with our Brochure of the Centre. They contain what is most relevant to us at this moment: our Vision, Mission, Objectives, Activities and Structures of functioning in the concrete context of Uganda today.
4. RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS
For the last three months the Staff has carried out a serious analysis in three ways:
- Baseline fact survey to find out what is being done, where, how and by whom concerning JP in Uganda. Together with very extensive information we also identified good partners.
" In depth-need analysis, through a Questionnaire given to some 17 resource people in different areas of JP, to know the real needs of people and the root causes of those issues.
- Open Forum analysis, through five Open Forum sessions, where some professionals presented their research and the underlining challenges from the social, economic, legal, political , cultural and media point of view.
The reports of these three analysis are available at the Centre.
Our Centre has also started a systematic research on the trafficking of children in Kampala. The first article will soon be published.
5. STRATEGIC PLAN FOR 2008-2010
Following the above research/analysis, the Staff has drafted our STRATIGIC PLAN for the next three years. This proposal will be discussed be the CONSULTATIVE FORUM on the 24th Nov.07 to make the necessary changes and adjustments.
After the final approval of this Strategic Plan by the BOG on the 11th Dev.07, we shall published this Plan of Action and send it to you all.
The Staff of the Centre participated in the Commonwealth People's Forum taking place in Kampala between the 19th and 22nd Nov. 07.
Some of the workshops attended are:
- Climate change
- Civil society capacity building
- Human Rights and Duties
- Fair Trade and development
- Trade Unions and workers rights and duties
- HIV/AIDS education, prevention and care
- Millennium Development Goals
- Gender issues
- Food security
- Good governance and just distribution of goods.
This Social People Forum was helpful to raise and address some real issues in Uganda, left out by the political leaders. See the letter of the Acholi leaders on the N.Vision of 22.11.07.
Like the World Social Forum, they are saying: another world is possible !
7. AFCAST MEETING IN KAMPALA
The National Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Uganda (UEC) is organizing a workshop, on the 9th Dec.07, for the African Forum for the Catholic Social Teaching (AFCAST) .
AFCAST gathers groups from Eastern and Southern Africa on the theme: The Church in Africa in service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.
The Centre is participating in this important gathering of representatives from East and Southern Africa.
8. RADIO PROGRAMS ON JUSTICE AND PEACE IN ADVENT
Every Sunday of Advent 07, from the 2nd to the 23rd Dec., the Staff of JPIIJPC is presenting one hour program on Radio Maria, from 8,30 to 9,30 pm on the following themes:
- First Sunday: "True Faith doing Justice". "Wake from sleep, stay awake, be prepared and conduct yourselves properly in the day".
- Second Sunday: "The Advent Hope and Human Dignity".
- Third Sunday: "Justice and the liberation for the extremely poor"
- Fourth Sunday: "Making sense of Christmas". Celebrating Christmas in the spirit of economic/social justice and solidarity.
Saying yes to Christ, means daring to be different to bring more Justice and Peace to all people suffering from being marginalized by the powerful and all of us.!
We already wish you a fruitful time of Advent.
The Staff of the JPIIJPC
Box 31853 Kampala
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