Training on the safeguarding of minors and persons in situations of vulnerability, Kigali, 10th day

Our last day of training was very practical. In the morning, we took time with Stéphane Joulain to do a case study of how to deal with possible abuse cases. A time of group work allowed us to share on the ways we understand possible situations of abuse.

Subsequently, Lowrent Kamwaza presented how to elaborate a strategic plan. Inspired by his strategic plan as Safeguarding coordinator of the Society, he recommended each and everyone of us to work on our strategic plan of sector/province to go back with concrete actions to be implemented in our safeguarding ministry.

We concluded this training session with recommendations. Those to be presented to the General Council and provincials, some to be carried by the safeguarding delegates and others to be proposed to our different sectors/provinces. We committed ourselves in a final statement (Kigali Statement) to implement this ministry of safeguarding.

Safeguarding is our commitment

By: Alex Manda, Clément Kpatcha, Guy Sawadogo, Lowrent Kamwaza (News Team)

Training on the safeguarding of minors and persons in situations of vulnerability, Kigali, 9th day

On this 9th day of our formation, our confrere Prosper Harelimana, JPIC-ED Coordinator of the Society, presented to us the theme of “Safeguarding as a matter of Justice and Peace“. He showed us that in many African cultures, a child must be protected and cherished by his or her parents and those around him or her. Unfortunately, children can be abused under the pretext of cultural values. For this, we, missionaries, must be aware that children are human beings with the same dignity, protected by the human rights, and not objects. It is necessary to find a balance between what their education and duties entail and the acts of abuse they may suffer, such as sexual assault. The ministry of Safeguarding implies social fairness. To deepen this subject, we took the time to work in groups by provinces. 

In the afternoon, Brother Fabien Bulaimu, a member of the Congregation of the Marist Brothers, gave a conference on the need to prevent child abuse in our pastoral contexts. He addressed it mainly in the context of initial and on-going formation. Safeguarding is an integral part of our commitment to pastoral and formative ministry.

Safeguarding is our commitment

By: Alex Manda, Clément Kpatcha, Guy Sawadogo, Lowrent Kamwaza (News Team)

Training on the safeguarding of minors and persons in situations of vulnerability, Kigali, 8th day

We had two speakers for the 8th day of our training session. In the morning, we welcomed the Reverend Father Romuald Uzabumwana, a member of the Pallotine Fathers. He is a psychologist and lectures at the Institute of Anthropology of the Gregorian Pontifical University. He addressed the theme “Safeguarding and healthy boundaries in relational and pastoral contexts”. Fr Romuald presented the different factors of pastoral boundaries that exist and insisted on the importance of cultivating appropriate and healthy relationships while administering the people of God. He also emphasizes that, for us pastoral agents, pastoral supervision is the key to our ministry in order to reduce the risks of abuse. 

In the second session, our confrere Lowrent Kamwaza gave a presentation on the skills needed to conceive relevant safeguarding training sessions/workshops for different target groups. He stressed the need to consider a number of key issues and elements for a workshop. A sound workshop should be participant-oriented with an approach that ignites active participation and aims at positive results.  To practice, we worked in groups by provinces to craft sample training sessions for different audiences of our provinces.

Safeguarding is our commitment

By: Alex Manda, Clément Kpatcha, Guy Sawadogo, Lowrent Kamwaza (News Team)

Training on the safeguarding of minors and persons in situations of vulnerability, Kigali, 5th day

The fifth day of our training session marked the conclusion of the first week of this learning program on safeguarding. This day was nourished by two interventions by our confreres namely Wroblewski Jacek and Kaburame Jean-Claude.

In the first session, Kaburame Jean-Claude gave a presentation on the importance of integrating safeguarding in our formation houses and communities. He highlighted that safeguarding has to be part and parcel of our community projects. This will ensure the smooth process of creating safe environments in our ministry for minors and those in situations of vulnerability.

At the second session, Wroblewski Jacek gave a comprehensive presentation on how we can effectively do continuous risk assessments in our areas of mission to prevent abuse from taking place. Safeguarding also entails enhancing protective measures in our missions to protect minors and persons in situation of vulnerability from any harm and abuse.

The day was concluded with a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

By: Alex Manda, Clément Kpatcha, Guy Sawadogo, Lowrent Kamwaza (News Team)

Training on the safeguarding of minors and persons in situations of vulnerability, Kigali, 4th day

For our fourth day of training, we had two speakers : our confrère William Turnbull and Mrs. Augusta Muthigani from Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

In the morning, William Turnbull explained to us how to create and operate a commission for the protection of minors and people in vulnerable situations in our respective sectors. He stressed the importance of the role of safeguarding delegate, while inviting us to collaborate with other structures that work in the same field of safeguarding. At the end of the morning, we had a time of sharing in small groups to deepen our knowledge of the Safeguarding Policy on the Prevention of Abuse and the Protection of Minors and Persons in Situation of Vulnerability of the Society (2022 version).

In the afternoon, Mrs. Muthigani elucidated the role of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and how to implement the Memorare Initiative of the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

By: Alex Manda, Clément Kpatcha, Guy Sawadogo, Lowrent Kamwaza (News Team)

Training on the safeguarding of minors and persons in situations of vulnerability, Kigali, 3rd day

This third day of our training session was nourished by the interventions of our confreres Lowrent Kamwaza and Stéphane Joulain.

In the first session, Lowrent helped us to deepen our understanding of the different forms of abuse and some key terms used in the Ministry of Safeguarding of Minors and Persons in Vulnerable Situations. As for Stéphane, he presented the consequences of abuse on victims and the indicators of possible abuse.

At the second session, Lowrent elaborated on some essential tools necessary to create a consistent culture of safeguarding. To conclude the day, Stéphane artuculated the historical background of the development of the Society’s safeguarding policity to the latest version of 2022.

By: Alex Manda, Clément Kpatcha, Guy Sawadogo, Lowrent Kamwaza (News Team)

Training on the safeguarding of minors and persons in situations of vulnerability, Kigali, 2nd day

This second day of our training session was marked by two interventions. In the morning, we welcomed Dr. Angela Rinaldi, professor at the Institute of Anthropology of the Pontifical Gregorian University. She articulated the relationship that exists between Safeguarding and The Right Use of Power in Pastoral Ministry. She underpined that power is a gift for good to be exercised in a responsible way by respecting other people’s dignity.

In the afternoon, while reminding us that we are the “guardians of our brothers” (Genesis 4:9), our confrere Peter Mateso situated the ministry of safeguarding in the historical context of our Society and in the vision of our founder Cardinal Charles Lavigerie. From the outset, the Society has been sensitive and strived to commit itself to this mission of protection of minors and vulnerable persons.

We ended the day with the sharing and listening to the experiences of our confreres.

Safeguarding is our commitment.

By: Alex Manda, Clément Kpatcha, Guy Sawadogo, Lowrent Kamwaza (News Team)

Training on the safeguarding of minors and persons in situations of vulnerability, 17th June 2024

Today we have started the session on the safeguarding of minors and persons in situations in vulnerability, at the Lavigerie Missionary Center, in Kigali (Rwanda). This worshop is organized by the General Council of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa. Twenty-five confreres from all over the world are taking part in this training.

The session began with the eucharistic celebration presided over by the provincial of the province of Central Africa, Father Arsène Kapya. Entrusting the session to the Holy Spirit, he exhorted us during his homily to take care of the smallest, the weakest and the vulnerable (referring to the experience of the poor Naboth before the mighty Acab and his wife Jezebel in 1 Kings 21:1-16). He concluded by urging us to make our environment safe and healthy for everyone.

The opening of the session was marked by the welcoming remarks of the Superior General, Fr. Stanley Lubungo. In his speech, he called the confreres to take this time of training at heart, by appropriating the policy of the Society for Safeguarding. Following the Superior General, the first assistant, Fr. Francis Bomansaan (appointed bishop of the diocese of Wa in Ghana) insisted on the integrity without which our mission is meaningless.  

In launching the session, the Society’s Coordinator for Integrity in Ministry, Fr. Lowrent Kamwaza, situated the theme in the broader context of the universal mission of the Church’s. The rest of this first day was devoted to rich sharing and listening to each other’s experiences in their respective missions.

By: Alex Manda, Clément Kpatcha, Guy Sawadogo, Lowrent Kamwaza (News Team)