Thursday 26 March 2015

Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo - The members of Youth for Peace and the embrace of the elder “sorcerers”

In Bukavu, in the western part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Jeunes pour la Paix movement (Youth for Peace), an initiative that Sant’Egidio is carrying out in the high schools of that country, is working to bring about that embrace between different generations for which Pope Francis has been praying: ”I so much would want a Church that
challenges the culture of disposal with the overflowing joy of a new embrace between the young and the old. And this is what I ask for from the Lord, this embrace!” 

A cycle of meetings has recently taken downtown, with conferences, parties, prayers and demonstrations, all inspired by one idea: that of changing the way society looks at the elderly beginning with the younger people, against every prejudice, all forms of violence, for
an intergenerational solidarity, for a more humane and peaceful coexistence.
Too often in fact in Congo, but in many other Sub-Saharan contexts as well, the elderly are thought of as sorcerers and are accused of stealing the life of the younger ones to extend their own. The members of Youth for Peace are convinced they are capable of setting in motion a cultural revolution, a process of change destined to bring about a real and more solid rebirth of the African continent. The growth of this continent can never be solely economic but will have to be founded on the recovery of those humanistic and deep values that are at the heart of every culture. 

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