Abidjan (Ivory Coast) Mother of God Province of West Africa (AFO), in this lockdown period for the Covid-19 pandemic, accepted the invitation of the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Yvonne Reungoat, and of the Youth Ministry Sector, to reach out to young people in their families.
Along these lines, the Provincial, Sister Yolande Kikange encouraged the Communities to plan and implement initiatives for the young people of the Professional Centers, Schools, and Family Homes.
As a first mission, the FMA undertake to pray for the pandemic situation, especially for children and young people, bringing their intentions into community prayer, adoration, and celebration of the Eucharist.
The Councilors of Pastoral Care, Sister Dieudonne Jean Louis; of Formation, Sister Clémentine Têtê; and of Communication, Sister Pascaline Affognon, are coordinating small gestures of hope made by the Communities.
At Bamako (Mali) the FMA of Bl. Eusebia Palomino Community proposed to the girls of the Family Home a different program, which combines study and manual activity with the cultivation of the vegetable garden.
Vegetable cultivation and breeding are also practiced in St. Teresa of Duékoué Community (Ivory Coast). In addition, the sisters involved in pastoral work make short videos on Sunday’s Word of God aimed at young people.
In the family homes, the children and young people reorganized their days with various activities: play, study, vegetable garden, various manual work, manufacture of masks for domestic use, prayer of the rosary and, every Sunday, the celebration of the suitable Word of God to them.
In Cotonou (Benin), the Association that works with the FMA the Bl. Laura Vicuña Community to accompany the young people of the Family Home, continues its work online.
In Lomé (Togo), the good morning words ‘Mot du matin’ are sent to the young people three times a week, according to the pastoral program developed at the beginning of the year. This material is also sent to teachers. The challenges remain due to the instability of the connection and the lack of technological means for some students.
In Mary Help of Christians International Novitiate in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), lessons were not interrupted. The formation community, in collaboration with the Salesians of Don Bosco, maintained the courses and various activities including the manufacture of rosaries, notes, and the updating of the Facebook page of the Novitiate. Every week, they prepare a poster with a word of hope to be displayed outside the house for young people passing by and the people of the neighborhood.
A poster a day
The Communication Team, composed of Sister Pascaline Affognon, Sister Theda De La Rosa, and other FMA, created the project ‘One poster a day’: every day a poster is made with the words of the Gospel, of Mother Mazzarello, or drawn from the Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit of Pope Francis. This material is sent to all the FMA so that they may reach young people, friends, and collaborators. Under each poster, there is the Province logo and the phrase: ‘Jeune, nous pensons à toi!’ (Youth, we are thinking of you!). The posters are in French and English, the languages of the countries present in the Province.