Africa. On 14 June 2024, as part of the process of consolidating the communication network of the CIAM Inter-Provincial Conference, the Communications Coordinators of Africa and Madagascar had an online meeting with Sister Marcia Koffermann, of the Brazilian Province Our Lady Aparecida (BAP), coordinator from 2018 to 2023 of ECOSAM, the Social Communications Team of the Americas.

Each Coordinator gave a brief presentation of the reality of her own Province/Pre-province, regarding the years of presence in African Countries, the numbers of Sisters and young people in formation, ongoing initiatives, resources, and challenges. Almost all the realities are “young”, with about 40 years of presence, a high number and growing of young people in formation, and various works in progress.

Sister Marcia briefly presented the Latin American and Caribbean experience in articulating Communication. She recalled the call of General Chapter XIX (1990) during which was born the Framework for Social Communication of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

ECOSAM was born from the invitation of the first Councilor for Communication, Sister Graziella Curti, to rethink communication in this context. The journey began with CLACS, the Latin American Commission for Social Communication, the Advisory and Coordination Service for communication aimed at reflecting on the phenomenon of social communication and new languages. After that, ECOSAM was established in 1998. After these brief historical references, Sister Marcia spoke of her organization, studies, and the production of various documents based on the challenges of reality. She also mentioned the Inter-American Seminary “Educommunication: prophetic power of the Preventive System” and various initiatives of ECOSAM.

The group, formed by the Coordinators of each Province, meets once a year. The role of the Coordinator, in office for two years, is to monitor the evaluation and strategic planning compared to the general guidelines. She also spoke of the financial aspect for joint actions, travel, projects, seminars, and congresses, etc.

Significant work is also carried out, such as external consultancy and partnership work with the University of São Paulo in Brazil, in the person of Prof. Ismar De Oliveira Soares, on the theme of Educommunication. The experience of three decades is supported, in fact, by the deepening of themes related to education and youth languages; by meetings and consultations; by scientific production and the articulation of projects and initiatives.

This solid and significant experience inspired the CIAM Communications Coordinators to start thinking as a Conference about a synodal journey. The Sinodality Seminar held in Lusaka, Zambia, in August 2023 had already helped to strengthen this awareness at the CIAM level. Thus, despite the diversity of contexts, the desire to walk together to jointly carry out the communicative mission, one of the great challenges in the African continent, has emerged.

There are already elements of hope in the Provinces, including the formation of the FMA on new technologies and the consequent need, aimed at the mission, to give special attention to issues related to evangelization, education, and communication starting from today’s scenario.

In closing, the CIAM Communication Commission expressed its gratitude to Sister Marcia Koffermann for sharing her experience with competence and passion, and to Sister Yvette Badini, President of CIAM and Sister Clarisse Ngoie Mongyumba for their guidance and encouragement.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.