World Mission Day
This Sunday, October 23, World Mission Day (Domund), is celebrated throughout the Catholic Church, promoting the missionary spirit and Christian values. This year, World Mission Sunday has as its theme the words of Jesus Christ: “You will be my witnesses” (Jn 15:27).
Today, many men and women are being God’s witnesses in many parts of the world. They are missionaries. In their hearts lives the universal desire to reach out to all people, to make known the immeasurable love of God for mankind.
Augustinian Recollects in Makeni
In the video of this year’s campaign, the testimonies of six missionaries who carry out their mission in the state of Makeni, Sierra Leone, are shown. There, in Makeni, the Augustinian Recollect Order has established two missions in the rural communities of Kamalo (mission of St. Paul) and Kamabai (mission of St. Thomas), developing an intense work of development and human promotion.
Both missions date back to 1996, when the first Augustinian Recollects arrived in the country. In 1997, the missionaries had to leave due to the resurgence of the armed conflict. They returned in 2004, once the war was over, to start again; all the infrastructure of the missions had been destroyed.
Since then, they have carried out a huge amount of development work in the areas of education, food security, water and sanitation, and the promotion of women, among others. Their projects include the construction of 28 wells, the construction, and renovation of more than 20 rural schools, the training of dozens of teachers, and a scholarship program for children and young people. In addition, since 2020, they have been carrying out the girls’ education program at St. Paul’s boarding school in Kamalo, with the aim of achieving gender equality in a country where there is a great deal of inequality and discrimination against women.
In the Diocese of Makeni, the Augustinian Recollects are responsible for a network of 73 rural schools consisting of three nursery schools, 64 primary schools, three lower secondary schools, two higher secondary schools, and one vocational school.
It should also be noted that the Augustinian Recollect missionaries in Sierra Leone strongly supported the fight against Ebola, in 2014; and, in 2020, they faced the health emergency caused by the covid-19 pandemic, carrying out the food security and health project “Ubuntu Africa”.
All these projects have been possible thanks to the strong bonding of the missionaries with the population, based on a life in common and a relationship of mutual trust, support, respect, and commitment. In this way, the Augustinian Recollects accompany approximately 12,000 people in 90 parishes and chapels of the Diocese of Makeni.
ARCORES, the International Solidarity Network of the Augustinian Recollect Family, has supported the missionaries in Sierra Leone since their arrival in the country. ARCORES, in its commitment to human rights, social justice, peace, sustainable development and education, collaborates permanently with the missionaries in all development cooperation projects in the state of Makeni.
Expansion of schools
ARCORES is currently collaborating with the Augustinian Recollect missionaries in Sierra Leone to carry out two projects: the expansion of St. Paul’s elementary school in Kamalo (25,000 euros) and the renovation and expansion of two rural schools also in the Kamalo mission (20,000 euros).
Like the missionaries, we can also be missionaries in our environments, making small gestures that help to improve our families, our groups of friends, and our schools. And as a Christian community, we encourage you to support the wonderful work of the missionaries in the world.