“Bearers of hope…” we allowed ourselves to be guided by the Spirit to discern in community, sent to Nairobi South C/South B, to bear witness to the Love of God among us in order to share it with those we meet in our daily life. We live in a multicultural and multireligious context surrounded by believers in Islam, Buddhism and Christianity. A neighborhood where distrust reigns in hearts, thus affecting human relations, provoking attitudes of isolation, tribalist grouping and self-protection.
“Listening to the voice of the Spirit…” we have chosen: encounter, human fraternity and dialogue and to get close to our neighbours, to greet them when we meet them and on the occasion of the holidays, e.g., Christmas and New Year, invite the neighbours, the guardians of the entrance gates into the city, for mutual knowledge and a way of breaking down religious barriers as well as social classes.
“Listening to the voice of the Spirit…” we have chosen to go to the women sitting by the side of the road from morning to evening in search of work to support their families. For security reasons, we had to write a letter requesting permission to the district chief. Authorization obtained, we shared the responsibilities and were able to listen to the cries of these women in the street and we sought with them an answer to their suffering. The material time at our disposal was a real challenge because we were mostly students and the project required a regular presence and follow-up. On their part, the women were not willing to go at our pace because their immediate need was to earn their daily bread.
“Listening to the voice of the Spirit…” we opened our hearts to be in solidarity with four families around us. In a community discernment, we walked with these people who had skills to find a job: hairdresser, seller of shoes, clothes and cereals…
“Bearers of Hope…” we were able to save the life and dignity of a woman who had agreed to go to Dubai in search of better income for the education of her four children. With the small loan we gave her, she was able to open a hairdressing salon and give up her trip to Dubai which was pure human trafficking.
“Bearer of Hope…” we have helped other women to resume their activity of selling clothes and cereals in their neighborhood. Bearers of hope, we took the risk with a father who wanted to resume his commercial activities after COVID-19.
“Listening to the Spirit…” as students, we made the choice to get close to the most disadvantaged for our practical stage, such as going to meet the refugees from the Great Lakes, living on the outskirts of Nairobi; to bring them the hope that dwells in us and help them realize their dignity, their rights and duties in their situation as refugees or asylum seekers. Our thirst to help these people regain their dignity, their freedom, their honor, their human value is based on the struggle of our Venerable Founder, Cardinal Lavigerie. May the flame of Hope never be extinguished from our hearts.
Sr Franceline Hien, Hydra/Algiers