, 24 September, 2019 / 3:30 AM
Church leaders in Ethiopia have acknowledged with appreciation the activities, which the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is undertaking in their country to lay foundations for lasting peace and described the international humanitarian agency of the Catholic Bishops of the United States of America as reliable partners in “emergency response and integral human development program.”
“CRS works with Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat as one family and playing (a) key role in emergency response and integral human development program,” the Secretary General of Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (ECS), Fr. Teshome Fikre said in Hawassa, Ethiopia and added, “Peace and justice and reconciliation is a top priority of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia.”
“The joint effort by CRS and Ethiopian Catholic Church has been well recognized by the government and other religions,” Fr. Fikre said during the opening workshop of the 2019 Institute for Peacebuilding in Africa (IPA).
Addressing CRS staff and partners drawn from 19 different countries mostly from Africa, the Father recalled the recent partnership between the local Church and CRS and testified, “In recent political crisis, Ethiopian Catholic Church and CRS have played a major role in peace and reconciliation among communities.”
In a statement sent to ACI Africa, the five-day workshop aimed to develop a deep and rich understanding of justice and peace building approaches, activities, tools and tactics.
CRS senior program manager in Ethiopia, Mr. Mesfin Arega disclosed the impact of IPA to ACI Africa saying, “Since it’s (IPA) founding in 2009, over 400 CRS staff, clergy and partners in Africa have participated in the workshop”
The workshop, which had participants from both English and French speaking countries was conducted in Anglophone and Francophone sessions concurrently with special joint sessions at key moments.
The purpose was to enhance sharing, networking and cross-pollination making the IPA global.
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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa