, 13 December, 2020 / 12:03 PM
The training aimed at creating awareness about human rights violation in Mozambique that took place earlier this week has been lauded as beneficial to community members at the grassroots.
Organized by the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace (CJPC) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Mozambique (CEM), the two-day training that concluded Tuesday, December 8 aimed to address matters of justice and peace in the Southern African country.
“Our goal is to create awareness among the people in communities to be able to know when they are being wronged. We hope they will be fully aware of the value of life and of their personal identity,” Sr. Pillar Puerta de la Rueda, one of two facilitators of the training said.
Making reference to Mozambicans in general, Sr. Pillar, a Spanish-native who has been in Mozambique for the last 13 years said, “The big problem is that people don’t know that their fundamental rights are being violated and that they are being wronged.”
According to the member of the Religious Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus (filhas de Jesus), Mozambique faces a serious violation of human rights characterized by terrorism in the Northern zone, a situation that has already caused displacement and fatalities.
Lack of knowledge about basic human rights, Sr. Pillar said, is partly to blame for the suffering that people in sections of Mozambique are going through.
She expressed optimism that through the Church’s ministry of justice and peace, communities would understand that “human dignity as an intrinsic and absolute value that defines human existence.”
The General Secretary of CJPC, Augusto Bassa who was also a facilitator of the training that brought together participants from three Mozambican Dioceses reiterated Sr. Pillar’s sentiments about the need for human rights awareness, adding that the social justice and peace ministry is important to the Church.
Participants in the training were drawn from the Archdiocese of Maputo and the Dioceses of Inhambane and Xai-xai, each of them having seven members. There was equal representation of men and women. A significant number of the elderly were also represented.
The participants were charged with the responsibility of disseminating the knowledge they gained to others.
Diamantino Destino Malaia from the Diocese of Inhambane who participated in the training said, “The benefits of participating are immense. I leave this place armed and well prepared to go and form my brothers back in the diocese.”
He added in reference to the training, “What we have been taught is true. Many of us don't know our rights or our duties.”
Aida Paulo Macie, a participant from Xai-xai Diocese shared the feelings of other participants saying, “I am happy to participate in the formation of justice and peace. We have learnt a lot about our rights and responsibilities and we are armed with social skills to face the violence that we are all exposed to in our country. We’ll be able to express ourselves and not accept to suffer in silence.”
From the Archdiocese of Maputo, Marcelino Ernesto who also benefited from the CJPC-organized sessions said he was satisfied with the training, having participated in it before.
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