, 30 November, 2019 / 4:15 AM
Following two violent cyclones that hit Mozambique early this year causing severe levels of food insecurity among the population including children, Catholic Children in Ivory Coast under the guidance of the National Directorate of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) have been encouraged to raise funds and reach out to their counterparts in the Southeastern African nation as a concrete sign of solidarity.
“This fundraising operation called the ‘Missionary Mite Box’ is intended to help the children of Mozambique who were affected by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth some months ago” the National Director of PMS Ivory Coast, Fr Jean Noël Gossou has been quoted as telling the news agency La Croix Thursday, November 28.
“The objective of this ‘Missionary Mite Box’ which is at its first experience in Ivory Coast, is to make the country's Catholic children feel missionary themselves by giving them assets to help other children,” Fr Gossou explained.
The fundraising initiative is expected to run from December 1 through December 31 and targets Catholic children aged 8 to 14. These children have been called upon to "collect and save 5 FCFA a day from their pocket money.”
Mozambique was among three countries hit by two violent cyclones in March and April this year. Cyclone Idai flattened the densely populated central coast while Cyclone Kenneth barreled over the less populated northern coast.
In line with the slogan of missionary childhood, "children help children", the national leadership of the PMS in Ivory Coast wishes to see parents and their children mobilized for this first experience.
"We call on parents and children to make their hearts and spirit of solidarity speak out to share what little we have," Fr. Gossou said.
"At the end of this campaign, we are hoping to collect the sum of 155 FCFA (USD 0.40) per child," the National Director of PMS in the West African country predicted.
For children under 8 years of age, parents can contribute on their behalf, the Ivorian cleric said and added, “Our wish is to have at least one million children who give for their Mozambican friends who have suffered serious damages.”
“It is true that we are not rich enough but sharing what little we have is already self-donation and shows the sacrifice it takes to give a smile to those who have less than us, and especially those children who have lost everything,” Fr. Gossou concluded in reference to the children in Mozambique affected by the Cyclones.
PMS is committed to promoting and supporting the missionary efforts of the Church through prayer, self-sacrifice, and missionary vocations. The Church entity was born from a deep concern for the missions of both laity and clergy in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP) together with the PMS are currently reinforcing their “efforts to collect and distribute material aid in the light of [their] mission and the formation that this requires, so that missionary integrity, awareness, and responsibility can once again be part of the ordinary life of the entire holy and faithful People of God.”
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