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EASTER PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE HOUSE OF BISHOPS, VISITS AND TRAINING, and THE UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
EAB Press April 2008
 
EAB PRESS 080408-1
April 8, 2008

[EAB Press - Burundi] EASTER PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE HOUSE OF BISHOPS
On Easter Sunday a Pastoral Letter issued by the House of Bishops was read throughout the Province. The Church was wished a blessed Easter and all Christians were urged to stand firm on God's Word and be encouraged by the words from Hebrews 13 v 6.

In the letter several concerns regarding the present situation in the country were identified including the failure of a number of institutions to fulfil their mandates, the rise in criminal activities and violence, and problems in schools due to a lack of respect and discipline. Such problems, it said, were causing increased poverty as well as other physical and spiritual ills. People should, however, resolve to live in love and peace. Young people should honour and respect their parents and teachers while, in turn, they should take their responsibilities seriously and provide a framework of discipline for their children. The Government was called upon to stop crime and insecurity, and ensure that wrong-doers were brought to justice.

The UN and other NGOs were encouraged to continue to give assistance. The Church affirmed its welcome of repatriates from Tanzania and looked forward to a satisfactory peace agreement being reached and implemented between the Government and the FNL.

VISITS AND TRAINING
The Provincial Education Programme that began in 2007 has received much support through a number of visits over recent weeks. Rev. David Peck, from Lambeth Palace, accompanied by Michael and Prudence Young were able to see some of the progress made with schools for which the Province has joint responsibility with the Government. Prudence Young visited MU groups in Bujumbura and Matana dioceses.

Simon and Keren Lewis from Reconcile Consulting Ltd provided two days of Project Management Training for representatives from all the dioceses specifically related to the programme.

Niall Manogue from CMS Ireland accompanied by Rev. Pascal Bigirimana, the Education Coordinator, was able to visit the CMSI link dioceses of Matana and Gitega, and also visit some of the school projects. The Province is grateful for the encouragement each brought.

UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
Claudette Kigeme, Provincial Mothers' Union Coordinator, attended the annual session of the UNCSW in New York, the focus of which was on financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women. In addition she had opportunity to share with others who were part of the Anglican delegation about the situation in Burundi regarding gender financing.

She addressed a side event organised by the Mothers' Union on ways in which the MU in Burundi through the literacy and development programme mobilises community education towards gender equality. "We aim", she said, "to empower the most marginalised people in the community, the majority of them being women." Quoting Mary Sumner's words "The education of a child starts 25 years before he or she is born", Claudette said, "We have the power to change the world. It is the first step of community education that counts. Let us use our power to shape the future generation and bring in gender equality."

Following the UNCSW she participated, along with Mathilde Nkwirikiye the Archbishop's wife, at the Women Leaders Capacity Building Workshop held in Nairobi. It was organised by The Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) as part of its HIV/AIDS TB and Malaria Programme.