The diocese of Dori lies in the far north of Burkina Faso, in the Sahel region. 95% of the population here are Muslims, while Christians make up only a tiny and widely scattered minority.
Since 2015 the north of the country has been plagued by a wave of Islamist terrorism, leaving over 750,000 people homeless and over 1000 schools closed. And the crisis is continuing, with an average of 4000 people still fleeing every day from the continuing terrorist attacks. There have been a number of massacres and abductions.
Among the many people who have been forced to flee are the lay catechists of the diocese, together with their families. Some of them have been able to find shelter and work in the other dioceses of the country, but a number of them speak only the regional Gourmantché language, which is spoken only in a few regions of the country, and they are thus unable to work in the other regions. 18 of these families now need help to rebuild their lives here in the diocese of Dori. Among them is the family of one catechist, Philippe, a father of seven children who was murdered in a massacre in February of this year. ACN is proposing to help these 18 families with a total of 30,000 Euros, for food and lodging, medical care and essential help to rebuild their lives – for example by providing livestock so they can support themselves. For Church life today, in Africa in particular, would be unthinkable without these lay catechists. They fulfil a vital function in the parishes, especially where the faithful live scattered across wide regions. Will you help us to help them?