Central African Republic: Emergency and exceptional assistance for the Diocese of Bangassou approved

Central African Republic: Emergency and exceptional assistance for the Diocese of Bangassou approved

Since December 2012, a large part of the Central African Republic is undergoing an intense war in which the Selekas (Muslims) and the anti-balaka militias (non Muslims) clash violently, thus plunging the civilian population into horror.

 

Bishop Juan Aguirre Muñoz, Bangassou

Bishop Juan Aguirre Muñoz, Bangassou – CAR

 

After suffering threats and aggression and having seen many neighborhoods  burned, the Diocese of Bangassou, through its  Bishop His Excellency Juan Jose Aguirre, have reacted by reinstating Catholic schools. The pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need supports this emergency project.

 

Bishop Juan Aguirre with students in Bangassou - CAR. This school is supported by ACN

Bishop Juan Aguirre with students in Bangassou – CAR. This school is supported by ACN

 

In order for the schools to reopen, families who fled the razing of their villages into surrounding bushland or neighbouring Congo, need to rebuild their houses and reestablish the community. “We think that if we can help them with the straw (the most difficult material to find) for the roof, it would be a great help,” said Bishop Aguirre.

Despite the threat of danger,  priests have already visited some of the destroyed villages in order to teach about 2,000 enrolled students. In an effort to ensure the schools are run normally, children of all faiths come together in the same class. It is hoped this could encourage parents to prioritize their children’s future rather than perpetuate conflict. “We think,” said Bishop Aguirre to ACN, “that this project could contribute to reconciliation and social cohesion in the diocese between members of all religions.”

 

Child in School of Bangassou

Child in School of Bangassou

ACN’s financial support of 22,500 Euros will be used to pay teachers’ salaries from eight Catholic schools, as well as the straw to undertake for reconstruction of about 500 homes destroyed by the attacks.

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Founded in 1947 as a Catholic aid organization for war refugees and recognized as a papal foundation since 2011, ACN is dedicated to the service of Christians around the world, through information, prayer and action, wherever they are persecuted or oppressed or suffering material need. ACN supports every year an average of 5000 projects in close to 150 countries, thanks to private donations, as the foundation receives no public funding.