AFW – State of the Province by Rev. Fr. Michael Karikunnel, SDB

Lagos, Nigeria – After the short break, the provincial presented the state of the province ranging from its composition, structure, expansion, progress and challenges etc. 

In his remarks, he optimistically expressed that; the state of the province is in a better shape notwithstanding the few limitations. 

According to him, the greatest challenge of the young people with the countries, which constitute the province, is that of employment. 

He urged the confreres to strive to overcome the attitude of individualism, which is creeping in, and is more committed both personal  and communitarian in order to rejuvenate and become that Don Bosco we all professed to be for the young people.

 Finally, he said, the effect of the chapter is not basically on the deliberations but the process that follows after. 
Lunch follows at 1:00pm and Divine Mercy in Mary Help of Christian Chapel at 3:00pm at Mary Help of Christians Chapel and then, works in Commissions.
 The presentation on the Priority of the mission with the youth was not completed due to the insufficient time for the group to deliberate deeply on the topic. 
The groups demanded for recess and the remaining period of presentations was given for further group discussions, so that, the presentations will continue the next day. 

The remaining activities of on the timetable like evening prayer, Rosary and supper continued – being Ghana’s day, Fr. Robertson Sung Iribe SDB, the Rector of St. John Bosco community gave the goodnight talk. 

He synthetically gave the state of Salesian Mission in Ghana and drawing from Fr. Jorge’s homily in the morning, he also urged the confreres to first discover the personal love God has for them and they will be able to reciprocate the same love to the young people.

AFW – Report on the Pre-Chapter Work by the Moderator of the Chapter, Rev. Fr. Anthony Elotee SDB

Lagos, Nigeria – This section begun with an opening prayer by the Provincial. 
After the prayer, he emphasized that, the chapter is not to prepare document but rather to internalize the true identity of a Salesian in order to respond to the needs of the young people of this contemporary era. 

The breakdown of the chapter members was given: in all, there are 45 members for the chapter including one CDS member, a past Pupil, two cooperators and two students confreres from Ibadan. But out of the figure, only 37 have the power to vote. 

The Moderator gave the introductory speech which in-cooperates the letter of the convocation as well as the process of the working document and how the members of the chapter were elected. 

He then ushered in the chairmen for the various groups of the chapter for the presentation of the summary of the  focus of their topics. 

After their short presentations, the election of the scrutinizers commenced and after the whole process, Fr. Peter Morba and Fr. Eric Akinboboye were elected as the scrutinizers. 

Furthermore, Fr. Peter-Savio Anaa was also elected as the president of the Chapter. 
The whole section ended with the approval of the directives for Anglophone West Africa Province Chapter.

AFW – Opening Mass of the Chapter

Lagos, Nigeria – The program started with the opening mass of the chapter at 7:30am in the chapel of Mary Help of Christian, Iju-Lagos. 

The second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) was offered for the special intention of the success of the chapter. 

The provincial Fr. Michael Karikunnel SDB the chief Celebrant, in the introductory aspect of the mass highlighted that, the chapter is a triannual gathering of the Salesians from the different communities of the province to evaluate and to see how best to respond to the mission of the young people. 

And this chapter has a special focus on the reflection on the type of Salesian for the young people of today. During the homily; Fr. Jorge Cristafulli SDB, the formal provincial as the homilist highlighted on three points: firstly, the word of God calls us to acknowledge the gift of the risen Jesus, which is peace and  joy, as such, we have to radiate this peace and Joy and avoid the scientific or Thomist approach (the quest for evident or empirical facts) in search of the Truth, but we should rather, believe in the Lord of Miracles and not the search for the Miracles of the Lord. 

Secondly, he advised the chapter members to keep aside the programmed ideas and allow the Holy Spirit to animate and take control of their deliberations for the development of the mission of the young people in the province, by doing so, the act of listening to one another should be an effective tool for the chapter. 

Finally, we should acknowledge that Jesus loves us and that is why he served us, as such, only through our fidelity to the directives of the Holy Spirit that we shall experience in our province Expansion, Vocation and Holiness.

The Delegate, Rev Fr. Anthony Oche welcomes the chapter members to the community. 

During his good night talk, he encourages all the members of the chapter to feel at home.

AFW – Provincial Chapter Voting Day.

Lagos, Nigeria- 30th April 2019 – On-going Salesian Provincial chapter (AFW PC6) @ iju, Lagos. Theme: “what kind of Salesian for the youth of today?”

Voting is  on 5 Documents to either be accepted – not accepted – accepted with modification which in Latin is Placet – NonPlacet – Iuxta Modum

The following are the 5 documents under consideration :

  1. Priority of the mission with the youth;
  2. Profile of the Salesian for today;
  3. Shared mission between Salesians of Don Boscos and Laity;
  4. Juridical topics of GC28;
  5. Anglophone West Africa Province Directory.

We hope our deliberations will make us the best Salesians for the youth of today.
Thank you for supporting our work with young people.

AFW – Inclusive Vocational Training for Physically Disabled and Socially Disadvantaged (IVTNG).

Northern Ghana – The four year project is being sponsored by the Federal Ministry for economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Africa Action/Deutschland and Engagement Global with the intention of creating suitable preconditions in terms of infrastructure, training, school management and educational engagement in the communities to provide equal access for young people with disabilities in Northern Ghana.

This is the second phase after DBYN has successfully implemented the first phase in the Southern sector of Ghana.

The project include training of trainers & School managers;
providing and adapting infrastructure, awareness raising & advocacy and promoting access for differently abled persons.

6 TVET schools from the 3 Northern Regions are involved.
● St. Basilide’s Technical/Vocational Institute (BASTVI), Kaleo, Upper West Region

● St. Mary’s Vocational Training Institute, Tamale, Northern Region

● Sawla Girls Vocational Training Institute, Sawla Northern Region

● St. John’s Integrated School (Special School)- Navrongo, Upper East Region

● St. Bernedette’s Technical Institute, Navorongo- Upper East Region

● The kick-off meeting took place at St. Mary’s Vocational Training Institute, Tamale

Thank you for supporting our work with the young.

AFW – Official Entrustment of the Province to St Joseph.

Lagos, Nigeria – April 26th, 2019 – In the Community of Mary Help of Christians, Rev. Fr Nizniak Krzystof SDB, the Provincial economer of the province and the chapter member of Anglophone West Africa Province officially entrust the AFW Province to St. Joseph.

Present, were all the Provincial Councillors and the Rectors of the communities.

May St. Joseph, the husband of Mary guide us through Christ our Lord. Amen

Borehole with Hand Pump for Kerfoso Project.

Portable water is a necessity and we are happy that Salesian Missions supported Don Bosco Youth Network and Salesians of Don Bosco Anglophone West Africa to get this hand pump borehole for Kerfoso.

The community have about 320 people who will benefit from the bohole.

Thank you for supporting the our work with young people.

Liberia – Living the faith in the peripheries … of the forest!

(SDBAFW – Tappita) – The Salesian mission at Tappita, restarted at the beginning of 2018, after years of forced absence, is “at the far edge of the world”, within the Liberian forest.

Yet there are even more peripheral realities: like the villages of Sahnpa and Zeah, which Salesian missionaries managed to visit for the first time just a few weeks ago, after more than a year after their arrival to the area.

“Last year, the rains started early and so they took us by surprise,” explained the director of the mission, Fr Riccardo Castellino.

Currently Sahnpa has no real church as the one they had was crushed by a tree in 2016, felled during a bad storm. To avoid the complete dispersion of the community, one of the members of the village has made available a room of his house for Sunday meetings.

After having recalled the faithful with the bell – “or rather, beating on that wheel rim of truck that serves as a bell,” continues Fr Castellino – in that room a dozen people gather, surprised to see the priest, but extremely pleased to see that they have not been forgotten.

After the Mass, the Salesian is accompanied to see the place where the church stood, and where the community intends to rebuild it: it is an expanse of brushwood, where there are already many reconstruction materials: the blocks of mud, the timber cut and stacked, the metal sheets, “even if still more are needed, but the money is gone” …In order to get the work starting again, the first step is to clean up that site, but for the construction there is still a lack of cement and tools and material required by manpower.

For this reason, Fr Castellino asks the community members to make a donation and send it to him.

“We will try to do something to make sure that with the arrival of the rains, this community has a roof under which to gather to pray and grow in faith,” he concludes.

In Zeah, on the other hand, there had been another Salesian the previous week, who said that not only did the inhabitants not have a church, but they had never even had one: the Mass was celebrated under the palava hut of the village, the kiosk used for village meetings.

“With the church or without the church, faith survives! But we commit ourselves to doing something for them too … and to visit them a little more often,” concludes Fr Castellino.

Sierra Leone – Girls Shelter visit the National Museum.

Freetown)- Every child deserves a visit to the museum where the history of their country and ancestors are kept. Making a child part of History is a great way to empower them.

The evening to the visit was exciting because some girls at the girls shelter who had been there before told stories to wet the appetite of those yet to experience this. The excitement made them to pack and put in the necessary preparations.

The girls got up early and were ready in few minutes, ate their breakfast and waited eagerly for the social workers to escort them to the museum.

Upon their arrival, they were welcomed by a worker in the museum who show them around the museum explaining the history of the great Sierra Leoneans who at one point in time stood up for the people of Sierra Leone.

Most wanted to touch the statues after the lecture but the staff of the museum said its not allowed. They however took pictures with the statues.

Upon their arrival at the shelter they were so happy chatting about what they saw at the museum. One of them said that she wished they could visit again sometime in the future.

She explained her own view of the visitation where she said “I saw the statue of Bai Bureh, he was the man that refused to pay taxation to the white people.”
We hope their visit will inspire them to study to lead like the heroes they saw at the museum.
Thank you for supporting our work with young people in Africa.

Sierra Leone – The story of Musu and baby “Juan Bosco”

Freetown) – Musu was a child when the Salesian missionary Fr Jorge Crisafulli found her on the street under a table in the center of Freetown.

It was raining heavily and it was cold for those used to tropical heat. “What’s your name?” he asked her. “Are you sick?” Her sad eyes and the pain in her face announced deeper pains than just physical ones. She coughed unceasingly.

Fr Crisafulli put his hand on her forehead and noticed that it was burning with fever.

That was the beginning of a great story of hope.Little Musu told him that she had gone to the hospital, but not having 15,000 leones (about 1.5 euros) to enter, she had not been treated. “I will take you to the hospital immediately,” said the Salesian; but at that moment Musu turned to look for something beside her and put a helpless, skeletal, almost dying, nameless baby boy in the hands of the cleric.Fr Crisafulli accompanied Musu to the General Hospital, where she was diagnosed with tuberculosis and pneumonia.

As for the child, since they did not have the means to treat him there, he took him to the “Cottage Hospital”, where he was found with tuberculosis, dehydration and malnutrition.

When the doctor asked for a name to register the child in the health center, the Salesian missionary did not hesitate for a moment: “His name is Juan Bosco, Juanito Bosco”.

When he returned to the General Hospital he assured Musu that the child was well and would survive. Fr Crisafulli also had to tell her that he had been asked the name of the child to be able to register him in the hospital and that he had given him the name Juan Bosco.

Musu changed her expression and seemed annoyed. The Salesian asked her if she did not like the name Juan Bosco and she replied, “you should have given him your name: Jorge Crisafulli!”

Today, Musu and Juan Bosco are in good health. Both have overcome their problems. Musu is now 18 years old, studies as a hairdresser and sells sandals, while little Juan Bosco is a healthy and smiling boy, who honors his name, runs everywhere and is a sign of resistance, survival and hope in the face of adversity.

Musu and Juan Bosco are two of the many success stories of the work that the Salesians carry out in Sierra Leone and in many countries of the world to take children off the streets and offer them an education.