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Three Marist Brothers in collaborative and inter-cultural ministry

 

Solidarity with South Sudan

Cmi

13/08/2015: South Sudan

The organisation 'Solidarity with South Sudan' was initiated by the men's and women's Unions of Superiors General (USG/UISG). Projects began in 2006, five years before independence in July 2011 following an approach by the South Sudanese bishops. 

'Solidarity', as it is commonly called, focuses on teacher education, health education, agriculture and pastoral projects in this new country. The objective of each of the projects is to build local capacity in these focus areas.

Nigerian Marist Brothers Christian, Matthew Mary and Longinus are members of Solidarity communities in Yambio (Teachers College) and Riimenze (Agriculture) in Western Equatorial State. Their communities are mixed sisters, brothers, lay and ordained; male and female.

Christian and Matthew Mary join Sisters Rose from Vietnam, Josephine from Kenya and Cathy from USA in Riimenze. Longinus is 30km (1h20m) away in Yambio and he is part of a community made up of London, a South Sudanese volunteer, Trish, a lay volunteer from Australia and Sisters Margaret Scott from New Zealand, Julia from Ecuador, Carolyn from USA Ailish from Ireland, Pat from USA, Margaret Sheehan from Ireland along with Brother Methodius from Ghana. Overall there are forty six volunteers from nearly forty congregations working in the field for 'Solidarity' in South Sudan. 

The Director of Collaboration for mission, international (Cmi), Br Chris Wills, is a member of the Governing Board and Treasurer of 'Solidarity'. The Board has been meeting in Juba with the Bishops' Conference  in August with the intention of establishing stronger relationships in order to create a sustainable future for the projects. 

Br Christian had his 70th birthday in July and has expressed the wish to renew his volunteer contract for a further three years. He is the 'elder'. He issues the challenge for other Marists, particularly from the African continent, to join him and the other brothers in this collaborative and inter-cultural ministry. 

Brs Matthew Mary and Longinus are eight months into their first year but give the impression that they have been in South Sudan for much longer. 

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Chris Wills FMS – Director of the Secretariat Marist Collaboration for Mission, International (Cmi)

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