Daily Life is a place of faith, of conversion, of witness and proclamation.
In Jesus Christ, Life and mission are one.
This mission commits us to work for justice, peace, solidarity and the integrity of creation. In this perspective in Burkina, we work with women in order to create a space of welcome where each one feels confident and respected in relation to her rights and her dignity, and is able to develop her capacities. Each year at the Social Centre for literacy and integral development, (CESADI), the women experience community, respect and acceptance of differences (religious, ethnicity…). And equally, they experience the difficulty of learning, when one has never been to school.
Among other things, at the end of the courses, we organised two workshops so that the women can learn a trade, which enables them to have a way of earning their living.
This year they did two workshops:
*The workshop of dyeing, (colouring fabrics to imprint on cloths) with Madame D. as teacher;
*The workshop of soap making, for liquid soap and bars of soap, with Monsieur C. Mamadu as teacher
There were five days of teaching where the participants learned the theory and at the same time the practice of this skill, in total there were 40 women and 1 man who benefitted from this training. These lessons help to develop their competences.
This training also allows them to create activities that will generate some cash, which helps to improve their living conditions and that of their families, and also encourages an appreciation of other handicrafts, including the traditional ones; it is a way of fighting against poverty. This could equally give the opportunity to create groups which would work co-operatively, and have a shared economic project.
One can read in their faces the interest, the joy, the expressions of amazement, according as they are captured by enthusiasm, everything changes.
We can see equally how their developmental capacities increase slowly but surely, and they also grow and mature in humanness and freedom, which allows them to take charge of their lives and live differently.
It is also a time of sharing community tasks, the food, the cleanliness of the room and of the crockery. All this helps us to live together and to work as a team, aware that alone we can do little, but in pulling together, everything works better and is also easier, in unity there is strength.
At the end of the workshops, the women received a small sum of money to help them to begin activities which will generate income.
Thus the workshops ended with great joy, and the women also received a certificate which accredited all that they had learned.
As we all know, the pandemic has upended everything and the women were not able to gather for a celebration to mark the end of this time together.
To conclude the Lord said: “Whatever you did to one of these little ones, you did to Me.”
The Lord is present in every person and works in us. His glory and his reign are made present through these small gestures of fraternity, of respect and the work for justice, equality and the dignity of persons.
“God sows, we have to cultivate” (Fr. Pernet)
May Mary help us to live this way of incarnation in the midst of a people who, with their values, stimulates us to live our commitment to follow Christ, and to work for the Kingdom
Community of Etienne Pernet in Burkina Faso-Little Sisters of the Assumption