Zambia – Building bridges among African provinces

12 May 2021

(ANS – Lusaka) – On the background of the African continent's variety - 54 countries of the African Union with the Salesians of Don Bosco present in 42 - inter-provincial collaboration, synergy, and possible mutual sharing is very important. During the Extraordinary Visitation led by Fr Václav Klement to the ZMB Vice Province, three inter-provincial meetings, with two other neighboring provinces - AFC and AFM, were organized.

The new AFC Provincial, Fr Guillermo Basañes, and his Vicar Fr Tryphon Kalimira arrived after one full day of land travel from Lubumbashi to Lusaka, while AFM Vice Provincial Fr Alberto Villalba was present on the digital platform of each meeting.

The first ZMB-AFC inter-provincial meeting focused on the possible areas of renewed collaboration among the two nearby provinces. Four different areas of mutual collaboration: initial formation (AFC novices in Zambia, Kabwe), ongoing formation (joint spiritual retreat, quinquennium meeting), youth ministry (SYM exchange - networking, Bemba language zone pastoral ministry), exchange of human resources (both SDB and lay mission partners). 

The second meeting of 3 provinces (ZMB, AFC, AFM) was an opportunity to understand how the nearby SDB provinces could help the fast-diminishing confreres of AFM province (South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini) with 37 SDB and one novice in 2021. The online meeting with Fr Villalba helped the other two province's leadership to understand the dynamics to the possible relaunching of the Salesian mission in this 125-years of the Salesian presence marked also by the strong influence of the apartheid in the recent past. During an honest and open dialogue among the 3 provinces, the possible path of how to relaunch the Salesian charism in this Vice-Province was discussed and clarified.

The last of the 3 meetings was simply the annual Curatorium meeting about the Zambia - Kabwe novitiate, completely online. In 2021, there are 11 novices of 5 countries and 2 provinces. For the incoming formation year, 2021-2022, there is a forecast of 24 novices of 3 provinces and 6 countries, including possibly also Congo RD (AFC Province) with their 9 novices entrusted to this novitiate.

At the end of these 3 meetings, all participants were tired, but happy to lay bridges of mutual collaboration and exchange among the nearby provinces that may benefit a lot from the charismatic richness of each Salesian culture and resources. 


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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