JOSEMARÍA ESCRIVÁ DE BALAGUER
The Harambee 2002 Program: Aid for Projects in Africa
Harambee 2002 is an initiative of the Organizing Committee of the canonization of Josemaria Escriva which aims to raise funds to support educational programs in Africa. It hopes to receive donations from the participants of the canonization and also from any other persons who may wish to help. ÂEach person experiences the canonization as a moment of joy, as a gift,Â explains Linda Corbi, coordinator of the project, Âand when we receive a gift, the spontaneous reaction is to be grateful. We want to share this gift with the most needy, and that is why we have suggested to the faithful who come for the canonization to give a donation to Project Harambee 2002.ÂThe President of the Project's Committee of Honor is Mrs. Mama Ngina Kenyatta, the widow of the first president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta.
All for one!
In Swahili, Harambee means Âall for oneÂ. It is the cry of the fishermen as they draw their nets towards the shore. The same word is echoed by everyone when a collective effort is made for the common good, such as helping a family in need, or the construction of a school or a church. Everyone does what they can, with their personal effort, with donations in cash or in kind, Âall for oneÂ Â all give and all receive.
Africa is a continent with enormous resources, and also serious problems. These problems pose a pressing call to Christians and to all men and women of good will. Blessed Josemaria said: A man or a society that does not react to suffering and injustice and makes no effort to alleviate them is still distant from the love of Christ's heart. Christians should be united in having one and the same desire to serve mankind. Otherwise their Christianity will not be the word and life of Jesus; it will be a fraud, a deception of God and man (Christ is Passing By, n.167). Africa has one hope and one common task; and it requires a harambee without frontiers.
Harambee is accomplished with 5 Euros
Guided by the teachings of Josemaria Escriva, Project Harambee 2002 seeks to promote educational and literacy programs in Africa from the contributions of many people. The Committee is counting on a donation of 5 euros from each participant, though each one should feel free to contribute whatever amount he or she chooses.
Education: Key to Development
The real challenge for Africa is how each man and woman ought to be the real protagonist of his own progress, realized through the development of his potentials. In this context, one of the keys to sustained development is education. The education of those who will themselves become educators is like a ripple that gradually extends itself to embrace all spheres of society. Education opens the door to work, to independence and to material and spiritual progress. Throughout his life, Blessed Josemaria preached that work was not merely a means necessary to sustain the individual and the family, nor the mere production of useful goods for society, nor simply a way of self-realization. Work is much more. It is a personal encounter with God and a way to serve others. In this way, work becomes a self-sacrificing service that is not degrading, but uplifting; it expands the heart (Â ) and leads one to pursue the honour and the good of people of every nation Â to try to see that everyday there are fewer people who are poor and uneducated, fewer souls without faith, without hope; fewer wars, less uncertainty, and more charity and more peace.
Beneficiaries of the Program
The funds raised for Project Harambee will be allotted after a public and open meeting has been held. The meeting will be open to all organizations related to the development of educational projects in Africa. The requirements for the program are on: www.escriva-canonization.org. A group of experts will study the applications received and allot the available funds, with complete financial transparency.
How to Collaborate
Those who wish to make a donation may do so in the following ways:
- Making the donation at the Points of Information kiosks set up in various parts of Rome during the days of the Canonization, using the Harambee envelopes which will be distributed to the pilgrims.
- Bank transfer to c/c n.25506, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Ag. 13, Roma.The bank details are:
c/c n. 25506
Reason for transfer: "Project Harambee"
Account name: ÂComitato Organizzatore per le Celebrazioni della Canonizzazione del Beato Josemaria Escriva Â
International Bank Terms: IBAN: IT31H0100503213000000025506
The Pilot Program
The Organizing Committee has chosen Outreach Program, a pilot program promoted by Kimlea in Kenya, as an example within the reach of Project Harambee. Kimlea is a Center for Professional Formation which was set up with the encouragement of Blessed Josemaria. In the last few decades it has been working towards the education of the African woman. For Kimlea, the funds raised by Project Harambee will contribute to the promotion of Outreach Program, a course of professional formation for women working in the tea plantations, with the aim of offering new opportunities for them and their families.
Due to the high percentage of men abandoning the family home, the lack of economic means and certain cultural traditions, many women in the Kiambú district of Kenya find themselves obliged to work in the tea plantations in order to sustain and bring up their children. With the scarcity of means, only the sons are sent to school, trusting that their daughters will eventually be maintained by their husbands. This resultant lack of education means that women in needy situations have no other option beyond picking tea leaves in the plantations. They work 12 hours a day from 6 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon for which they receive less than 2 dollars, barely enough to maintain their families. With this daily wage, it is impossible to offer a better future for their children and much less, education for their daughters. This results in a vicious circle which is difficult to resolve.
The Outreach Program offers adult women courses in literacy, accounting and other basic subjects. With these skills, it becomes possible for these women to choose less exhausting and more profitable work. In fact, many of them have had the initiative of beginning a sewing business, a food business, of setting up small vegetable gardens, etc., which have greatly improved conditions for their families and communities.