Sunday, 27 September 2015

Children recruited have been freed from the armed forces and integrated into educational programs – Mogadishu

About 400 children recruited by armed groups in Somalia have been released and reintegrated into society through educational programs and professional training. Thanks to a project that the United Nations Fund launched 15 months ago in this Country of conflict in the Horn of Africa, 110 children have already enrolled in school. Many have been enrolled in professional training programs such as electronic engineering, administration, mechanics or carpentry. UNICEF estimates that currently about 5,000 children and young people can be exploited as fighters, porters or cooks for armed groups in Somalia. In 2012 the Government of Somalia had signed an action plan to end the recruitment and prevent the use of children in armed conflict. (Source: Agenzia Fides 18/09/2015)

Thursday, 24 September 2015

World Peace Day

The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence.
In 2013, for the first time, the Day was dedicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to peace education, the key preventive means to reduce war sustainably.
In Somalia, multiple Somali peace and reconciliation processes have produced many agreements but have never sufficiently addressed the real grievances that exist among Somali individuals and clans. At each round of talks and conferences the factions and international community members repeated the same mistakes made in previous processes and agreements.
It is a time that all that has been hindering peace in Somalia is addressed to create an environment whereby all stake holders are involved as a one collective entity in pursuit of a lasting peace for the welfare of the nation.
And to the Somali people, peace is the key to a successful nation that respects the right of all in disregard of clans, individualism and factions.
‘Centre for Community Awareness’ (CCA) which is non profit organization is committed to building peace and security in Somalia. As a result to this, the organization conducted wide range of activities, including sporting competition for young people, in an effort to foster peace and reconciliation, to mark this important day in the both Somali and global calendar.
The organizations slogan for this year is: "Be the change you wish to see in this world". We pray that next year there will be more peaceful areas in the country.

(Source: Dalsan Radio (Mogadishu), 22/09/2015) 

Monday, 14 September 2015

Year of Mercy and Indulgences: Papal letter addresses abortion, prisoners, sick and elderly

Pope Francis has issued a letter, describing some specifics on the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which will begin on December 8th, 2015. It will be a period of grace and forgiveness. 
In the letter, he states that since forgiveness cannot be denied to those who have repented, during the Jubilee of Mercy, the Pope will allow diocesan priests the discretion to absolve the sin of abortion, for women who have had one and have repented for it. Usually priests can only absolve this sin, with the direct permission of their bishop.           
All faithful are called to make a pilgrimage, literally to the Holy Door, which will be open in every Cathedral or in parishes designated by the Diocesan Bishop. For those who will be traveling to Rome, the Holy Door in the city’s four Papal Basilicas will also be included. 
            The pilgrimage is meant to be a sign of true conversion for one’s past sins. In order to receive the indulgence, it must be linked to the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. 
The elderly and sick who are limited in their mobility, can receive the indulgence by receiving Communion, attending Mass and community prayer. 
The letter also makes note of prisoners, who can obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of their prisons. The threshold of their cell, it reads, can symbolize the passage of the Holy Door. 
The purpose of the Jubilee Year of Mercy is to forgive the sins of those who have truly repented, so they can strengthen their faith and give testimony. (

Monday, 7 September 2015

UN Concerns About Influx of Refugees Back Into Somalia

The newly appointed United Nation's Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, expressed concerns about the influx of returnees and Yemeni refugees into the country.
De Clercq said over 28,000 people have arrived in Somalia since April. "I am, however, encouraged by the positive spirit of cooperation on the ground between humanitarian organizations and the relevant authorities, and, so far, the mechanisms put in place appear to work well," said de Clercq.
The UN envoy has completed his first official visit to Puntland and Somaliland in northern Somalia, urging joint efforts to settle the arrivals to avert a humanitarian crisis.
De Clercq visited reception centers in the coastal cities of Berbera and Bosasso, where he said he saw the newly arrived being registered, provided with food, mattresses and blankets, and medical care. "While their conditions are under control due to a relatively good humanitarian response, limited resources, environmental factors and insecurity continue to pose significant challenges," he said, adding that an estimated 220,000 people are internally displaced in Puntland and Somaliland.
He said more than 60 humanitarian organizations were working in Puntland and Somaliland where thousands of vulnerable people "remain at the mercy of natural phenomena". (Source: