PASTORAL AND SOCIAL REFUGEE SERVICE (PSRS)
1.1. Background of Pastoral and Social Refugee Service (PSRS)
PSRS is a Pastoral Unit of the Catholic Diocese of Kigoma which renders pastoral and social services specifically to refugees who flee from their home countries due to wars and insecurity. PSRS is currently serving refugees from Congo DRC and Burundi who fled from Civil war and Genocide in Burundi and Rwanda since 1994 respectively. The service is rendered by the Diocese of Kigoma in collaboration with the Congregation of Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) based in Nyakitonto, Kasulu.
The Pastoral and Social Services ware previously discharged by Caritas Department, but later the Diocesan Authority deemed it worthy to establish an independent unity for effective pastoration of the people of God in Camps. Previously the PSRS unit used to serve in Mtabila, Nyarugusu, Mtendeli, Mkugwa, Nduta, Muyovosi and Lugufu camps. But since there has been signs of stability in Burundi and Rwanda, refugees have been going back on voluntary bases with exception of Nyarugusu in such a way that currently we are remaining with Nyarugusu Camp. Mutabila camp which comprised of Burundian was officially closed on 31st December, 2012, forcing about 3,000 burundian refugees who could not dare going back, fearing their security mix with the Congolese refugees in Nyarugusu Camp.
Currently the PSRS has four (3) priests, one religious brother, 18 Cathechists and several lay leaders who serve about 73,000 refugees in Nyarugusu of whom 70,000 are from Congo DRC and 3,000 from Burundi.
1.2 Situation in the Camp
Confining such a large population in a single place has given rise to various social and moral problems in Nyarugusu camp. It is against problems such promiscuity, drug abuses on the part of youths, sense of despair, hypertension and developing sense of irreligious and lack of fear of God that we are trying to fight as we discharge our duties. To such people we have been visiting, counseling, encouraging and giving material and Moral Support. We also give material support to most vulnerable groups among the refugees such as the aged, orphans and the sick. In response to the problems in question we hold a number of activities in the Camps
2. OVERALL GOAL
To effectively foster Pastoral and Social Services to Refugees in Nyarugusu Camp in our endeavour to be a caring and responsible family of God..
-To coordinate efficiently the Pastoral and Social services in the Camp
-To carry out Seminars on Marriage, Family Planning, Youth and Christian Life, Women and Peace Building, Conflict Resolution and Reconciliations.
-To conduct Pastoral Counseling Sessions to refugees who are traumatized by civil wars and its consequences.
-Provision of Spiritual Services to the faithful in the camp
-Provision of Material assistance to most vulnerable
To Support sportive activities especially to the youth
-To train them on Leadership and Entrepreneurship for self reliance.
-To motivate Pastoral agents and Catechists through remuneration.
4. PLANNED ACTIVITIES
I. Seminars and workshops
We intend be giving seminars and workshops to various groups. Seminars will be given to groups of women, youths, Church leaders, liturgical groups, etc. in view of either equipping them to cope with the situation in the camp and even after returning home.
4.1 Seminar on Marriages: Realizing that marriages had several complications in the camp we carried out seminars to instruct the youth about the necessesity of pre - marital preparations, the couples in marriage how to live harmoniously in their Christian marriages.
4.2 Seminars on Family Planning: In the camps we came to realize that the population was growing very high. Through several sensas done by the government and the Church it was observed that the growth rate was very high, to such people in the refugee situation to have many children would add to the already miserable economic situation they had. Hence we need to continue conducting such seminars on the married people on the importance of using Natural family planning.
4.3 Youth and Christian Life: Seminars on Youth and Christian Life are needed as part of on going formation among the Youth in camp in order to form them in Christian values and morals according to the Catholic moral teaching. These seminars aim at equipping them to be able to face challenges of life and fight against dangers assaulting them such as drug abuse, promiscuity, and other unbecoming practices which are unchristian in nature.
4.4 Women and Peace Building; In collaboration with our With the Diocesan Women and Gender unit (WID/GAD) we plan to conduct seminars on women’s role in Peace Building and reconciliation emphasizing that women could be good instrument in reconciling the societies especially those affected by civil wars. This is in consideration that women have a vital role in the formation of the society.
4.5 Conflict Resolution: We also intend carry seminars to the refugees on Conflict resolution aiming at reconciling them and do away with enmity that has led them to their present situation. We aim also at instructing them on the means of solving conflicts among themselves.
4.6 Seminar on Liturgy: We plan to have seminar on the liturgy whereby in trying to form the believers with current changes while also reminding those liturgical rules and practices which were either forgotten or no longer known to many in order to edify liturgical celebrations in the camp.
4.7 Seminar of entrepreneurship and Leadership on the Lay leaders: We had some training the Lay leaders on Leadership roles and Life skills of entrepreneurship. This is at par with the Diocesan Synod of Kigoma which called up making sure that the Christian leaders and faithful are equipped in raising their life standard and economy. The Leadership skill will make the lay leaders caring and responsible to the people of God in the camp. Generally speaking we aim at the Formation of their leaders and equipping their leaders with the skills of leadership.
II. Support to various groups/activities
4.8 Support to orphans, Aged, the Sick and bereaved: This is another vital activity is to be carried out in order to provide material, social and moral support to most vulnerable groups within the camps. We have about 350 orphans and about 273people who are sick and aged in the camps. Apart from moral support we give them, materials such as soaps, blankets, sugar, rise, clothes are to be supplied in accordance to their special need.
4.9 Remuneration for pastoral agents: When we talk of pastoral agents we hereby refer to catechists, priest and lay leaders who volunteer to evangelize in the camp. Currently there are three priests (3) one religious brother (1) and Eighteen (18) catechists serving in Nyarugusu Camp.
The refugees in their situation cannot sustain their pastors through collections, tithes and the like as it is usually done in pastoral fields under normal circumstances. They themselves need to be sustained by the International community and other stakeholders. Hence pastoral agents who provide spiritual supports in the camps such as priests, catechists need to be support. While Thanking Missio Achen for their valuable support, without forgetting the Diocese of Kigoma for what she has been contributing locally, I once more appeal to Mission Aachen to continue supporting our pastoral activities in the camp as before. We assure you our continued prayers.
4.10 Sports and sportive activities: We intend to continue encouraging sports and sportive activities. We plan to have tournaments every year in the fields of sports. We hope to organize sport competition for youth groups. We aim at enhancing competitions in football, netball other sportive activities keeping in mind that sports are necessary for health body and mind without forgetting its role in cementing social relations among people. She shall continue to facilitate the Youth league and n so doing we shall purchase where necessary some sports materials such as jezzy, sport shoes, balls and others some of which were given as presents to winners while others were given to them to facilitate sports in general.
4.11 Liturgical facilities: We budget to supply the faithful with liturgical articles which cannot buy on their own. We plan to buy hosts, vestments, liturgical books, candles which shall be used during sacramental and liturgical cerebration in the Camp. We plan to make minor maintenance of the Church building in the camp. For the choirs supported will be provided to buy and maintain the musical instruments s etc.
4.12 Fuel and car maintenance: Nyarugusu camp is about 50km from the Nyakitonto centre where priests serving in the camp do stay for they are not allowed by the international community laws to stay in camp. This distance requires them to travel every day to the camps and back. Hence the need of fuel for their transport.
For PSRS Coordinating Office.
-Equally for the Diocesan Refugees Coordinator, the activities to carried out will involve the monitoring and evaluation meetings which were held by pastoral agents.
-Pastoral council meetings for refugees: Normally we meet twice a year and we had met to evaluate and plan on how best could we serve our brothers and sisters in the camps.
-Meeting of Catechist to arrange calendar: each after 3 months- food and fuel and fare
-Meeting with lay leaders
-Making a follow up of a written permission to enter in the camp, Kigoma – Katubuka (fuel), Dar Es Salaam (air ticket fair to and fro)
-Attending an annual meeting for immigrants to TEC (once a year)- fair and traveling allowance
-Celebration of Immigrants day every on ……budget for it. Planning, needed materials and foods & drinks
-Purchase of Stationery – files for PSRS, realms for records and reporting, pens, etc
-Sacraments celebrations such as confirmation (transport fuel )- fuel and allowance
-Purchase of New Car for PSRS pending on availability of funds from donor, present one is old got an accident previously is always on maintenance and costly new one will reduce such costs and give curtaining of journeys towards providing services to the refuges.
PSRS Dependency Syndrome: Given their situation, Refugees as it were, cannot financially support by themselves the work of evangelization. Likewise the Catholic diocese of Kigoma, with meager resources at her disposal cannot but partially subsidize what is required for this special apostolate. Hence the rationale of requesting Missio’s kind intervention to serve the purpose.
Lack of realible means of transport: The lack of a vehicle is one of the major challenges of PSRS Unity. Considering the location of Mutabila camp and the distance between the camp and the coordinating office in Kigoma, it becomes very difficult to access the camp with no means of transport. The Old vehicle for the unit got an accident in 2006 and due to its age, it is beyond repair.
Summary of the Challenges and planned intervention and target group
NO PROBLEM INTERVENTION/SOLUTION/ACTIVITY TARGET GROUP
1 Promiscuity and Immoralities in the camp among the Youth Seminar on Youth and Christian Life Youth groups
2 Hypertension rampant among the adults (impact of war) Counseling sessions of traumatized people Adults and affected people
3 Limited Peace and Security in homeland Seminar on Conflict resolution and Reconciliation Women & Young people
4 Beliefs in which crafts – Syncretism Bible Seminars, Seminars on Christian Teach and witchcraft. Whole community of Refugees
5 Presence of many sects endangering peace among different sects Inter Religious dialogue Seminars Sects and Church leaders
6 Lack of Leadership Skills among lay leaders Training on Leadership skills for lay leaders Lay Leaders ie Catechists,
8 Dependency syndrome developing among refugees Seminars on Entrepreneurship preparing them for self reliance as they go back home. Leaders, Youth and women groups
9 Ignorance of Liturgical Rules for dissent liturgical celebrations Training on Liturgical rules of liturgy stake holders Liturgy stake holders like Choirs, Catechists, Youth
10 Problems of immorality related to youths, atind psychological problems Youth sports by arranging Youth League, Seminars on Christian life and values. Youths
11 Lack of transport facility for the coordinating office. Proposal for financial assistance, Selling of the old car. PSRS Coordinator, Refugee community in Nyarugusu camp.
A CONCLUDING REMARKS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT NOTE
Thanks are due to Mission Aachen for their valuable contribution to the Catholic Diocese of Kigoma and subsequently to PSRS Unit without which we could not sustain this apostolate. Squarely, we are grateful to the Diocesan Authority of the Catholic Diocese of Kigoma for their noble contribution and encouragement in this odious and painstaking apostolate. Indeed, their contribution is documented and highly appreciated. May the Good Lord reward them abundantly for the great sacrifice they are offering to help their brothers and sisters in the Camp (Mt. 25:40ff).
Our acknowledgment cannot end without mentioning the worth and valuable contribution of the Holy Ghost Fathers based in Nyakitonto, who labour tireless to see to it that the people of God in the camp are fed spiritually and pastorally. These deserve a special hand of appreciation. To them I say thank you and stay blessed.
Fr. Kilian Tereba
Coordinator of PSRS