Communicators in Western Equatoria State Urged to Use Communication as a “Bridge, not a Wall”

By Arkangelo Rangabia

Mr. Mande Daniel, Communication Skills Lecture at St. John Catholic University Yambio Campus on Monday morning urged Western Equatoria State Communicators to use communication as a” bridge, not as a wall”.

In his Monday, May 15 message on the anticipated occasion of the 57th World Communication Day (WCD), Mr. Mande said that communication is paramount as it builds good rapport among individuals and groups people through multiple sources such as the internet, social media platforms, and radio among others.

Speaking at Anisa Radio, Mr. Mande said, “the whole human life is existing by communicating the human need, vision, relationship and resolving differences stressing that youths should not forget to respect for each other in the media”.

He added that social media users to social media for development and peace rather than creating a negative impact on social media adding that some youth buy expensive social media facilities to use for unbeneficial yet in other world young people use social media to generate money through e-commerce, find jobs, transfer cash among others”.

Mr. Mande further called on the stakeholders to allow freedom of expression as through communication the citizens can be able to communicate their needs to the government and vice versa adding that a community where people are not allowed to speak is not a democratic community and development is not meeting the need of the people as such it will remain an impaired community.

104 Participants Graduate at a Colorful Ceremony After Attending Two-Months Training on Trauma Healing and Stress Management

By Archangelo Rangabia

A total of 104 participants graduated with certificates after attending two months of training in trauma healing and stress management at Gangara-Emmilia North in Yambio Western Equatoria state on 13th May 2023.

The graduation ceremony started with marching from the villa football field escorted by Pax Brass Band which is a Catholic Diocesan Band with hundreds of followers to Gangara-Emmilia under the theme: “Equip and Edify Saint” as ministry equips the broken hearts with a message of hope and edify them to remain faithful to God the creator.

The two-month training was organized by Favor Africa Ministry International, a church-based organization that aims at providing psycho-social help for people that are affected by torture, massacre, and rape among others, and may lead to psychosis.

This graduation comes as the 6th graduation ceremony from Favor Africa Ministry International in Yambio County with the aim of continuing the training to communities beyond Yambio County. The training involved different denominations of which Muslims and Christians were the participants.

Testifying at the occasion one of the participants Amina Jadalla said, “The root causes of trauma are members of the community, armed forces, and family members, among others, and we should be responsible for healing the trauma as well. Healing the trauma caused by us does not necessarily require external material but our effort and emotions towards the affected person. We are now the community counselors, available at any time and ready to support our community”, Amina explained.

Anibiko Paride a participant in the training encouraged young people to be equipped with words of forgiveness and focus on their future in order to harvest a better future. He promises to sensitize more youth to form associations of peace and positive creativity as a way of fighting trauma among the youth.  

Mr. Singba James, Headman and participant of the training thanked Favor Africa Ministry International for approaching the community of Gangara-Emmilia with such training stressing that it has created unity among people whose relationship might have been broken for one reason or another. He called on the participants to extend their knowledge and be able to manage stress and heal trauma at their different localities. Mr. James appealed to the organizers to once again organize the training in the same area but at a different location to help bring the community together.

Hipai Stella who spoke on behalf of the female attendants called on the government and other partners dealing with psycho-social to involve the graduates voluntarily to enable them to practice the acquired knowledge and skills adding that more people in the community around Yambio and beyond are traumatized due to the continues crises in the state and therefore need the availability of more counselors to build hope and minimize crimes.

On the other hand, Pitia Patrick male participants called on the public to speak out about trauma adding that keeping quiet about trauma kills more. He called on the government and partners to exercise both law and counseling when dealing with crimes especially massive crimes as basing on law may not solve crimes that may be caused as a result of trauma and stress.

Mr. Aljibna Ali, Coordinator for Favor Africa Ministry International thanked the community for welcoming the initiative and participation, the government entities for their continued support including other churches for standing united for the success of the training, promising that he will recommend the Ministry to continue with this support of healing the mind as to prepare a nation free of stress and trauma, “we are training government entities, church leaders regardless of their denominations, race and localities and nationality in respect of humanity’’ he called on the participant to be exemplary counselors and form counsellors’ associations to be available to the community rather than getting lost with the knowledge and skills.

The joyful event took lieu at Gangara-Emmilia North in the western part of Yambio WES on Saturday 13th May 2023 about 150m from the main road with 104 grandaunts of which the majority were females dressed in white shirts with black trousers or skirts. The selection of the participants was not based on their educational background but open to educated and uneducated. The graduation ended with awarding of certificates to the participants by the Ministry Administration, trainers, and the guest of   Hon. Mr. Simon Sarawasi.      

“Prioritize Transparency and Do Not Misuse the Donations”, Says the Vicar General of CDTY to Project Executors

By Arkangelo Rangabia

The Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Tambura Yambio has called on project executors working under Diocesan institutions to always prioritize transparency and accountability to the donors. ‘’We take the responsibility to account for each and every donation, failure to do so, will lead to more sorrows and sadness’’ he said.

Speaking at the launching of the Borehole at St. Jude Catholic Chapel in Yambio County Western Equatoria State on Wednesday 10th May 2023 Rev. Fr. Thomas Bagbiowia the Vicar general in the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio stressed that partners not to chop the donations offered to benefit the suffered communities adding that the local community always suffer the consequences of un-impacted funded projects. ‘’proper accountability has to be done at all costs because when it is not done those who suffer are rather the community’’ he said.  

Rev. Fr. Bagbiowia argued the local community to follow the measures set aside to guide the borehole, and committee to sustain the functionality of the water point. ‘’ the donors and CODEP partners have done their part, our roles are to administer, manage, maintain in order to sustain the water point for our own benefit’’

He called on the local authority to work in collaboration with the Chapel administration to sustain this project.

The vicar assured the partners of their proper accountability and transparency in delivering the proposed services expected of them to the beneficiaries adding that other partners should give an evidential accountability that lies with the project’s impact on the community in order to acquire blessings from God rather than curses.  ‘’We take the responsibility to account for each and every donation, failure to do so, will lead to more sorrows and sadness’’ he said.

The launching of one of the seven proposed hand dug well took place at St. Jude Catholic Chapel under St. Augustine Catholic Parish on Wednesday 10th May 2023 where hundreds of community members gathered to witness the launching of the hand-dug well.

This project is designed to construct at least seven hand-dug wells in different communities in the Diocese where it had been hard for the communities to access clean water for better health. The occasion ended up with a blessing of the well by Vicar General Rev. Thomas Bagbiowia.

CODEP has Launched the Use of Hand Dug Well at St. Jude Catholic Chapel Under St. Augustine Catholic Parish in Yambio-WES

By Joseph Ernesto

The Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CODEP) on Wednesday 10th May 2023 launched the use of one of the seven proposed hand-dug wells at Gangara Emilia in Yambio. The project is aiming at digging seven wells in different areas in the Catholic Diocese of Tambura Yambio in the identified points where it had been hard for the parishioners to access safe water.

The launching ensures that the remaining 6 wells that are in progress will soon be completed.

Speaking at the event, Rev. Fr. Mbikoyo Charles Director of CODEP thanked the donors for funding seven Wells in the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio and he reassured the donors of their improvement of performance proofed by evidential accountability and teamwork in running impacted projects.

 He mentioned that there are challenges as one of the areas had been hard to access underground water due to high geological factors and will therefore require the high technical ability to provide water for this community.

The project manager Mr. Ngbanisa David added that the launching of clean drinking water is a great achievement for the local community revealing that the catholic diocese of Tambura Yambio is one of the dioceses facing a serious humanitarian crisis as many parishes suffer from a lack of basic services and one of the leading challenges is lack of clean drinking water.

He further said that clean drinking water is basic for human life and also supports economic activities in the parishes,

Ngbanisa noted that the fixing of the seven boreholes will be completed within the month of May 2023 and set for training of the water users committee in early June for sustainability purposes, urging for humanitarian support in terms of Non-food items, seeds, and tools for the vulnerable returnees in greater Tombura and IDPS in Yambio for stability.

Mr Mathew Smith the vice president of development of Sudan Relief Fund thanked the partners and members of the community for their active participation in the launching adding that “Water is Life” while reiterating commitments to work in partnership with CODEP to execute the project.      

The 7 hand dug boreholes are a project funded by the Sudan Relief Fund since November 2022 and were distributed in 7 parishes of the Catholic Diocese of Tambura Yambio such as St. Lucy parish Mambe, our Lady of Fatima Maridi parish, Corpus Christ Catholic parish Gangura, St. Jude Chapel Gangara, Emilia’s Justin Basukangbi parish Bianca, Quasi parish Banduguyo and St Cecilia Bagidi parish.

“Uphold Truth to Overcome the Challenges that are Surrounding Life”, Kenyan Catholic Bishop to Graduands

By Sr. Henriette Anne FSSA

Graduands at a Kenya-based Institute of Philosophy have been encouraged to uphold truth in order to overcome the challenges that are surrounding life.

Bishop Hieronymus Joya, the Bishop of Maralal Diocese, Kenya, who was the main celebrant and the guest of honor at the 49th graduation ceremony at Consolata Institute of Philosophy on Friday, May 5th explained that “it is the truth that makes us manage our life and overcome challenges that are surrounding us and if you only uphold truth, there will be no challenge that we cannot overcome”.

Among those who graduated is Seminarian Clement Daru Mangu Bande who comes from the Catholic Diocese of Tombura Yambio, Our Lady Help of Christian Parish in Tombura, and is a member of the Congregation of Sons of Divine Providence Missionary based in Nairobi, Kenya which was founded by St. Luigi Orione an Italian.

He added, “It is the truth that will teach us to leave upright life because the truth makes us to be more morally upright amidst the degradation of morality in society, we need the truth that makes us live a holy life”.

The prelate who is a member of the Institute of Consolata Missionaries (IMC) noted that the truth teaches us to love one another, co-exist with each other, and to live in peace and harmony with one another as brothers and sisters.

The 49th graduation ceremony was themed “Dialogue as a Way of Confronting Challenges Facing Our Society”.

On his part, the representative of the formators Rev. Fr. Cirus Karudhi noted that the vocation of man is to live in harmony with all other being on earth.

“Keep Yambio Open Market Clean to Prevent Infection”, says the Executive Officer of Yambio Municipality

By Arkangelo Rangabia

The executive officer of Yambio town municipality Mr. Zachariah Moses Timangi on 9th May 2023, urged both businessmen and women to “keep Yambio’s open market clean in order to prevent the spread of the diseases”.

Speaking to Radio Anisa, the executive officer of Yambio Municipality Mr. Zachariah called on the business community operating in Yambio Municipality to keep the environment clean to prevent infection caused by the unclean environment.

 “This general cleaning is the first of the year and is expected to occur every time whenever the market is unclean”, he added.

He urged the general public to stay away from garbage to prevent waterborne diseases caused by an unclean environment adding that the exercise will be carried out in other open markets around Yambio Municipality stressing that keeping the town clean will be a collective responsibility to see to it that garbage within the market is properly maintained by the public.

Mr. Moses further said, “Health is Wealth”, the general public should maintain a clean environment to maintain good health since raw food, vegetables and fruits including restaurants that operate within the market surroundings must be clean.

The executive officer for Yambio Municipality called on the public to repeat this exercise continuously in their different institutions as the Municipality will one day visit every institution including individual houses to monitor the surroundings.

On his part, Mr. Victor Elisa the chairman of the chamber of commerce called on the public especially the business community of which restaurant practitioners and tea sellers to throw food remains into dust bins to minimize flies in their food selling points.

 He added that the chamber of commerce will set rules and regulations that will seize those who will not abide by the rules and regulations set aside to keep the environment clean and any perpetrator will be dealt with according to the rules.     

Bishop Daniel Adwok, the Auxiliary Bishop of Khartoum, Appeals for Assistance Upon the Church Personnel fleeing Sudan

By Sr. Henriette Anne FSSA

As the violent conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) worsens, Bishop Daniel Adwok, the Auxiliary Bishop of Khartoum has appealed for assistance upon the people fleeing from Sudan, especially the church personnel who are currently in the borders of South Sudan, Paloch, Renk and Jodan.

“I am more concerned about the Church personnel heading to the border of South Sudan, priests, and religious sisters. Quite a number of them are entering Kosti and Renk and need to be assisted”.

Addressing the Sudan and South Sudan Bishops Conference he added, “I believe the Secretariat of Bishops can assist in handling the situation in coordination with the priests in Renk especially. The planes airlifted people from Paloch to Juba. Some effort could be made by the Secretariat staff to see that the sisters especially could be airlifted from Paloch to Juba and in Juba appeals could be made to the religious houses to host those sisters and priests until they plan their further destinations.

In a message addressed to the Chairman and all the members of Sudan and South Sudan Conference of Bishops by Bishop Daniel concerning the situation stated that “as you well know your Excellency, during the past four weeks, Sudan has been in conflict between the ruling regime and the RDF militia. Many people have fled the country (Sudan), some by air, land, and sea. Among them are also Church personnel. Others are still finding their way out. Among the main exit ports that are now still functioning are, the Egyptian border and the border with South Sudan via Joda and Renk. Joda, Renk, and Paloch towns are now congested with people fleeing from the conflict coming from all directions of Sudan, not only Southern Sudanese but also people of other nationalities.

According to the message shared on Friday, May 5, 2023, Bishop Daniel said that the crisis is going beyond their capacity and called upon their partners, the CARITAS Confederation and other charities to assist them.

He further revealed that “the Present moment it appears that, there is no one single organization having the capacity to handle the emergency response needed for the people fleeing the conflict in Sudan. There is a need to sound an alarm bell”.

“In Renk, there is Fr. Akile +211 912503333 who can be the contact person for the Secretariat in Juba. There are also people in Paloch who could be of help through Fr. Akile”. He noted.

“In Juba, I think there are people who could also assist especially connected with the flights. I think we can try to do something”, he appealed.

He, therefore, called upon the Lord to enlighten them to respond to the needs of their people, especially the Church Personnel.

Symbolic Gifts that Christians from Western Equatoria gave the Apostolic Nuncio

By Joseph Ernesto

Religious leaders and Parishioners in the Catholic Diocese of Tambura Yambio offered numerous traditional gifts including Bicycles to the Apostolic Nuncio of South Sudan and Kenya as a sign of unity and love in Christ on 30th April 2023.

Addressing the audience in a get-together ceremony organized at the Diocesan secretariat Curia, the Apostolic Nuncio welcomed the good gesture shown by the Christian community of Western Equatoria, urging the faithful Christians to always build their lives in Christ as He is the only way to salvation.

While in Yambio, Archbishop Bert Van Megen Hubertus ordained three candidates to the priesthood at St Mary Mother of God, Yambio.

His Grace Bert Van Megen urged the priests not to prioritize their personalities in order to represent Christ in their daily life. ’’The persona of a priest has to disappear behind the altar; whenever at the service of the Lord, we represent Christ, not ourselves; we, therefore, have to behave outside as indoors, showing Christ-like behaviours to the people of God.’’

He expressed his thankfulness to the people of the Catholic Diocese of Tambura Yambio adding that whatever they have offered is for Christ that he and other priests represent. ‘’ whatever you have presented here is not for me but for an important person who is Christ that, I represent Christ.’’

For his part, His Lordship Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala thanked the Vatican ambassador and charge Daffair of the Vatican in Juba for their willingness to come despite unfortunate changes in the planned program.

Bishop Eduardo pleads for more future commitments to promote evangelization in the Diocese adding that the Nuncio should forward the plea of the Diocese to the Holy Father Pope Francis.

Hundreds of parishioners brought their gifts as a means to seek blessings.

The gathering started with the presentation of gifts from Deaneries, Parishes, Centres, Chapels, religious denominations, and different entities of the Diocese including individual gifts.

The business community offered two brand new bicycles described as City Bike, one for Nuncio and one for Monseigneur urging that the bicycles should facilitate transportation for evangelization in their destinies.

Among the gifts were, honey, various fruits, ground nuts, and cassava local and traditional assets to Nuncio, Monseigneur, and the missionary sisters.

“If the Dignity of Work is to be Protected, then the Basic Rights of Workers Must be Respected,” says Bishop Hiiboro

By Joseph Ernesto

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tambura Yambio noted that the basic rights of workers must be respected, the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiatives.

In his homily at St. Mary Mother of God Yambio, His Lordship Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala says work is more than a way to make a living, it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation “if the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected” he explained.

He further mentioned that work is a necessity, part of the meaning of life on this earth, a path to growth, human development, and personal fulfillment adding that helping the poor financially must always be a provisional solution in the face of pressing needs.

He urged the government of South Sudan to move on to work in order to boost the economy of the country to eradicate poverty. “I would like to remind everyone, especially government to engaged in boosting our nation’s economic and social assets, that the primary capital to be safeguarded and valued is man, the human person is his or her integrity”:

The prelate added that in many cases, poverty results from a violation of the dignity of human work, either because work opportunities are limited through unemployment or underemployment because the low value is put on the work and rights that flow from it, and the right to a just wage and to the personal security of the worker and his or her family.

He revealed that the importance of the associations is that “all people have the right to economic initiatives, to productive work, to just wages and benefits, to decent working conditions, as well as to organize and join unions or associations.

Catholic Diocese of Tambura Yambio celebrated its patron saint, St. Joseph the Worker on Monday 1st May 2023 under the theme “centralizing on the dignity of work and of workers”.

“Accept the Call of God and Work Towards the Will of God in His Vineyard”, Nuncio to Newly Ordained Priests

By Joseph Ernesto and Arkangelo Rangabia

The apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan Archbishop Van Bert Megen ordained three deacons into the priesthood on Sunday 30th April 2023 in the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio at St. Mary Mother of God Parish in Yambio.

The three young men ordained into priesthood were Deacon Santino Wise Makuei born in Gogrial and joined seminary under Nakindo Sene Zereda Nzara, Deacon Paingbafuyo Luke Doboyo, and deacon Bagaipai John both born in Ezo Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio.

The three were ordained into diaconate on 3rd June 2022 in Nakindo Sene Zereda Nzara.

In Homily, His Grace Van Bert the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan called on religious to accept the call of God and work towards the will of God in his Vineyard.

“Priests are called among their own people in order to serve them, therefore they should serve wholeheartedly. As Christ laid his life for us, they, in turn, should lay their life for the people of God”, he said.

He further called upon the Christians to remain united as they work for the universal church of God in which there is no segregation by race, origin, and language adding that the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio through the ordination is expressing the unity of the universal church we are talking about.

He promised to continue praying for the people of the Diocese and South Sudan at large and he will forward any of the people’s queries to the Pope.

Multitude attended the occasion from different countries such as Mexico, Texas, and Nairobi, USA among others as well as government officials, NGO employees, Kingdom representatives, and other denominations including the Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan Bishop of Ezo Diocese Rt. Rev. Ephraim Bangisa who is said to have been accompanied by the three ordained into priesthood two are originally from Regina Mundi Catholic Parish Ezo including Makuei who completed his Pastoral work in the same Parish of Ezo.

The occasion was organized to take place in Ngboko Source Yubu in the Western part of Western Equatoria State about 135 miles from Yambio. The ordination was to be part of 100 years celebration of faith in Ave Maria Parish Ngboko but was abruptly relocated due to security instability in the area.

Many Christians from mid-west and western deaneries used motorcycles and bicycles to come and witness the ordination and to show love for the ordained.  The journey of faith of these Christians was self-sponsored through the financial scarcity in the country.

The centenary celebration was postponed until further notice according to the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio who called the Christians to remain in hope of the change due to insecurity.

The apostolic Nuncio in Yambio on Saturday at the Yambio airstrip where he was warmly welcomed by faithful laying down their sheets of clothes and waving of hands and leaves for the Nuncio as a means to acquire blessings. 

 His Lordship Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, urged the faithful to welcome different people into the Diocese since Catholic Church is a universal church.

His Lordship thanked the Nuncio for his love, commitment, and humility for the people of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio urging him to continuously visit the Diocese as his presence shows the universality of the Catholic Church to the Christians.

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