GITEGA November 27th (ABP) – The Episcopal Justice and Peace Commission (CEJP) of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi held an exchange workshop for parliamentarians from five provinces (Gitega, Karusi, Mwaro, Cankuzo and Ruyigi) under the authority of the Archdiocese of Gitega and Diocese of Ruyigi.

The theme of that two-day meeting held in one of the halls of the Saint John Paul II Senior Seminary of Gitega was “the political community at the service of the common good”. It was also a framework for exchanging information on the state of implementation of the project to consolidate democratic culture by strengthening social cohesion and citizen participation in Burundi, said the Executive Secretary of the CEJP, Father Charles Karorero, at the opening of the works.

Initiated by the Episcopal Justice and Peace Commission, that project to consolidate the democratic culture that is working in the provinces of the Diocese of Gitega and Ruyigi in favor of young people has been working hard for a year and a half, said Father Karorero. In running that project, the CEJP in collaboration with the Solidarity for the Promotion of Assistance and Development (SOPRAD-Caritas Ruyigi) and the Organization for the Development of the Archdiocese of Gitega (ODAG-Caritas Gitega) has three key objectives. It is about contributing to social cohesion between young people of different political tendencies; Contributing to the promotion of participatory governance in the target provinces and strengthening the socio-economic resilience of youth in the target provinces.

It is in that context that the CEJP supervises and encourages young people of various political and religious affiliations to join together in self-development associations, some of which record visible achievements. Among those achievements, the communication officer at the CEJP, Mr. Antoine Hasabumutima, cited the awareness of young people on the importance of working together, the enthusiasm for the associative movement that promotes social cohesion in communities.

In the diocese of Ruyigi, 40 new associations of 10 young people each had solidarity loans at a rate of 500,000 BIF per association, for a total amount of twenty million (20,000,000 BIF), said Mr. Hasabumutima. In the Archdiocese of Gitega, 58 associations were supervised and accompanied for the implementation of their respective self-development projects.

In order for those self-development initiatives to move forward, the CEJP executive secretary invited parliamentarians to encourage young people to find their way in self-promotion projects and thus be able to avoid various manipulations. He also called on those people’s elected representatives to support those young people with moral, material and legal support. This will enable them to prepare for their better future and serve as a model for the rest of the population, he explained.

The themes presented on the first day included the Political Community for the Common Good and the political community and the role of the people’s representatives.

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