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Giving Children a Voice for the World Day of Social Justice

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

Sr. Maria Telesphora (COLU), ASEC Coordinator – Tanzania poses with children in Sumbawanga.

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“The voice to justice, to be loved and have peace in mind and body” in reflection to the Tanzanian Superiors' Seminar on Child Protection held from 17th to 18th February 2017

In today’s world children, suffer from abuse, degradation, maltreatment, exploitation and some are even neglected. The church, and in particularly the sisters, play a big role in serving and protecting children rights and justice.

“The voice to justice, to be loved and have peace in mind and body”   

Sisters, with delight, welcome Tanzanian Superiors to the Sumbawanga Sisters Mother House
Sisters, with delight, welcome Tanzanian Superiors to the Sumbawanga Sisters Mother House

The Tanzanian Superiors’ dedicated much time towards the celebration of the world day of social justice (February 20), which focused on Child Protection.  It was during a seminar organized by Tanzania Catholic Association for Sisters (TCAS) conducted in Sumbawanga included all the departments under it as well as ASEC’s Tanzania Program Director and Coordinator.  The seminar was held on February 17th and 18th and was officially opened by the Rev. Bishop Damiano Kyaruzi of the Catholic Sumbawanga diocese.  The Bishop insisted the nuns to work together for the benefit of the church and the world at large.  In this juncture he used the holy scripture, 1 Corinthians 7:35 and said,

“… I want you nuns to do what is right and proper, and to give yourselves completely to the Lord’s service without any reservation”.  

Mrs Kokuteta the seminar facilitator from WEMA organization highlighted the theme by saying, “What have you performed in your mission in order to strengthen peace, justice, and security for the children? You are not just a church leaders but you have great responsibility to interact and take care for future generation, going beyond professional relationship”.  

In today’s world children, suffered in different forms of abuse, degradation, maltreatment, exploitation and some are even neglected.  Consequently affect them emotionally, morally, spiritually, as well as intellectually.  Therefore to promote rights, justice and love to any child in the world based approach to preventing violence and protecting children’s are very crucial.   The seminar participants engaged into critical thinking and planning for effective implementation of the minimum standards of protecting children.  To provide guidance on relevant skills and competencies required for competent professional to review the family implementation of moral aspects is essential.   

Sr. Maria holding a young child

The church, and in particularly the nuns, play a big role in serving and protecting children rights and justice.

It is our duty and responsibility to ask ourselves, why children’s voice?  The rights of children need to be given the first priorities whenever we want to build fundamental future generation.  Most of women religious congregation in Tanzania initiated orphan centres in order to serve children spiritually, physically, morally and intellectually.  The Tanzania government fulfilled the burning issue of educational aspect and stated that every individual child had access to free fundamental education.

Definitely the articulation of children’s rights stated clearly so that every individual participants can be fully engaged in the implementation.  These rights are; the rights to life, development rights that dealing with the growth physically, spiritually, morally, socially and educationally.  Protection rights that focus on defending children from any form of abuse, neglect and exploitation.  Furthermore there is a participation rights which provide an opportunity to have a say in education that affects them and to have their opinions taken into account.  The right of not to be discriminated against all child’s care and justice no matter their physical or social characteristics.  

Due to science and technology advancement most children lack attachment to parents figure which leads to anxiety and initial protest, despair related to grief and mourning, denial or detachment related to psychological defense mechanism and incomplete development of emotional strengths. This situation influence the implementation of injustice and thus create reviled future society.  Actually this is what inspired the superiors rendezvous and discusses the fact, joint some solution and put strategies which will assist eliminating catastrophe and build justice, lovely and peaceful generation.

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Sr. Maria Telesphora, COLU


Author
Programs Coordinator – Tanzania  

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