ANS - Go to Home Page
ANS - Salesian iNfo Agency

IT EN ES FR PT PL Standard Version || Text only

Print this page Print   

18/12/2015 - Spain - Ovation for “30,000” and panel discussion on peace in Africa

(ANS - Madrid) - Yesterday 17 December, nearly 200 people filled the auditorium of the Lazaro Gadiano Museum in Madrid to attend the launch of the documentary "30,000" on the conflict in Côte d'Ivoire and the work of the Salesians for peace. It was followed by a panel discussion on the topic "Building peace in Sub-Saharan Africa".

Speakers for the occasion included the journalist Trinidad Deiros, who acted as moderator; Bishop Miguel Ángel Olaverri, SDB from the Republic of Congo; Spanish Army Lieutenant Colonel Jesús Díez; the European Union Ambassador to Togo, Nicolás Berlanga; and Dr Roberto Ravera, a psychologist and director of the Centre for the rehabilitation of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone.

"Africa is in the news only when there are thousands of dead," said the moderator when introducing the theme of the panel discussion. Lt. Col. Diez added that "conflict is not in the DNA of Africa, and generalizing about the continent is the worst possible approach to it." He also said that the main threat to Africa is "the lack of democracy and security."

Dr Berlanga said that "the great problem of Africa is that of governance.  Leaders must give hope to the citizens, because if the population growth is not accompanied by correct policies, it will be a failure." The ambassador also said that there is a difficulty with mediation in peace processes coming from Europe, because "we cannot forget that many countries were colonial powers, so we should try to see that mediation comes from them."

And while Lt. Col. Diez said that "peace is more than the absence of war," the ambassador said he was "Afro-optimist, because we can see the changes in society, although it is true that, without justice, conflicts are difficult to overcome, especially civil conflicts."

With words full of emotion, Dr Ravera described his difficult work with former child soldiers. "They have lost the ability to feel empathy and to recognize others. They are unable to read emotions, because they have no codes of behaviour." His work, said Dr Ravera, is to "help them to manage these violent traumas and recover from them, and to rediscover their roots, because when they do, they are very grateful and even come to be able to forgive."

Finally, Bishop Olaverri reflected on his role at the Justice and Peace Commission of the Republic of Congo. "We have 126,000 refugees in the country and spend 62,000 Euros a day maintaining the refugee camps that deal with those who are unlikely to return to their countries. Those who suffer most are the children, so I wonder if it would be better to invest that money to work for peace (...). Congo has the third highest rate of child mortality in the world and one third of the population is not educated, so education is a priority for the Church. "

A trailer of the documentary “30,000” is available on YouTube.

Published 18/12/2015

comunica ANS news

The latest News
14/3/2016 - RMG – Meeting of the Masters of Novices
14/3/2016 - Brazil – Edu-communication opens up new possibilities for young people
14/3/2016 - India – Green initiatives among kids
14/3/2016 - Philippines – The Rector Major at Don Bosco Boys’ Home
11/3/2016 - RMG – Close to Fr Uzhunnalil, the words of Fr Cereda

News from last week
News from last month