Monday, July 18, 2011

Reflection from Ake Ble Leon Nathan, Global Justice Volunteer

From July 3 to July 11, 2011, young people from across Africa gathered together in Nairobi, Kenya, to prepare for their eight-week term as Global Justice Volunteers (GJV). Through the GJV program, young adults live and learn with communities that are seeking justice in our world today. GJV is a program of the Mission & Evangelism Program Area and Women's Division of Global Ministries.

In the 2011 Global Justice Volunteers Africa Program, young adults are volunteering with three organizations in Kenya seeking justice around issues related to HIV/AIDS. Below is a reflection from Ake Ble Leon Nathan (Côte D'Ivoire) following the orientation and training:

Front Row (left to right): Florence Lassayo (Sierra Leone), Pauline Komo Odinga (DRC - Central Congo Conference), Phenie Achieng Okidi (Kenya), Ndamira Florence (Rwanda), Rev. Kat Sal Nenette (DRC- South Congo Conference). Back Row (left to right): Lionel Duhimbarwe (Burundi), Madira Bwaza (Uganda), Ake Ble Leon Nathan (Cote D’Ivoire), Bishop Daniel Wandabula, Mwilambwe Shabanza Cadet (DRC – North Katanga Conference). Photo: Kim Lehmann

I, Ake Ble Leon Nathan, representative of Côte D'Ivoire in the Global Justice Volunteers Africa Program, participated in the orientation and training at the Methodist Guesthouse and Conference Centre on the theme: "United Methodist Young People Responding to the Challenge exposed by HIV/AIDS."

We were nine representatives from different countries, including Burundi, Côte D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. During the week, we had Bible studies, country reports, and different presentations on mission, HIV/AIDS, and conflict resolution. We also had presentations from the three organizations where we will be serving as volunteers: 
  • Grassroots Organizations Operating Together in Sisterhood Kenya (GROOTS Kenya)
  • Kenya Network of Women with HIV/AIDS (KENWA)
  • Comprehensive Rural Health Project
Ake Ble Leon Nathan (standing)
Photo: Gabriel G. Mungai
During the week, we also dealt with our concerns, the societal issues, and our expectations…. I personally learned a lot from this training. I was touched by the HIV/AIDS overview and the specific concerns. I also learned about Christian mission towards the society, such as expressing love and doing justice and righteousness.

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