Focus 2006

Central Africa - ATE15-02-2006

Project: Salesians in Tropical Equatorial Africa
Date of foundation: 1958 in the Congo (1998)
Place: Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad.
Province: Africa Tropicale Equatoriale (ATE)

From 1958 onwards a Salesian missionary epic began in Central Africa taking in 6 nations which recently gained independence. The first volunteers came from Paris to Congo, Cameroon and Gabon. Spanish Salesians followed in Equatorial Guinea while Salesians from Belgium went to Central Africa. Chad was still waiting, while the Verona province sent the frist group to Sarh.

The work of the Salesians in Cameroon, Gabon, Chad is presented briefly.

Cameroon stretches from the north as far as the shores of Lake Chad. The east borders on Chad and the Central African Republic. The west borders on Nigeria, the nation with most inhabitants in Africa, and Duala is its ocean port near Central Africa. Towards the south its borders meet up with Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo Brazzaville. Cameroon is rich in agriculture, timber industry, bauxite, tin and uranium. Currently they are developing an oil pipeline from Chad to the port at Kribi.

In this area undergoing so much change, the Salesians have decided to build their Provincial Centre for ATE. Yaoundé, political centre and important metropolis for the Church too, was ready for the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Sons of Don Bosco.

First missions
1977 - Father Guy Ollivry welcomed by Mgr Loucheur in Bafia, who invited him to the Lablé Technical College.
1980 - In the presence of the Bishop and Father Pierre Pican, from the Province based in Paris, the Salesians take over the Lablé Technical College, up till then run by the Spiritans. They build their community residence.
1983 - The Salesians are in Sangmélim, then in Ebolowa.
1992 - The Salesians open a Boys Town in Mimboman.
1995 - The Salesians leave Lablé.
1996 - In August three Salesian Sisters arrive in Yaoundé
1998 - At end of January, ATE province comes into existence, called Our Lady of Africa.
2001- Sunday 29 April: Provincial House, Yaoundé Mvog Ada is inaugurated.

Salesians in Cameroon
1 - Provincial House Provinciale- Mvog Ada: 22 sdb of whom 14 are students of theology
2 - Don Bosco Boys Town -Mimboman III: 5 sdb: Parish, youth centre and Technical Centre
3 - Ebolowa: Catholic Mission Our Lady of Fatima and Don Bosco Technical Centre: 7 sdb: Parish, Pastoral Service to the villages, youth centre e Centre of technical formation

Gabon extends West along the Atlantic. To the north borders on Equatorial Guinea and Cameronn. To the East, borders on Congo Brazzaville. Gabon’s economy relies on exports of petroleum and forest resources. With an average income of $3.950 per person, the entire population should receive a good return.

Salesians came to Gabon in 1984, welcomed by the Christian communities. The nation’s authorities appreciate their educational work.

First missions
1971 : The Salesians come to Libreville
1974 : The Salesians take over the parish of Port-Gentil
1984 : Salesians and Sisters in Oyem
1997 : The Salesians open a new Mission in Libreville

Salesians in Gabon
Libreville: sdb:Parish, Street Children/youth centre under construction
Oyem: 4 sdb: Parish/Technical Centre / Centre for the young/ Chaplaincy to schools
Port-Gentil: 3 sdb:Parish/ centre for the young/ Chaplaincy to schools

Chad, independent from 11 August 1960, in Africa’s heart, completely enclosed with no exit to the sea. To the north there’s a large desert area where nomads live. To the south, sub-Saharan, more appropriate for agriculture. Lowest average income in the region : $ 230. The Chad-Cameroon pipeline to export oil could improve the situation. The Salesians have been well received.

First missions
1998 - The Salesians in N’Djamena
2001 - 21 January : Community residence in N’Djamena

Salesians in Chad
N’Djamena: 4 sdb: Parish/youth centre
Sarh: 5 sdb: Parish/youth centre/ Chaplaincies to schools.

  Salésiens de Don Bosco
B. O. 1607,
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