|Project:||AFC Lubumbashi zone|
|Places:||Lubumbashi and surrounds, D.R. Congo|
|Province:||AFC (Central Africa)|
Fr Filiberto González Plasencia, General Councillor for Social Communications, made an animation visit to the communities in the Lubumbashi zone of the AFC Province, Democratic Repuiblic of the Congo, during May 2010. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a huge country, one of the largest in Africa, and it was not possible to visit all Salesian communities, some of which are in the east, towards Rwanda and Burundi, others towards the south-centre of the nation at Mbuji Mayi and yet others at Kinshasa, the capital, to the west. AFC Province will be celebrating its centenary of Salesian presence in 2011.
A vibrant province
AFC is a vibrant Salesian presence, demonstrating the very best of Salesian presence to and activity on behalf of poor young people. While the international view of D.R. Congo is sometimes clouded by the economic and political problems the nation is struggling to overcome, the nation's greatest resource, is young people, look forward in hope, and the Salesians have been behind that construction of hope for a century. Belgium sent its finest missionaries, a good number of whom continue to work for and especially be present to thousands of young people, and they stirred up a lively vocational interest which has born fruit. Initial formation centres are flourishing.
An outstanding feature of Salesian work in AFC, well represented by a variety of centres in and around Lubumbashi, is the work for disadvantaged youth, the very poor children of very poor families, including those who have been orphaned. The Salesians provide them with trades and professional education of the highest standards.
AFC has long been known for its Colombe Centre, which is a centre of production as well as training. Now the Province is in the final stages of planning the opening of a Radio Station based at the Centre.
A century of Salesian presence has given birth to another notable feature of the Province - the close ties between various Groups of the Salesian Family. Visiting the novitiate and postnovitiate, for example, one immediately notes the formation integration, especially at novitiate level. A surprise is to find a fully-fledged hospital operating near the St Francis de Sales Theologate! This is run under Salesian aegis and directed by a Volunteer of Don Bosco. Also interesting is a nearby study centre which provides an oasis of calm for tertiary students, including medical students. It is a particular response to a particular need.
Salésiens d'Afrique Centrale
Av. Ruwe, 1870