After four years of grassroots work, regional animators of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) and the Damietta Peace Initiative (DPI), from both the East African Capuchin Conference (EACC) and Conference Des Capucins de L’Afrique di l’ Ouest (CONCAO), gathered again at the Portiuncula Franciscan Family centre on 3-7 July 2018. The theme of the meeting was “JPIC As a Way of Life for Franciscans” with the objectives- to review, evaluate, plan and train friars and other Franciscans in the values and strategies of JPIC with a special focus on Africa.
The five days conference brought together 47 participants mostly Capuchin friars from 22 different countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, , South Africa, Benin, the Central African Republic, Chad, Angola, Burundi, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Algeria, France, and Cape Verde.
During the conference, a range of topics geared towards empowering participants in the theory and practice of ‘JPIC as a way of life‘ were presented. These included: Values and Methodology of JPIC, Resource mobilization for social projects, Networking and Collaboration, the Universal Periodic Review process, the DPI and Interreligious dialogue in Africa, and Advocacy and Mobilizing for Social Transformation in Africa.
On the last day of the conference participants celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the release of the Pope’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato si. Apart from the presentation on the encyclical, the participants visited the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) headquarters in Gigiri, Nairobi and the JPICFA’s projects for the poor in the Mukuru slums in Nairobi.
In the end, plans were made to strengthen JPIC and DPI in the two African conferences. consequently, a coordinating team was elected including Br. Hailegabriel from the province of Ethiopia, Br. Jean from the CAR-Chad and Br. Samuel from Mozambique.