Dear Missionary brothers,

Greetings from the participants of SOMI training, Nairobi. We, 15 Claretians representing the Claretian communities, serving in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Cameroun, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique, had been in the Curia of St. Charles Lwanga Delegation, Nairobi, Kenya, from September 3 to 7, 2018, for a training facilitated by General Solidarity and Mission(SOMI) team. SOMI is a recent dynamism in the Congregation, comprised of the General Secretariat of JPIC, CMF@UN and General Mission Procure.

The Goals of the training were:

To strengthen the capacity of Claretian organisms towards the promotion of sustainable development, justice and peace and to establish a workable Solidarity and Mission (SOMI ) network at local, regional and global levels.

The objectives were:

To increase the understanding and the passion for JPIC
To know the UN system and UN instruments and to work within the Congregational priorities
To increase the knowledge of the congregational mode of doing projects
To take home a individual /organisational plan for the effective SOMI functioning
To increase the awareness of SOMI and explore possible networking in mission

Towards realizing these aims and objectives, we have been deliberating on:
The socio, economic, political and ecclesial realities of the region
The overall conditions of the environment, climate change, refugees/migrants, indigenous people, mining and peace and reconciliation building
The JPIC and the developmental contexts; the spirituality for JPIC mission
The congregational mode of doing sustainable developmental projects
The functioning of UN Human Rights Council and of its conventions such as Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR), Universal Periodic Review(UPR), International Convention on Cultural and Political Rights(ICCPR), International Convention on Economic and Social rights(ICESR), Convention on the Right of Child(CRC), Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women(CEDAW) and the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual( LGBTQUIA)
The 2030 agenda of the UN ‘The Sustainable Development Goals’(SDGs).

Our Convictions:

Having undergone this training, we are convinced that our guiding principles for missionary action come from the person of Jesus who was burning with passion for God and for the people, from the Social Teaching of the Church and from the social commitment of Father Claret and the Claretians through the history. As missionaries, we are called to be on alert to assess whatever is most urgent, opportune and effective (cf. Const. 48) using pastoral analytic tool of See, Judge and Act. We need to create structures and plans to respond to the urgent needs and eventually for the transformation of unjust structures. The values of peace, justice, human rights and sustainable development are to be transversal in our life and mission. Our missionary actions need to be born of profound mystical experience.

We commit ourselves:
To work towards creation SOMI structure at the levels of community, organism and conferences.
To involve the Council members of Major Organisms in SOMI information and programs; to organize a follow up program within a year in which there will be more participants from the region; to continue with the use of the SOMI Training Dashboard for updates, including organism’s council members in it; to get a leader for SOMI appointed by ACLA and to avail the coordination services of Br Robert Omondi until then.
To sensitize the members of our Major organisms about SOMI and to transmit to them the knowledge gained from the training.
To introduce SOMI themes in the various stages of formation.
To create awareness among the people of the structural intricacies of the poverty and underdevelopment and to create net global network among them for the effective use of CMF@UN
To use Human Rights Based Approach(HBA) for projects
To undertake projects of sustainable developments
To give priority to the works related to the care of the environment/Climate, indigenous people/non-mining, refugees/migrants and peace building.
To work for the accessibility of education to the poor/marginalized by creating educational scholarship
To work for the promotion of sanitation and food security.
To promote gender justice and to develop in us and in the society a compassionate vision towards the Gender Sexual minorities.

Our experience :
Our life in Nairobi was a celebration of cosmic, human and Claretian communion. The program was eco-friendly as no plastic was used and the use of paper was bare minimum. We were connected with the locality. We were blessed to have an interaction with the children from the slum of Kibera who made a presentation on rope jumping. It was eye opening to know that their moto is ‘jumping into the future’. The sharing by the experts from the region on the realities of East Africa, the indigenous people and the gender minorities made us connected to the people around. The participatory learning created an ambience to grow in personal relationships and interactions among the participants and facilitators. There was a no the wall of teacher and learners. We are contributing and learning.

Our joy and appeal:
At the end of the training, there is a joy in us that we could live in small ways what we wished for the world to be. We earnestly request that the members of our Major organisms engage in continuous learning on the rights of people and planet, and to work for the realization of these values in our life and in society. We pray that the Holy Spirit, keeps this fervor glowing in us and in our Organisms. May the person of Jesus and the intercession of Father Claret and the Claretian martyrs, accompany us in actualizing these ardent aspirations.
Yours brothers in the heart of Mary,
(Athanasius Madu-St.Charles Lwanga, Robert Omondi-St.Charles Lwanga, John Britto-St.Charles Lwanga, Santos Mugis-St.Charles Lwanga, Sebastian Muthukattil-St.Charles Lwanga, Casmir Kerketta-St.Charles Lwanga, John Obonyo-St.Charles Lwanga, Charles Boromeo-St.Charles Lwanga, Midhun Pulickal-St.Charles Lwanga, Thomas Nsabamusabe(St.Charles Lwanga), Jude Shylan( Zimbabwe), Placid Gweh(Cameroun), Joby Madathiparambil-Mozambique, Ikem Joseph-West Nigeria and Aime Nzuzi- DRC).