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AJAN celebrates its 20th birthday at Service Yezu Mwiza

Posted on 20/06/2022 - Category: SYM Ceremony ...

On Sunday 05 June 2022, AJAN, the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN), celebrated its 20th Anniversary at Service Yezu Mwiza, a healthcare center for vulnerable people living with HIV.

These ceremonies of the celebration of this 20th Anniversary, coincided with the celebration of Pentecost and began with a mass of thanksgiving, presided by Reverend Father Fabien GASIGWA, sj, Regional Superior of Rwanda-Burundi.

The celebration was attended by several senior Jesuit representatives, including the Secretary of the Superior General in charge of the social apostolate in Rome, the President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM), the Director of JENA, the Director of AJAN, the Father Superior of the Rwanda-Burundi Region, the representatives of the different centers members of AJAN network, as well as the representatives of the Burundian Government.

Director of AJAN, Director of JENA and Regional Superior Rwanda-Burundi cutting AJAN 20th Anniversary Cake

During this celebration, all the speakers praised the contribution of AJAN in the fight against HIV in Africa in general and in Burundi in particular, through the Service Yezu Mwiza.

Regional Superior of Rwanda-Burundi, Father Fabien Gasigwa, sj, welcoming the guests

In his welcoming speech to the guests, the Regional Father of Rwanda Burundi indicated that Service Yezu Mwiza has been the champion of the community approach to health through its mobile clinic strategy: “This 20-year celebration is for us a recognition of the relevance of our network despite the financial difficulties. HIV is still a reality, we will always support AJAN's efforts, so that we can further engage in promoting health for all in Africa. In particular, we intend to promote within Service Yezu Mwiza, the accompaniment of young people through the promotion of social entrepreneurship, to reduce the impact of poverty, on the irresponsible behavior that spreads HIV, compromising the efforts of our countries against the spread of HIV/AIDS and other contagious diseases”.

For AJAN's Director, Reverend Father Ismael Matambura, SJ, “This 20-year anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments we have made together as a Network and the impact that the lives transformed by AJAN's work on the continent is having on our society and community; to share experiences that have worked to further inspire each other but also to evaluate our commitment and lay new foundations to move forward in deep waters taking into account the changing context of our work environment”, he said.

The Director of AJAN, Father Ismaël Matambura, sj, delivering a speech for the occasion

He concluded his speech by thanking the initiators of AJAN and Service Yezu Mwiza and the Burundian government:

Our gratitude to the Burundian government which spares no effort to support Service Yezu Mwiza in particular through the Ministry of Public Health and the fight against HIV and the Ministry of Youth. May all its representatives here present find the expression of our deep gratitude”, he concluded.

In his speech, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Community Development and Public Security indicated that the government of Burundi welcomes the contribution of the Catholic Church in the realization of development projects and calls on the beneficiaries of AJAN and Service Yezu Mwiza to become more involved in financial empowerment.

The beneficiaries also had the opportunity to express their joy and expressed their deep appreciation to AJAN and Service Yezu Mwiza for their support in the management of HIV.

In a festive atmosphere, these ceremonies were closed by the awarding of prizes to the various winners, who won the competition organized by AJAN, in all the centers of the African countries, members of the network to promote the values. A competition won by a young teenager from the socio Loyola center in Togo.

Gifts as a souvenir of the day were given to some distinguished guests who participated in that ceremony, including those from other countries.

It should be noted that the Legal Representative of the CAPES+ Association, Mr. Hamza Vénant BURIKUKIYE, during this ceremony, granted Service Yezu Mwiza a donation consisting of milk for children, in order to support it in its PMTCT program.

Executive Director of SYM, Father Védaste NKESHIMANA, sj receiving the donation granted by the Legal Representative of CAPES+

It should also be noted that AJAN (African Jesuits AIDS Network), is a network that brings together all the centers, projects and initiatives of the Jesuits who work for health in general and in particular the fight against HIV/AIDS; and who are committed to the supervision and integral development of young people.