WORLD SOCIAL FORUM: HUNDREDS OF NUNS AMD MISSIONARIES, “IN AFRICA AIDS HAS STILL SOCIAL STIGMA ATTACHED"

” “Nairobi) The white nuns wear, wrapped around their waist, the fine African fabrics and sing songs in the kiswahili language as they try out a few dance steps as well. The African nuns wear the patterned clothes of their land. Everywhere at the European Social Forum that is under way in Nairobi over these days, you can see the nuns’ veils and a few Franciscan habits while the other missionaries mix with the crowd. But they are so many: 300 nuns from the missionary institutes of the world (in Nairobi alone, there are the training institutes of 120 female congregations and 60 male congregations) and hundreds of missionaries, including 50 Franciscan ones, Combonians, Pauline ones, Jesuits, and so on. Sister Letizia Braga, from Padova, a Little Maidservant of the Sacred Heart, who has been in Kenya for 11 years to take care of the local Congregation, lives in the community of Embu with another 40 African nuns. They run an orphanage with 60 children born of HIV-infected families, plus one shelter for street children who sniff glue and benzine. “It is my first time at a World Forum – she says to SIR – and I am excited. It is as if the world were all here for a few days for a purpose: the respect of man’s dignity. This gives us the strength to go on despite the problems". (to be continued)” ” ” “

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