February 12, 2010

Being Mercy in the 21st. Century

This week, as we continue our reflection on the social and global trends which all those associated with Mercy need to take into account and dialogue with in order to be mercy in the 21st. Century, we offer a second paper from the International Mercy Research Conference,2007– Africa: Urbanisation and Proliferation of Slums by Anne Itotia. Sisters of Mercy minister in seven African countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia. The MIA Vision places particular emphasis on the displacement of people worldwide as an area of need to which we are called to respond. Anne’s paper focuses on a particular aspect of the displacement of peoples, namely migration from rural to urban areas, which results in the rise of high rates of urbanisation and the proliferation of slums. The focal point for her research is the Kibera slum, in Nairobi, Kenya, which is the largest slum in Africa and one of the largest in the world, but the case study has application wherever one or more of the following are missing - durable housing, sufficient living area, access to improved water, access to sanitation and secure tenure. These are conditions familiar to many who work in mercy ministries in developing countries.

As we did last week, we invite you to any or all of the following:

  • Read and reflect on the paper personally
  • Draw the attention of others to it or circulate a hard copy
  • Form a group which will study this paper and engage with challenges posed in the paper such as:

‘The problems that beset Africa call for a new paradigm and call people to look beyond Africa’s past colonial history which still impinges on her development.’

‘The conditions forcing people to migrate should be our concern’

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