by Doris Makhubu
The Eswatini Council of Catholic Women (ECCW) went to handover a donation to the Refugee Reception Camp (Malindza) on June 17, 2020. Their main focus was hygiene so their donation included mostly sanitary pads and soap, among other things. Below is the speech of the Chairperson Make Doris Makhubu.
Your Lordship, the Most Reverend Jose Ponce de Leon, Bishop of Manzini; Rev. Fr Mabuza under whose jurisdiction this Refugee Reception Camp falls, we thank you for shepherding us at this difficult time in the history of not only the church but the whole world. We thank Caritas for coordinating this meeting today under the prevailing Covid-19 conditions. We also thank the commissioner for allowing us to lend a hand in providing for the basic hygiene needs of our brothers and sisters. We are not going to distribute to families as has been the norm but trust the Commissioner’s office to do that.
Our presence here as ECCW is in solidarity with Refugees in the country as per call by Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation: Evangelii Gaudium/The Joy of the Gospel [EG 210]. …since I am the pastor of a church without frontiers, a church which considers herself mother to all.
In past years the physical presence at Malindza Refugee Reception Camp of Catholic women gave hope to the Refugees and the Bishop celebrated Mass, but the coronavirus has put that to a stop. We now all imagine the activities; big and exciting with a lot of gifts. This year’s Refugee theme id “Imagine,” yes, when things feel stuck, when old ways of doing things are no longer working, that’s what we need to do, imagine. In the Covid-19 era, the call to imagine feels more important than ever, you imagine and get hope.
As Women of Faith, we are happy that we successfully worked around the coronavirus conditions and put together the items we brought today. This is a conversion for our apostolate to gain meaning and relevance and not be stopped by any situation.
We pray to our loving God to open our minds and touch our hearts so that we may help each person to secure the resources they need, transform our fear, anxiety and feelings of isolation into hope so that we mat experience a true conversion of the heart. Help us to show creative solidarity in addressing the consequences of this global coronavirus pandemic.
Mother Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.