Africa

Fr. Flamm Tanzania Project

Fr. Paul Flamm, CSSp, works in Tanzania with refugees from neighboring Burundi. The Spiritans work with more than 30,000 Catholics; perhaps half of them are active in the church. With this many people, the Spiritans spend most of their time on sacramental ministry, working hard to unify the community and strengthen its leadership. Fr. Flamm writes: We are working in two refugee camps in the Kigoma region of western Tanzania with more than 80,000 people who have fled the ongoing civil war in Burundi. The refugees face many hardships in their life in exile. They fled with only the clothes on their backs. The assistance they receive from aid agencies, while appreciated, is barely enough to get by on. Their movement outside the camps is restricted, hence employment opportunities are very limited. Perhaps the greatest burden the refugees bear is the uncertainty of their lives. They spend months and even years without news of loved ones left behind in a country torn by war. There is pressure on them to return home. But the situation in Burundi remains very dangerous. No one knows if they will be able to recover the land and property they left behind.

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