On August 3, 2020, the work of the Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN) in Nigeria was featured in America Magazine. In the article “The Catholic Church’s fight against gender-based violence in Nigeria” Patrick Egwu talks about the increased need for the government’s declaration of a state of emergency due to the protests following the rape and murder of a 22-year old student. The article features the work of AFJN to educate the local population, especially the youth via online workshops and radio programs. Egwu noted that this was made possible by funds covering the costs of the workshops and to pay for data for the youth. To read the full article, click here.
AFJN executive director Rev. Aniedi Okure, OP was quoted as saying:
- “The increasing violence against women is a violation of who we are as a human community”
- “It is a crime against nature, and it unsettles me to see gender-based violence being reported in this pandemic”
- “We want to promote the dignity of the human person, that each of us is created in the image of God”
- “Whatever we do, we must understand and appreciate the foundation of the human community because when we violate one another, we are indeed violating God. So we are called to uphold that dignity of each person.”
- “I have seen victims and you can see that they are literally out of themselves.”
- “They would wish they could get another body and reject the one they are currently in after they have been violated or abused.”
- “We told them that you cannot be seeing this [violence against women] happening and continue to keep quiet,”
- “Because when you see something and do nothing, then you are empowering it and becoming a part of it. When these things happen, we cannot be neutral; when you refuse to do something about evil, you are indeed participating in that act.”
Additional funds are needed to keep this work alive, as many of the sisters and youth in Nigeria do not have funds to cover the increased data usage for online workshops and radio programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These types of digital information sharing are essential while people are not able to congregate in person. Consider making a donation to AFJN today.