Women's Empowerment
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2021 Workshops and Events

After over a year, AFJN was finally able to begin in-person advocacy trainings on the continent of Africa with both the Women’s Empowerment (WE) and the Africa Church Together Against Corruption Projects. In-person meetings are crucial during the nascent stage of education and advocacy workshop trainings. AFJN continued holding virtual meetings, trainings, and mentorship in addition to in-person advocacy.

As a 501(c)3 organization, AFJN relies on individual and organizational membership, grants and donations from supporters for our operations and programs. Many of our organizational members are Catholic missionary communities in the U.S. and Africa. We are an extension of missionary witness in the difficult yet important arena of US political decisions that affect African people. 

Our Story

Over the Years

1998

Founded

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2004

Best Brewery Award

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2015

Opened LA Tap Room

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2004

Best Brewery Award

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2015

Opened LA Tap Room

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Latest News

  • Invitation Sign on (à Signer): Letter to Pope Francis/ Lettre au Pape François Avant son voyage en Afrique en Juillet #2 15 Jun, 2022 - Votre Sainteté, nous vous prions de mentionner ces problèmes dans votre message aux citoyens des pays hôtes, aux dirigeants politiques africains et à toutes les personnes de bonne volonté dans le monde. Faites savoir aux personnes affectées que nous ne sommes pas indifférents à leur souffrance et que nous ne souhaitons pas être complices par notre silence.
  • Invitation Sign on (à Signer): Letter to Pope Francis/ Lettre au Pape François Avant son voyage en Afrique en Juillet 7 Jun, 2022 - Votre Sainteté, nous vous prions de mentionner ces problèmes dans votre message aux citoyens des pays hôtes, aux dirigeants politiques africains et à toutes les personnes de bonne volonté dans le monde. Faites savoir aux personnes affectées que nous ne sommes pas indifférents à leur souffrance et que nous ne souhaitons pas être complices par notre silence.
  • AFJN Video Reflections on Africa Liberation Day 2022 25 May, 2022 -
  • Press Release and Communique: A Call to Join Hands to Tackle Drug Abuse, Ritual Killings, and Cultism in Nigeria and Fashion a Better Future with Our Youths 19 May, 2022 - For Immediate ReleaseMay 19, 2022Contact 1: Sr. Bernadette Okure, SHCJ National CoordinatorContact 2: Sr. Fidelia Aloa, Secretary Press Release: A Call to Join Hands to Tackle Drug Abuse, Ritual Killings, and Cultism in Nigeria and Fashion a Better Future with Our Youths In response to the growing concern in the society over the rising incidence […]
  • Press Release: The Africa Faith and Justice Network Welcomes Dr. Steven Nabieu Rogers as the New Executive Director 16 May, 2022 - “Dr. Rogers comes highly recommended and has a breadth of knowledge and experiences that will serve him well in his new leadership role. I believe his grasp of the realities of what is happening in Africa and his vision will set AFJN up for a solid future.”
  • This we Learned from a Trafficker of Persons from East Africa to the Middle East 4 Jan, 2022 - A former human trafficker told Africa Faith and Justice Network on December 2, 2021, that his Middle Eastern partners had sent a video showing four men, aided by two dogs, gang-raping a young woman he had trafficked. The image continues to haunt him. He added, “I am not sure if I will ever be forgiven by God for what I did.” Where are the victims from? Besides trafficking compatriots from Uganda, he also facilitated the trafficking of Kenyans, Tanzanians, and Burundians.
  • Zambia Association of Sisterhoods (ZAS) Workshop on Advocacy 23 Dec, 2021 - The workshop’s theme was “Religious Vocation, Justice Ministry and Evangelization” and was held from 12-17th November 2021. They were beautiful sunny days in November 2021 when all roads led to City of Hope Training Center in Makeni - Lusaka. The training on social analysis and advocacy attracted 65 sister participants from 45 Congregations in Zambia. To make our meeting spiced, we had Dominican Friar Fr. Taiwo, who could not resist to join the training.
  • Event: Continuing Plunder! Brutal Extraction of Africa’s Resources 20 Oct, 2021 - The largescale transfer of wealth out of Africa drives much of today’s global affairs, and also explains much of yesterday’s. For four centuries outsiders have been plundering and carting away Africa’s natural resource wealth on an astonishing scale. The webinar will shine a light on key facets of the continuing pillaging of Africa in our time, the 21st century and will highlight how brutal this extraction remains with instigated wars, dangerous poisons, significant human and animal displacement and unsightly filth inflicting destruction on the people as well as on the fauna, flora and water sources of the once-lush environment.
  • AFJN Women’s Empowerment Project – Tanzania In-Person Workshops 21 Aug, 2021 - The Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN) Women's Empowerment Project (WEP) was hard at works this past week Tanzania. After a year of online workshops, AFJN's WEP Program Coordinator Sr. Eucharia Madueke, SNDdeN was back on the continent working along side Sr. Adorata Kapinga, OSB, the Executive Secretary for the Tanzanian Association of Catholic Sisters (TCAS), coordinating the religious sisters Education and Advocacy Workshops. AFJN Board Member, Fr. Barthelemy Bazemo M.Afr. and former AFJN Executive Director, Rev. Aniedi Okure, OP also presented during these workshops.
  • AFJN Welcomes Award Winning Journalist, Patrick Egwu, as an AFJN Senior Fellow 13 Aug, 2021 - AFJN Welcomes Award Winning Journalist, Patrick Egwu, as an AFJN Senior Fellow. Patrick Egwu is an award-winning freelance investigative journalist based in Johannesburg, South Africa where he is currently an Open Society Foundation fellow on Investigative Reporting at the University of the Witwatersrand. Patrick has covered the work of AFJN on the continent of Africa, with a special focus on AFJN's Women's Empowerment Project.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

AFJN’s WE advocacy in the Democratic Republic of Congo has started with a team of three sisters who have traveled to four rural villages raising awareness on human trafficking. In 2022, WE is planning a collaborative workshop with the Dominican Office for Justice and Peace for the sisters on the environment.

Ghana

From May 22– 28th, AFJN’s WE and African Church Together Against Corruption (ACT) projects did joint advocacy and awareness events in Ghana. The sisters spoke at gatherings in Battor-Dzodze, Apolonia, Fodwoku, Atebubu-Garadima, and Brewaniase. The group educated locals and high school students in these towns on land grabbing, human trafficking, women empowerment, and child labor. The workshops were well attended.

Nigeria

As part of the WE project, sisters and youth have been holding several events on gender-based violence and human trafficking each month.

On May 6 the team engaged 1000 students and staff of Federal Government College Odi and discussed how to protect students from rape and human trafficking. On May 16 they held a 3-hour meeting with the Abari Community on violence in the family and its consequences and human trafficking. They also met with 350 women of the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) in Kaima and discussed child abuse and child trafficking.

The May 22 “Youth Arise and Shine – Now is the Time” AFJN-Nigeria Youth Leadership Training Workshop on human trafficking and child labor, gender–based violence, land grabbing, and communicable conflicts held in the Jos Province of Nigeria, had 100 youth empowered to speak against violence on the radio, advocating for non-violence, public witnessing, and campaigning in parishes and communities.

The July 8-17 “Let us work together to eradicate human trafficking” campaign in Uyo AkwaIbom State began with research by Valentine Iwenwanne in the region who discovered that two things were driving human trafficking in the area: ignorance of its reality and lack of will to fight the evil. Mr. Iwenwanne presented his findings during “AFJN Report: Current State of Human Trafficking in Nigeria (Akwa Ibom State) 2021” ahead of the workshops. To garner attention for the workshops, for seven days leading up to them, jingles in English and the native language about human trafficking were played on popular radio stations. The July workshops was for 6-hours at Holy Infant Secondary School, Oron, with 1,200 staff and students and a drama on human trafficking written and produced by the students and other workshops at Mbribit Iram Community and Cathedral Community.

On July 12 the stakeholder meeting had over 200 stakeholders from government, civil society, youth, parishes, and the vicar of the diocese. The participants pledged to end human trafficking. The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) invited the group to speak with the zonal office director and staff. The sisters did an advocacy visit to NDLEA and advocated for a rehabilitation facility for female drug abusers (since there wasn’t one).

The rest of the days were more engagement and workshops with youth including: 1500 girls from Notre Dame Girls Secondary School Ura Edet Obo Essien Udim LGA; over 100 youth marching on the streets of Uyo with the sisters about ending human trafficking; town hall meeting with over 300 men and women at Afagh Eket Community, including the chief and his cabinets;, and 2,000 high school student at St. Peter and Paul Secondary School Ibeno; Town hall with Ibeno community where a youth leader spoke about the mass drowning of 13 girls by their traffickers; Town Hall at Oron Local Government with 16 village chiefs and over 300 men, women, and youth. Many of these meetings led to a strong commitment by the leaders, chiefs and families to protect their children and start acting as a community to identify and the eliminate human trafficking in their communities. Many sad stories of real life trafficking were shared by members of the community.

On July 30, the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the Women and Children Justice Initiatives and AFJN held a one day advocacy event at the Cathedral Church of the Good Shepherd Enugu. NAPTIP also held events to raise awareness. The sisters also were part of a week-long sensitization in schools and churches organized by a sister who received AFJN training in UYO. With AFJN mentorship, she mobilized the JDPC, NAPTIP and Catholic Lawyers to join the march against trafficking.

In August sisters met with the Catholic Women’s Organization at Bamishi Abuja where the women pledged to kick out trafficking in their communities.

In September “AFJN Nigeria Youth Video for Peace” premiered. The youth produced this video calling for peace over the increased tensions and violence among their communities caused by the growing instability. The youth shared the video among themselves and their social networks including WhatsApp. Also the sisters and the youth were invited by the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos to participate in “Youth Week 2021” September 5-11th where they talked about the importance of advocacy in the struggle for justice.

In October, ahead of the 2021 election in Jos, Nigeria, AFJN – Nigeria youth produced and circulated a video calling for nonviolence ahead of the elections. Generally elections in Nigeria are bloody and politician are known to use youth to perpetrate the violence. In the video, the youth ask others not to engage in violent activities during the elections. Post-elections the youth reported to Sr. Eucharia, that Saturday’s elections were not violent – the youth refused to be used to perpetuate the violence.

Tanzania

Prior to the workshops with youth and sisters, AFJN commissioned research by Denis Mpagaze into the prevalence of human trafficking in Tanzania where he found that gender inequality and lack of awareness on human trafficking are two major issues. The youth also created a human trafficking jingle that was aired for a week prior to the youth workshop to draw public attention to the issues.

On June 19, AFJN held “Tanzanian Youths: Working Together to End Human Trafficking” for youth in Songea, Tanzania. This one-day workshop with the youth was held in-person with AFJN giving Zoom presentations on gender-based violence and on Human Trafficking. One hundred youth of various ages attended and even the District Commissioner of Songea participated on Zoom. After the workshop the youth created the AFJN Youth Network in Tanzania where the youth continue to gather and use social media and other outlets to disseminate knowledge to the public including a standing appearance on Jogoo Radio F.M 930 every Saturday from June to the
present time.

AFJN also held “Witnessing to Our Faith in the Public Square” workshops for the sisters on August 16-20. Over 80 sisters from over 50 different congregations attended the 3-day workshop including an advocacy visit to the Commissioner for Home Affairs. During the visit the Commissioner was so impressed he said he will use the advocacy letter written by the sisters in his future discussion with other leaders on the issues of human trafficking. Additionally, he said that he would be implementing a new procedure where the chief must sign a document before a child can leave the village. If an officer did a search on a bus and found a child without the proper signed document the child would be taken off the bus and returned to the chief. Following the workshop the sisters have hosted two awareness creating events which AFJN staff participated via Zoom. Events were covered by seven local media outlets.

On September 10 and 11, the sisters held a public campaign against human trafficking with 270 staff and students in Dar es Salaam where they met with the Temeke District Officer and Social Welfare Officer and they visited with the former Ambassador to Japan. The workshop was broadcast on TV, the sisters were also on Sauti Ya dada Wadogo radio and on Radio Tumaini https://youtu.be/rSsuk8kW8oQ, https://youtu.be/9cY5FpP5q-g, https://youtu.be/r4qpt-bOt2M

Uganda

Following the spring workshops, the sisters in Uganda produced a “Brief History of the Africa Faith and Justice Network Uganda” video about AFJN’s advocacy work in Uganda, the creation of Africa Faith and Justice Network – Uganda, and the successes they have had on educating others about domestic and Gender-Based Violence including working with survivors and advocating against human trafficking.

In July and September, AFJN remotely mentored sisters on human trafficking prevention and educational outreach to new communities which led to: a radio program with Fort Portal’s Jubilee Radio 105.6 on the World Day Against Human Trafficking; outreach to the Anglican church community, to join the sisters in interfaith advocacy against human trafficking; and building a support group of 30 youth survivors by providing counseling and a community support network.

Zambia

In May, the WE Project held a Zoom discussion on “Advocacy as a Christian Calling” with Executives of the Zambian Conference of Women Religious to spark their interest in advocacy and training of sisters in this important work. A follow up workshop for the Major Superiors in Lusaka is scheduled for November 13 and a workshop for Sisters from different religious congregations is scheduled for November 14-16.

Re-Trafficking Prevention
AFJN has been working with three survivors (two in Uganda and one in Nigeria) who were trafficked abroad. The witness these survivors provided during our workshops and trainings have been immeasurable. Thanks to additional funding from the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Base Communities, AFJN was able to provide these survivors with skills training and materials to start their own business as a way to thank them. The survivors were very grateful for the support.