MONGATA: SYMBOL OF THE COMMITMENT OF JESUITS OF THE PROVINCE OF CENTRAL AFRICA IN FAVOR OF THE 4 APOSTOLIC PRIORITIES OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS

1. MONGATA/CERED  is, in a way, the symbol of the commitment of the Central African province to the four priorities of the Society of Jesus for the next 10 years. Since 2013, MONGATA has systematically started the fight against global warming, fighting for the respect of our common house by reforestation of more than 100 hectares of trees. It is here that ecological consciousness was born. We realized that our land was wounded and deserved to be healed. The empty space of yesteryear is today surrounded by trees of all kinds. It is inhabited not only by men and women, but also by animals, chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits etc.

2. But for men, animals and plants to grow, they need water. It is here in MONGATA, precisely, that we became aware of the water problem. It is not true to say that there is no water in the BATÉKÉS Plateau. On the road to MONGATA, we have two big rivers: the MAYI NDOMBE River and LUFIMI. A few km from the village KINTSWANGA and CERED, we have a beautiful spring coming out of a rock. The problem is to transport this water to make it usable for humans, plants and animals. Waterborne diseases decimate people, especially children. There is agricultural work that we cannot do well because of the water…

3. The Research and Communication Center for Sustainable Development of the Faculty of Agronomic and Veterinary Sciences of Loyola University of Congo set up its incubator of agricultural enterprises for young people mainly in MONGATA. Here in MONGATA, there are young people from different universities in the country. They learn to practice ecological agriculture, they learn about beekeeping, fish farming, the practice of market gardening and food, far from the audiences and noises of the city. They learn by practicing, by doing, by touching the earth, by living with the peasants from whom they learn the wisdom that one does not learn at the university … Here, it is the place of the young people, it is their temple. Girls and boys, with or without a diploma, poor and rich, find an attentive ear and are guided towards the entrepreneurial maturity, the human maturity, towards the life that God gives us in abundance.

4. MONGATA organizes agricultural training for peasants, farmers and the poor. The villages around MONGATA are accompanied in the awareness against global warming by the practice of ecological agriculture respectful of the environment, our common house. The students visit the villages and thus become familiar with their situations, their joys and their difficulties and sufferings, thus, they learn to provide concrete solutions to concrete problems…

5. 5. It is in MONGATA that the children of the poor will soon have the joy of finding a very good school, the basis of a responsible human life. What good and good ca be done without quality school? Yes, the Ecology School Christophe MUNZIHIRWA (ECECOM), which will open its doors next September, will introduce young girls and boys, the future of tomorrow, to the practice of ecological agriculture, respect for the human person. Girls will learn to respect boys and boys to respect girls. All will learn to give thanks to the Lord by admiring the wonders of the bee, the beauty of fish, tomato, cassava and their positive effects on both physical and economic health. They will learn that agricultural wealth necessarily flows from agricultural transformation. Thanks to the Faculty of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences and CERED, our young people and our farmers will learn to transform their agricultural products to gain added value. They will learn to give thanks to God through his wonderful creation; they will learn to work to feed themselves, to create jobs and to be responsible.

6. To praise God, to respect him and to reverence him through his creation is a marvel. At MONGATA, the action of God becomes visible. Young people of all religions gather around prayer. By admiring creation, our young people, our peasants, our poor enter into a contemplation of this God who creates day after day. We remind them that rain, wind, air, all this comes from God and deserves praise and respect …

7. Coaching and coaching youth in the creation of jobs, supporting farmers in ecological farming respectful of the environment and creator of wealth, the accompaniment of all to praise God and to contemplate through prayer and the Spiritual Exercises, this is the model that the Province of Central Africa would like to share in humility and joy to the whole company and to the world. And all this, from the CERED / MONGATA which is more a concept, a paradigm than a physical place.

Ghislain TSHIKENDWA MATADI, SJ