Bishop Philippe Rukamba of Butare and President of the Episcopal Conference of Rwanda, calls on leaders of churches and religious confessions to have an integral plan of evangelization that takes into account the priorities, rights and duties of people with disabilities, particularly children with disabilities. He made this request in the opening of the “camp of the Christian children” which takes place within the precincts of the Ecole St-André of Nyamirambo, in Kigali from 8 to 11 August 2017.
In this camp that brought together more than 450 children, representatives of more than 200 Christian denominations grouped together in 6 units and the Catholic Church forming a separate unit, Bishop Rukamba urged the children to be attentive and above all to fight to be true Christians and good citizens. “Dear children, always have the concern and love of others, especially your colleagues with disabilities“, he asked them.
The President of the Episcopal Conference of Rwanda also asked the leaders of the churches, pastors and priests, to use their best to enable children with disabilities to have access to the service of worship and to an integral education of quality. “They are children like the others, take them among the others,” said Bishop Rukamba who rebuked the pretext of lack of means and said it was a matter of mental poverty and mentality.
“When you offer a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind” (Lk 14:13). Based on this passage from the Bible, Bishop Rukamba invited every Christian to have the love of their neighbors and especially to create proximities with the most vulnerable, beginning especially with the children with disabilities.
For his part, Mr Abebe Nigatu, representative of World Vision Rwanda, the main sponsor of the camp, also stressed that local confessions, in their missions, must have concern for children with disabilities. “I appeal to church leaders to remember the most vulnerable people, including children with disabilities. These must be specially included in the social and spiritual programs of your churches. This requires you to make your churches architecturally accessible by children with disabilities, provide special training for your Sunday school teachers and work with your congregations to mobilize all the necessary equipment needed in the spiritual integration of these children “, he said.
Mr. Adebe promised World Vision Rwanda’s commitment to continue working closely with the Church to improve the physical and spiritual needs of children.
This 2017 camp, which is the third such camp, brought together the children of the Christian faiths in order to teach them how to pray together at an early age and to awake them to the challenges ahead, such as abuse and use of drugs and sexual violence.
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