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The launching of a campaign for the Marist Fraternities in the Province of Africa Centre East

20/12/2007: Rwanda

Youth groups named “Groupes Champagnat” (GC) started in 1999. They function in 6 parishes around our communities of Byimana and Save. They started spontaneously just after the canonization of our Founder. They don’t call themselves ‘Fraternities”. They read together the Life of M. Champagnat, pray the Rosary and teach to read and write to school drop outs. They have a recollection day every term.
In D. R. Congo we already had the “Amis de Marcellin Champagnat” (A.M.C.) or Friends of Marcellin Champagnat. Most of our vocations in Congo are from the A.M.C.

Now, on December 8, a former student gave us a precious opportunity to launch a campaign for the Marist Fraternities, unknown up to now in our Province. He organized soccer between the Brothers and the experts of a Research Institute in the southern part of Rwanda. The Brothers team was named UMUREZI FC (Educator FC) and the experts’ UBUMENYI FC (Knowledge FC). The match ended with a score of 4 to 2 in favor of the Brothers. A reception enriched with traditional dances and poems followed. It is during this reception that the campaign for the Marist Fraternities was launched. The idea was warmly welcomed not only by our former students but also by many parents who know the quality of education in our Marist schools.

The soccer was organized to please our Good Mother Mary and to bring together the Marist Educators and their former students. The Brothers were from Madagascar, D.R. Congo and Rwanda. Montfort Brothers (some from Burundi) joined them to complete the team. The Marist Sisters provided both teams with first aid. The Huye Stadium was crowded with fans. The atmosphere was very relaxed, since the fans were cheering both teams without any distinction. A lot of laughter since most players were aged between 40 and 50.

We hope to start soon, first with the empowerment of the “Groupes Champagnat” and the “Amis de Marcellin Champagnat”. Then we will proceed with the Marist Fraternities.

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