The African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) participated in a two weeks AHAPPY training of trainers (AHAPPY TOT).

The AHAPPY training of trainers begun on August 1, 2022, for the Novices, at the Noviciat-Notre Dame de la Compagnie de Jésus in Kinkeso/Inkisi- located in the Catholic Diocese of Kisantu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the other at the Institut de Théologie de la Compagnie de Jésus (ITCJ) in Ivory Coast.

The training was based on the AHAPPY Generation manual which is designed to be offered through training of trainers. This forum was conducted by Fr. Ismael Matambura SJ, the AJAN director, and Ms. Pascalia Sergon, the Capacity building Officer from the AJAN secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya. The forum encompasses the integral development of young people and the Universal Apostolic Preference (UAP) three, of the Jesuits, “Accompanying the young people in the creation of a hope-filled future”.

The training conducted at the Noviciat-Notre Dame de la Compagnie de Jésus saw Jesuits Novices in their final year of novitiate, novices and pre-novices of the Congregation Missionaire de la Mère Laura (Missionary congregation of Mother) a religious order for women, attend while the one at ITCJ in Ivory Coast brought together 37, first- and second-year Theology students.

The network used these trainings to empower pastoral agents, religious and other people in society’s mainstream, so that they take a more active role in the fight against HIV/AIDS with sustained commitment in their various capacities and areas of mission. The training carried out, turned out to be very interactive, exciting as participants demonstrated a lot of creativity as they were called on to discern for and with the people they serve.

Participants who had successfully completed the AHAPPY training course were issued with certificates and were challenged to always move beyond superficial conventional narratives by engaging their knowledge in critical analysis, to see beyond the obvious and challenge underlying assumptions held by the population including the youth or about social issues like HIV/AIDS.

In his remarks Fr.Matambura, the AJAN Director thanked the attendees. He went on to describe that the AHAPPY training was very practical as the participants received tools to prepare them to face the world of the youth and society with confidence and more importantly with the focus not just to improve social realities but seek for in-depth and genuine changes in the communities they work in. AJAN would like to equip young Jesuits and other religious people in formation to accompany the young people they meet in their places of apostolate and to engage them in the fight against HIV and violence that they are currently facing in their youth environment. “Through this training and many others which have been carried out already earlier in the year, AJAN has topped up the capacity building exercise for Jesuits in formation with the use of the program. Our motivation is to contribute to the preparation of young Jesuits for the mission, particularly in accompanying the youth and the vulnerable.”