The Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM) announced an international colloquium last year that was going to take place in Nairobi, Kenya on April 14-16, 2020. This conference with the theme “African Child: Promoting a Culture of Protection, Care and Safeguarding in Church and Society” is aimed at furthering the child protection and safeguarding efforts in Africa through knowledge sharing and contribution from various experts on safeguarding across the continent.
Much positive response to the colloquium has come with strong interest from a wide audience across the continent and the rest of the world. As we speak, plans had reached an advanced stage and we were excited about the prospect of holding this innovative colloquium for the first time in Africa.
Unfortunately, despite all the preparations the COVID-19 has posed a major threat to the health of all leading limited travels and group gatherings due to its unpredictability, detection and spread across the globe. There is now great fear, panic, and psychosis that comes with general global travels and human interactions. In the wake of this pandemic, the JCAM office of the President sent a message to relay regret and announce the postponement of this conference.
The message from the JCAM President reads: “Regrettably, due to the current global public health crisis triggered by COVID-19, we have decided to postpone the colloquium indefinitely. This is a hard decision considering the amount of preparation and planning that you have made to participate in the colloquium. Given the current uncertainty regarding the global public health situation, we believe that postponing the event is the safe and sensible thing to do. We take seriously the safety and health of all participants. Once the threat of Covid-19 has lifted we will reassess the prospect of rescheduling the colloquium for a later date. You will be duly informed of any new arrangement. Many thanks for your kind and gracious understanding. Let us pray for the healing and recovery of people who have been infected and affected by the virus all over the world” – Fr Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ.