Abidjan — "This initiative is part of a logic of resorting to young people of different religious confessions, to trace paths of peace in the perspective of reconciliation in Ivory Coast", says Fr. Richard Kaza, President of the ITCJ Student Council Association (Theological Institute of the Society of Jesus in Abidjan) and promoter of the "Morning of fraternity and social cohesion", which took place on May 15th.
The initiative aimed to promote brotherhood between young people of different religious faiths, Christians and Muslims, and focused on sporting activities, including a marathon. In addition to the students of the ITCJ, the young people of AEEMCI (Association of Muslim pupils and students of Ivory Coast), of the AGEEPCI (Association of Protestant pupils and students of Ivory Coast) and of the JEC joined the youth Catholic students.
Through this initiative, young people intend to send a message to politicians to make them understand that "religion cannot be exploited for the sole benefit of individual interests" but, on the contrary", religion is at the service of the politics, plays an accompanying role". About fifty people of all confessions have participated. "This day really made me feel good, there are people I didn't know and thanks to this marathon I got to know them and even better, we sympathized" said one of the young participants, Ouattara Issa.
Welcoming the initiative of his students, Father Jean Messengué, director of the ITCJ, invited all participants to commit themselves to making this event a traditional activity. At the same time, Anne Désirée Ouloto, Minister of Public Service and Modernization of the Administration, urged them to be salt and light for their young brothers and sisters. "Dear young people, thank you for having accepted to plant the seed of coexistence, the seed of cohesion, the seed of peace, the seed of the new youth of Ivory Coast. As you can see, each of you has a mission and with your behavior you can help us serve our country, you can be a stimulus that changes the dynamics of young Ivorians", she concluded.