The Patriarchal Exarch of Africa, Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, delivered an address on “Fundamental Principles of Church Teaching on Family and Upbringing: Traditions and Present-Day Practice”.
On 27th July 2023, at the venue of the Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum in Saint Petersburg, Maria Lvova-Belova, Presidential Commissioner of the Russian Federation for Children’s Rights, moderated the session entitled “Cooperation in the Protection of Children’s Rights: Areas of Development and Forms of Interaction”.
The discussion was attended by representatives of government authorities, the Church, business, governmental and non-profit organizations in Russia and Africa.
“We are launching four initiatives: three in Kenya and one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And this is just the beginning,” said the Russian Children’s Ombudsman.
Two of these projects will be implemented by the Commissioner together with the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa within the framework of an agreement that was concluded at the forum venue.
“The agreement provides collaboration in humanitarian projects, informational and methodological interaction. As part of the agreement, a project will be implemented to create a poultry house for 500 chickens in Matara, Kenya, to support poultry farming in the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church,” Maria Lvova-Belova said.
According to her, the poultry house will allow to have a permanent source of food for low-income families of parishioners with children, the website of the Commissioner reports.
Under the same agreement, a farm for growing crops will be created in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “The crop will be sent to those in need, primarily children. It is planned to help at least 500 people,” the Children’s Ombudsman noted.
In addition, the Commissioner will provide financial support to an orphanage and a school in the Republic of Kenya. “We will send everything necessary for the equipment of a medical laboratory in Shelter Children’s Home in Kenya, in the settlement of the Massai tribe. We will also present a certificate for the first humanitarian cargo for retrofitting the Tabor Happy School in Nairobi, Kenya. Computers and technical equipment will be purchased,” Maria Lvova-Belova said.
The Russian Orthodox Church has been supporting the countries of the African continent for a long time and it is committed to continue its support. Patriarchal Exarch of Africa Metropolitan Leonid of Klin spoke about shelters and parishes of the Russian Church in Africa in his report “Fundamental Principles of Church Teaching on Family and Upbringing: Traditions and Present-Day Practice”.
“The Patriarchal Exarchate takes care of St. Athanasius the Great Orphanage in Nyabigege and St. Peter Orphanage in Rigena. We have concluded a really good agreement. I think this is just the beginning of our good deeds,” he stressed.
The session was also attended by Sylvie Nzeyimana, Minister of Public Health and the Fight Against AIDS of the Republic of Burundi; Alexander Kinshchak, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Department; Evgenia Kotova, Deputy Minister of Health of the Russian Federation; Karina Kadyrova, Head of Preschool Education Department, City Hall of Grozny; Beatrice Kadeveresia Elachi, Member of Parliament for Dagoretti North constituency, Deputy Chairman of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA), Chairman of the Council of the orphanage, Shelter Children’s Home.
“Helping children in Africa is a profound story about helping where there is no doubt whether you should or should not help. At the last meeting, the President said that no child is a stranger, we must take care of all of them. As the Commissioner for Children’s Rights, I am ready to accumulate this assistance,” Maria Lvova-Belova summed up.
Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa
Photo: Telegram channel of Metropolitan Leonid Klinsky, website of the Commissioner for Children’s Rights