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Friday, February 13, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 13 FEB 2009 (VIS) - The John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel is commemorating its twenty-fifth anniversary. The idea to create this institution arose following John Paul II's first trip to Africa, when he visited Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in May 1980. It was established with a Chirograph on 22 February 1984.

  The anniversary was marked with a meeting of the foundation's management board held in Ouagadougou on 10 February. The celebrations will conclude with a Mass to be celebrated in that African city on 15 February.

  "The John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel is actively involved in managing and protecting natural resources, in the struggle against drought and desertification, in rural development and in the fight against poverty, through the real involvement of local people. Therefore it undertakes the training of animators ("cadres moyens"), and of healthcare workers, engineers, ... agronomists, and livestock and forest farmers ("cadres techniques"). One particularly important characteristic of the foundation is its openness to the different religions of local inhabitants, and thus it is also an instrument of inter-religious dialogue".

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