Paul Samasumo – Vatican city
“Yes we have seen the news of the letter written by the Synod Fathers, and we look forward to reading it,” Mundia said. Speaking to Vatican News, Mundia also said the youth are grateful to Pope Francis for dedicating time through a Synod to discuss issues that concern young people. She described Livingstone Diocese’s rural and urban young people’s needs as similar but diverse.
Pastoral activities for young people are important
“Livingstone Diocese is so vast. It comprises both rural and urban areas though most of it is rural. The challenge we face is in bringing together young people because of the distances. The division of the diocese in three deaneries is a great help.” According to Mundia, it was important to have pastoral activities for young people in order not to lose them to the world or to other faiths.
African parents can be a great support for young people
Mundia also regretted some of the changes happening in African societies because they erode family life and values which in turn impact young people’s lives.
As a result, “Today’s African parents don’t have time to sit as a family, we are talking of eating together and sharing life in common,” Mundia said. African parents, she emphasised, are essential pillars of support for younger persons not only through their example and guidance but also when they encourage youth to participate in positive pastoral activities and projects.
Young people in Africa should shun political violence
Asked why young people in Zambia are often at the forefront of perpetuating political violence especially during election time, Mundia attributed this to poverty, desperation and high levels of unemployment among young people. Many young people, she said, fall prey to ill-intentioned politicians in the hope of earning something -anything for a living.
Involve young people in matters of justice and peace
“Today, the Church talks about integral human development, and so we need to involve young people in issues of justice and peace so that they (young people) know why they should not allow themselves to be used as tools or of political violence. In many (parts of Africa) young people are the majority voters so if we have information and (we are aware of) consequences we (can become) a positive force for good,” said Mundia.
The solution Mundia said also lies is in jobs for young people, education and awareness programmes which highlight the consequences of political violence.
“Many times we talk of issues of justice and peace, and yet young people are not involved in (these programmes). Many times the Church seems to prefer “old people” to champion matters of justice and peace.”
Mundia also spoke about the importance of pastors who accompany young people and who do not give up on them even when they (young people) sometimes “become sort of troublesome.”