Malawi youth meets Pope Francis in Rome: ‘Holy Father listened to us‘

For Tamandani Mervis Kamuyanja of Malawi, meeting Pope Francis in Rome and being listened to by him was extremely important. Throughout the week-long Pre-Synodal meeting, with animators and among colleagues, she felt she could express herself without fear of being judged.

Pope at Pre-Synodal Meeting: Commits the Church to listening to young people, “no one excluded”
A youth leader from Malawi, Tamandani  Kamuyanja praised Pope Francis for taking time to listen to them

“In his opening remarks, the Pope was like, you know what, I want you [the youth] to express your views freely. I want you to be open; say it out, do not be afraid. So I think this was one of the most important things that made the [Pre- Synodal preparatory meeting for young people] a success,” the youth leader from Malawi said.

“If the Pope can hear us, we [young people in Africa] should not be afraid. We should be able to express our views freely,” she said.

National YCW Coordinator

Tamandani is a young agricultural extension worker employed by the Government of Malawi. She is also a student of Agriculture at Malawi’s Mzuzu University.

“I am proud to be an extension worker. I work with farmers. I interpret agricultural policies to them and give [farmers] agricultural advice on livestock, crops and all that,” Tamandani explained.

She is the current National Volunteer Coordinator for Young Christian Workers (YCW) in Malawi.

Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment

The purpose of the Pre-Synodal meeting, held in in Rome on 19-24 March, was to provide the opportunity for young people to produce a document that expresses their views. The document’s recommendations will be presented to Bishops expected for the Synod meeting in the Vatican, during the month of October 2018.

The Bishops are scheduled to deliberate over the theme: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.”
Young people of Africa seek practical solutions

Tamandani was one of the 300 young people from around the world who took part in the just-ended Pre-Synodal meeting. Speaking to Vatican News, Tamandani said her experience in Rome had shown her that by and large, the challenges of young people were the same the world over.

“We are affected by the same kind of challenges,” she said. She added, however, that most of the challenges faced by young people of Africa require practical and concrete solutions. She cited the problem of unemployment on the continent.

Tamandani says that the Church can play a significant role by creating tertiary institutions that impart skills training. She thinks the Church could also come up with programmes and initiatives such as the provision of farm inputs to attract young persons into farming for a livelihood.

Young women can do more than just sweep and decorate

Asked about specific challenges young women of Africa face in the Church, Tamandani was quick to say Africa’s young women want to do more than just sweep, mop, and decorate the parish Church.
“I think that needs to stop…It’s not just our role to sweep the Church and mop… no!” While appreciating what the Church is doing, Tamandani believes that more can still be done to put to better use, the skills and talents of young women.

Her vision of the Church of tomorrow?

I visualise “a Church where young people will be leaders; where young people can express their views without being judged, and yes, a Church where young people can share the gospel with others regardless of where they come from. We dream of a better Church!,“ Tamandani said.

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4 years ago

Mai Maria mai a mulungu. catholics are stupid beyond imagination

4 years ago

Am lost what is the message
You delivered to Pope my litte

Don’t forget the future of Malawi
Is in your hands ( the youths )

Wake-up /reorganise yourselves guys your future is now

You need good /quality education



4 years ago

Pepani amzanthu achikatolika popeza zikhulupiliro zanu zikuonesa kuti mukadali mu dark ages. tsiku la lero basi bwe bwe bwe calling this bishop of rome holy father?????? Muziwerenga Bible lanu ndipo muziwa chowonadi

4 years ago

The use of “Holy Father” in this context is blasphemous, an attribute of the Anti-Christ

M. Mulajira
4 years ago

Whether he be called Holy Father or not… What is your problem? Its just a title nothing else. Thats respecting the elders in the religion circle and nothing else… After all there is no one living God so who cares who gets the holly title or not…. Its the society and its titles basi. Osayambana coz of religion … Its only cultural to belong to a religion nothing else

4 years ago
Reply to  M. Mulajira

A number of bible studies would enlight you… Your comment is displaying biblical knowledge deficit

4 years ago

The title ”Holy Father” is for God only. Let us not abuse the name.

4 years ago

Kkkk, Holy Father??? OK mwina sindikumvetsa but I thought Holy father is the one in heaven only.

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