What a way to start the Advent season! 2nd December 2012 marks the beginning of the New Year season of our liturgical calendar, Advent. This Sunday was also the last Sunday for the first term of the academic calendar since schools close on Friday, 7 December. It was also a day to commemorate the World Aids Day, which is 1 December but it was on Saturday.
In his usual advisory mood, Fr. Mario Pacifici, who is the Founding Trustee of Andiamo Youth Cooperative Trust, advised the students to study hard, as they are still writing examinations and to take home all the good things they have acquired at Andiamo Education Institutions.
On HIV/AIDS, Fr. Mario reminded the gathering that AIDS is real and that the only way to stop the pandemic is to follow Christian values. To teach by example, Fr. Mario asked Jackson Edward Mtchona Kafadala, a person living with the virus positively to give his testimony.
Kafadala, as he is popularly known concurred with Fr. Mario that AIDS is real and it is amongst us.
“I was very intelligent and genius when I was young but due to bad behaviour I contracted this HIV/AIDS and I am now HIV Positive and I am on ARV treatment,” started narrating his story to the students, one of them his child.
Jack took his time to advise students going on a month long holiday to abstain from immoral behaviours by having sugar daddies and sugar mummies and to abstaining from drugs, alcohol.
He then asked the students to wake up and go for Voluntary Counselling Tests (VCT) to know their status.
The AEI coordinator, Patrick Bwanali, thanked Fr. Mario the founding trustee for his commitment and advice to the students. He also thanked Jackson Edward Mtchona Kafadala for his sacrifice to save others.
He also asked the congregation to put Fr. Mario Pacifici in their prayers, as he will undergo a Heart Surgery in January 2013. Bwanali also thanked the outgoing chair for YCS Tiwonge Mponda for being exemplary to the secondary school students
Mr. Bwanali presented an award (a wrist watch) to the “most popular person” at the campus Mr. Kantema. Excited, Kantema failed to say the much prepared statement “Thank you very much”. He just managed to say, “Very Much”.
During the same mass Fr. Mario read out the Advent Message from the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) and letters were read from students and the YCS patron.
By Yohane Konde