In Togo ACN is supporting families grow in mutual love and respect crisis situations, to counter the evils of abortion, the spread of AIDS and build a “culture of life”.
The “Fédération Africained’ActionFamiliale” (FAAF, or African Family Life Federation) is an initiative for the support of healthy families and the protection of life and involves doctors of various disciplines, theologians, priests, religious and lay pastoral workers. Its aim is to support families and help them to tackle their problems, offering Africa-friendly, family-friendly and pro-life solutions, as opposed to the alien Western-style solutions which many Africans have by now seen through as a “culture of death“. Instead, they seek to promote a “culture of life“ of the kind so frequently referred to by the late Pope Saint John Paul II.
In Togo, in West Africa, the programmes of the FAAF have been established since 2005. In the diocese of Aneho in the southeast of the country there are five people who have been involved up to now, for example in giving introductory talks and sessions in the parishes, so as to encourage more people to become aware of issues surrounding marriage and the family and train them to be able to accompany families and married couples. The meetings address such questions as, “What is God‘s plan for marriage?“ and “What does it mean to be a mother or a father?”.
Couples are encouraged to talk together and grow in mutual love and respect. Another important aspect is natural family planning, which observes and respects the natural, God-given fertility cycle of the woman. Husbands also learn in this way to respect their wives and respect their bodies. The goal is an education in love, which emphasizes the beauty and value of human sexuality and the human body and the importance of fidelity and responsibility and openness to life. It is the best way to counter such evils as abortion and the spread of AIDS. At the same time, the programme aims to help and accompany families and married couples in conflict and crisis situations.
There is a great demand for these talks and for personal counselling, and they are hoping to be able to train up 10 more female counsellors. Printed information materials are also needed. ACN has promised 11,700 Euros in support of this laudable initiative.