By Aaron Berhane August 2007 Kidanemihret Catholic Church invited a psychology scholar Mr. Robel Kidane. He delivered a wonderful lecture to 300 parti...
By Aaron Berhane
Kidanemihret Catholic Church invited a psychology scholar Mr. Robel Kidane. He delivered a wonderful lecture to 300 participants on June 16 and June 17. This informative seminar prompted participants to evaluate themselves. Other religious institutions had also organized similar seminars before to educate our members. This is a highly commendable act.
In general, the religious institutions of our community have made incomparable contributions. By solving peoples’ challenges, they go beyond their usual role of providing spiritual blessing. They educate children to speak and write their mother tongue; they organize seminars to broaden the horizon of our thinking. By investing people’s money in the community, they work hard to fulfill people’s needs. They serve as a source of unity, love and cooperation. Working together, they unite people and they do not divide them by causing them to fight with one another. They always work towards their eternal agenda—people. Their daily activity witnesses to their goal.
What about the other sectors of our community agencies? Some organize sports activities to produce healthy children and provide fair services for newcomers. They are doing their best to improve their services.
Nevertheless, the two community centers we have—the Eritrean Canadian Community of Metropolitan Toronto, and the Eritrean Canadian Association of Ontario (ECAO)—will need to learn something from our religious institutions. They should open their doors wider than before, welcoming everyone with smiling faces. With a distinct agenda, they can promote a solid mission. By planting a long term vision in the minds of their members, they can set forth to fulfill the ambition of the people. Overall these two organizations are on the right track, unlike the Celebration Committee.
The Celebration Committee is the worst of all. It wasn’t elected by the community, but it fashioned itself to serve the community. This committee uses the name of our community to raise funds and exploits situations for its own reward. It has been around for a while, seizing people’s wealth, but has given little service to the community. It takes money from the people but doesn’t invest in them. Its agenda is to make money, but it always works hard to cover up its real purpose behind phrases like “’preservation of culture,’ “strengthening our unity,’ and ‘cultivating our identity’.. This committee always does its best to exploit the weaknesses of our two community centers.
As a community, we have to be conscious about what we are up to. Who wants to witness our growth and the progress of our kids? Who will encourage us to see things wisely and analyze them intellectually? Let’s identify those who respect us as human beings and listen patiently to our issues.
We have to recognize those who violate our self-esteem and try to steal our self-confidence. Who tempts to abuse our consciousness? Who tries to break us apart systematically, based on our religion and ethnicity? We should be alert in identifying those who only care about our money, but not about us.
We don’t deserve any more pain. Let’s support our religious institutions which are doing a remarkable job. Let’s encourage our two community centers which are on the verge of progress. And finally, let’s kick out the Celebration Committee which are the weeds of our community.
It’s time to move forward by trampling these weeds deep down into the ground.