The Bishop of Mamfe, His Lordship Andrew Nkea, chaired a remembrance event in Yaounde on October 15, 2016.
The Italian missionary body, the Focolare Movement, founded by late Chiara Lubich, on September 13, 1966, set up Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom College, Fontem, in Lebialem Division of the South West Region. Christians and indigenes of the division gathered in the Saint Joseph Anglophone Parish, Mvog-Ada, Yaounde, on October 15, 2016, to celebrate 50 years of dividends of the Focolare Movement in Bangwaland.
Dubbed the Lebialem Unity Conference, on the theme, “Changing lives, building futures,” the event was attended by the Bishop of Mamfe, His Lordship Andrew Fuanya Nkea, who hails from Lebialem. It was also an occasion for Lebialem indigenes in Yaounde to commit to strengthen bonds of unity and love amongst themselves as taught by Focolarinis. “In 50 years, the movement has reduced infant mortality in Lebialem from about 90 per cent to almost zero. Other dividends include roads, closer healthcare follow-up, the advent of Christianity and education,” said Bishop Nkea. He added that though some divisions still existed amongst the people, the search for common good was beginning to overcome personal interest.
John Fongang, Chairman of the Anniversary Organising Committee, said he expected to see Lebialem people become more united and God-fearing, and the land more developed and prosperous. “Without the Focolare Movement, we would not have had any secondary school in Fontem in 1966. They also founded the Mary Hope of Africa General Hospital, Fontem. We look forward to create the Chiara Lubich International Foundation to rally support for continuing and expanding Chiara Lubich’s work in health, education, vocational training and infrastructure development in Lebialem Division,” Fongang said.
Fon Fossungu Nguarong Nicasius, President of the Lebialem Fons’ Conference, said all village development committees have committed to support the work of Chiara Lubich. “I expect Lebialem people to stand by their word so that future generations benefit more from her legacy,” he noted.