Having worked and lived in Africa for more than 12 years has left its mark and changed my life. The fascination for foreign countries and different cultures already influenced my orientation at university.
By living and working abroad I was able to experience cultural difference and to understand my own privileged upbringing. This increased my understanding of disparity and changed my conception of the world.
Father Pedro Opeka, Madagaskar
The lived reality in a developing country taught me to live and act more consciously and accept responsibility for those who cannot fend for themselves. A critical reflection of the role of women and family in different cultures is one of my major concerns.
For more than 25 years I have been experiencing the devastating effect of HIV/AIDS in every-day African life. I have come to admire the life-strategies of HIV+ people. For many years I have accompanied and assisted in the development of special projects ensuring a self-supporting life.
To see children hungry and even die of hunger, to experience the corruption and indifference of a government towards their people, to experience my own powerlessness in confrontation with violence and terror, hasinfluenced me significantly. Today I am a committed fighter against corruption as well as for children and women rights.
Being a mother has inevitably brought about thorough analysis of the true needs of children. Children are our responsibility and future. They should be taken seriously, listened to and not be declared incapable. We as adults have to strive to ensure children a relaxed childhood.
I am grateful that my children never had to suffer.