African representatives to the World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee, meeting as part of the WCC central committee meeting held online from 23–28 June 2021, were keen to hear more about this campaign.
Through the campaign, young Africans have been able to connect and worship together, engage other innovative and youthful entrepreneurs, as well as explore ways to address the continent’s social, economic, and political challenges.
Shava added, "As young people in Africa, we desire to live in peace. We are seeing conflicts in parts of the continent and witnessing the proliferation of small arms and a rise in gun violence in some communities. This disturbs us. Through this campaign, we are involved in advocacy activities around silencing the guns to ensure that we all move towards a peaceful Africa which focuses its energy on development."
The meeting also heard how the upcoming WCC Assembly theme, "Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity," further inspired the young Africans to work towards a better Africa. Said Neo Mosima of the Anglican Church in Botswana, "The WCC assembly theme is calling on us to bring back the broken societies, to unite and reconcile them through the love of Christ. With that love, we can do all and conquer more."
Added Simbarashe Hunzwi, of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, "As young Africans, we will be unified towards the ultimate realization that Africa is our home and our future when we realize that the love of Christ drives us towards unity and reconciliation."
In addition to this campaign, the youth are reflecting theologically on the challenges of Africa in a journey of justice and peace. This became clear when WCC, in partnership with AACC, launched an essay competition for authors below 35 years.
Young African clergy, theologians, and laypersons were eager to engage with the challenging issues facing their continent, to do social analysis and suggest solutions around the WCC Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace themes of truth and trauma, land and displacement, gender justice and racial justice.
Selected essays will form part of a publication, "The Africa We Pray for on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace," edited by Shava and Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, WCC deputy general secretary for Public Witness and Diakonia, which will be published later this year. Phiri said that the high standard of contributions is "in itself is a sign of hope in the African youth's ability to articulate the signs of our times in Africa and propose solutions."