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Franciscans in Africa. Morocco: 32. Libya: 9. Egypt: 96. Sudan: 3. Eritrea: 155. Guinnea Bisau: 37. Burkina Fasou: 5. Djibouti: 2. Nigeria: 47. Chad & C.A.R.: 77. Ivory Coast: 50. Benin: 33. Ethiopia: 126. Sierra Leone: 1. Togo: 58. Cameroon: 32. Liberia: 2. Uganda: 57.

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franciscans in africa
Franciscans in Africa

Morocco: 32

Libya: 9

Egypt: 96

Sudan: 3

Eritrea: 155

Guinnea Bisau: 37

Burkina Fasou: 5

Djibouti: 2



Chad &

C.A.R.: 77

Ivory Coast: 50

Benin: 33

Ethiopia: 126

Sierra Leone: 1

Togo: 58

Cameroon: 32

Liberia: 2

Uganda: 57


Guinea: 6

Gabon: 6

Kenya: 79

Rwanda: 14

DRC & Congo: 322

Cape Verde: 15

Tanzania: 204

Burundi: 3

Malawi: 6

Angola: 97

Zambia: 88

Mozambique: 94

Zimbabwe: 32

Please note:

These figures only represent the number of Capuchins and OFM’s. We are currently determining the numbers of Conventuals, Franciscan Sisters and SFO’s.



Namibia: 6

S.A.: 100

who began the damietta initiative when
Who began the Damietta Initiative? When?

The Damietta Initiative was inaugurated by the Capuchin Friars of South Africa in Pretoria, November 2004.

The Capuchin Franciscan Peace Centre in Pretoria



  • The Damietta Initiative was approved as a project of the Capuchin Vice-Province of South Africa, at their assembly in March 2005.
  • It was endorsed by the leadership of the six Franciscan families (OFM Conv, OFM, OFM Cap, TOR, CFI-TOR, and the SFO) at a meeting in Rome on 18th December 2005.

What prompted this initiative?

  • The first Franciscan peace mission in Africa began 800 years ago, when Saint Francis of Assisi travelled to reach out the hand of friendship to the Muslims in Egypt.

A mosque and a church in the city of Damietta, Egypt, today.

In 1219, Saint Francis tried to stop the 5th Crusade.
  • Of the 70 000 inhabitants of Damietta, only 3000 survived the siege on that city.
  • Francis befriended the Sultan.

The Crusader’s siege on the walled city of Damietta.


Francis’ meeting with the Sultan, Malik-al-Kamil, in Damietta, is still remembered.

Thirteenth century fresco of Saint Francis visiting Malik-al-Kamil by Giotto, in the Upper Church, Basilica of Saint Francis, Assisi, Italy.

The Capuchin Franciscan Friars in South Africa felt inspired to take up this unfinished mission of Francis for peace and nonviolence for the times we live in.
how does the damietta initiative relate to the franciscan family
How does the Damietta Initiative relate to the Franciscan Family?
  • Every member of the Franciscan family, by virtue of his/her vocation, is obligated to work for peace.
  • From the beginning, peace was regarded as central to the Franciscan calling.
The vocation of Bernard of Quintavalle, the first follower of Francis, is described by a contemporary biographer:

“Taking up the Mission of Peace, he joyfully hastened to follow the saint of God.”(Celano)

Saint Francis welcomes Bernard of Quintavalle as a lesser brother.

why does the franciscan family have the capacity to make a difference
Why does the Franciscan family have the capacity to make a difference?
  • Because of its African-wide human resources (12 000 Franciscans in 40 countries),the Franciscan family can promote nonviolence, reconciliation, and care for God’s creation.
  • It is the foundation of the Damietta Initiative.
the damietta initiative seeks
The Damietta Initiative seeks…
  • To inspire individuals and groups to commit to peace.
  • To embrace the Franciscan values of nonviolence, reconciliation, and respect for creation.
  • To enflesh these values in daily living.
First Visionary Principle:
      • Francis’ vision of

shared creaturehood,

under God the Creator.

      • ALL creatures relate as

brothers and sisters, under God.

Second Visionary Principle:
      • Seeing life from

the perspective

of the powerless.

conflict transformation is a key concept of the damietta initiative
Conflict Transformation is a key concept of The Damietta Initiative.
  • Conflict transformation is a condition for comprehensive African economic and social development.

Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk; a contemporary example of conflict transformation.

conflict transformation is brought about by
Conflict Transformation is brought about by…
  • Opening people’s hearts to one another.
  • Practicing a culture of solidarity and relatedness.
Building on the Franciscan tradition, as exemplified by Francis’ interaction with Islam.
  • Acting in partnership with community-based peace groups, supported by local and regional leadership centres.
  • Resolving conflict through the promotion of active non-violence.
the training curriculum

The Training Curriculum:

The Damietta Initiative curriculum reflects…

1. Values

2. Knowledge

3. Skills

Peace, non-violence and reconciliation;

Ecological values;

Cosmic Fraternity;


Celebrating difference;

Going beyond stereotypes and prejudices;


Letting love flow;

Meditating for peacefulness.

knowledge and skills
Learning conflict resolution;

Developing listening skills;

Bringing about a more just and peaceful world by…

The witness of our life;


Empowering the powerless;

Social analysis;

The practice of co-creativity;

Working for structural change.

Knowledge and Skills:
Extending an invitation to every member of the Franciscan family to become part of the Damietta Initiative.
  • The training of Franciscan sisters and brothers.
  • Entering into partnership with the SFO and Franciscans International.
  • Developing PACT groups.

Inviting men and women reflecting local diversity (religious, cultural/ethnic, linguistic, socio-economic, and gender).

Pan-African Conciliation Teams are men and women, living and working in local neighbourhoods.
  • The PACT members receive professional trainingcourses based on activenonviolence, reconciliation, and care for creation.
Later they will learn the skills of mediation, social analysis, and ways of caring for creation.
  • They meet each month, when they will monitor tensions in their communities and seek to pre-empt conflict/violence occuring.
  • PACT is the very heart of the Damietta Initiative.

Fr. Donal O’Mahony OFM Cap

International Director

contact details
Contact Details:
  • Ornella Pasqua, Administrator
    • Physical Address:
      • Capuchin Franciscan Peace Centre,

Padre Pio Friary, 25 Kort Street, Rietvallei, Pretoria, South Africa

    • Postal Address:
      • PO Box 11 939, Erasmuskloof, 0048, South Africa
    • Telephone/Fax:
      • +27 12 345 5111
    • E-mail: