A country with enormous potential Ivory Coast has an area of 322,462 km2. Its population is 23,202,000 inhabitants, 25% of whom are immigrants from neighboring countries, 60 ethnic groups and with a poverty rate of 49%. Ivory Coast is considered the “locomotive” of West Africa.
It was in this beautiful country that in 1955, at the request of Bishop Duirat, the first bishop of Bouaké, Brother Roger Viargues was sent as an educator and missionary by the Viatorians of France. He was followed a year later by three other pioneers: Jean Laur, René Galtier, Célestin Terrier. Other brothers, not only from France but also from Canada and Spain, gave birth to and raised the Viatorian Foundation of Ivory Coast. Until then there were no African Viatorians.
In February of 1981, a decisive visit by the Superior General challenged the Viatorians in these terms: “In conscience we propose to you the problem of the African Viatorian succession. Attempts have been tried and failed. Does this mean that the term ‘vocation’ should be considered as a ‘classified dossier?’ Why should there not be some religious and Ivorian associates?”
II.- SOME DATES
• 1985: commitment of the first two Viatorian associates, Pierre KPECHEGO and Honoré AKPOVI
• 1988: opening of the novitiate in Bouaké
• 1990: commitment of the first Ivorian religious Viatorians, Fr. KOMENAN Vincent
On May 27, 2012, the day of Pentecost, the “Ivory Coast Foundation becomes Vice-delegation of Ivory Coast.”
III.- SOME FIGURES
The Vice-delegation of Ivory Coast has 68 Viatorians:
– 41 religious Viatorians .
– 27 associate members.
Among the 41 religious Viatorians, 38 Africans and 3 Europeans.
Among the 38 African religious:
– 15 perpetual vows
– 23 temporary vows
– 15 to active life
– 23 in training
Among the 27 associated Viatorians:
– 10 work in Viatorian ministry
– 17 outside the Viatorian ministry
IV.- MISSION Viatorians from Ivory Coast carry out their mission through:
– Education. Click here 1
– Evangelism. Click here 2
– Social commitment. Click here 3
They are located north in the city of Ferkessédougou, in the center of Bouaké and south in the city of Abidjan. The colleges of Ferké, Bouaké and Abidjan have been training Ivorian executives for a number of years and are producing very good results.
V.- TOWARDS THE FUTURE
The Vice-delegation of Ivory Coast needs more autonomy but also more responsibility and challenges:
– Continue the effort of formation, spiritual life and evangelical witness.
– To move towards financial autonomy.
– Consolidate existing Viatorian works and create others.
– Strengthen religious-associated ties.
– Intensify the partnership with Burkina Faso.