Editor’s note: The Beka Project of ACATBA (Association centrafricaine pour la traduction de la Bible et l’alphabetisation) is assigned the task of the translation of the Bible into Aka, the language of the Bayaka pygmies, and to do the necessary literacy work to make reading and writing possible in this language. I have the permission of the Beka Project to pass on their reports. I’ve included an PDF archive of their newsletters since Dec. 2006.
Beka Project Newsletter Archives 2006-2008 (pdf – 2.2 mb–Lots of pictures)
April 1st 2009
Prayer Day for the Bayaka and the Beka-Project
This year, in particular, some development NGOs have included the Bayaka in their events diary. We have attended big events, encouraging the Central African population to consider the Bayaka as human beings and to think of their effective integration into the development of the country, by assuring them fair and unconditional access to health and education services.
But few of these NGOs do seriously take care of the brothers and sisters of the forest. It is with a heavy heart that the Beka-Project always feels concerned about this situation.
Often a victim of discrimination in a country where it is a minority, the Pygmy community worries about seeing its members more and more infected by AIDS/ HIV, whereas their access to information, prevention and treatments remains very limited. “This discrimination makes their risk of HIV infection worse,” remarked François Ndinga, our Pygmy translator. Thus, last year, he planned activities that focus on this major concern of AIDS/ HIV. His inspiration has been based on a booklet adapted and translated into Yaka, “What’s AIDS?“, published by the Committee for the Fight against AIDS” in Cameroon; he wants to propose and develop a relevant strategy to bring about in depth change in a society where people are sexually active from an early age.
Above all, the Beka Project has been conceived with the vision to bring this people to listen to God, by producing a faithful translation of the Bible, and by establishing a literacy program, in Yaka.
Dear friends, aware of this, the enemy is not happy at all. In rather diverse ways, he has particularly shaken our team these two last years. That is why we do not cease to appreciate the support of you all, who near or far continue raising us before God in your prayers.
- The extension of the literacy program that was launched last year with the opening of classes in six Bayaka villages.
- The church, that assists the young Bayaka in their education in Bangui, has agreed that Jérôme Ngama and Benjamin Zabango can begin working in the biblical translation ministry.
- The support of the Almighty in the face of adversity.
- The material and spiritual support of brothers from all over the world.
For the Bayaka :
- The forest is in the process of being destroyed, but no one has offered the Bayaka compensation or resources to equip them for another way of life. Those exploiting the wood do not take into account the fact that this forest is the only resource for the deprived rural populations, who are faced with upheavals due to the modern economy. Let’s pray that:
a) As individuals, the Pygmy people continue to exist.
b) God helps these victims of abusive forest exploitation to regain the joy of living.
c) God helps them to take care of themselves and to ensure their own means of support by developing new activities such as agro-forestry, breeding and handicrafts, etc.
- Let’s pray that the forest environment will be better preserved and that those involved in forest exploitation and tourism develop a concern for the deprived Pygmy populations.
- Let’s pray that the death rate among the Bayaka decreases, particularly among children (malaria, worms, jiggers, bronchitis, etc…)
- Let’s pray that the Bayaka have access to information, prevention and treatment related to the HIV infection/ AIDS.
For the Beka-Project:
- Let’s pray for the financing of our activities, which has decreased due to the economic crisis.
- Let’s fight against the enemy who increases his work of destabilization.
- Let’s pray for Christian unity among those called to work together for the Bayaka’s salvation. This will be a great encouragement for our team.
- Let’s pray for the effective integration of the new Bayaka translators into our team.
The Beka-Project Coodination