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Africa Vera
Brian MacGarry
Gesuita dello Zimbabwe
African justice

We have a small team conducting group counselling for victims of violence. Last weekend they visited a new area, where there had been a Rhodesian torture camp during the war for independence and life there hasn't improved much in the subsequent 40 years.

One case who needs
morehelp is an orphaned boy who was systematically abused by his guardian. Even if we had an uncorrupt police force and the courts could deliver justice, they would not solve the problem. Putting the abuser in jail for a long time would deprive his family of their breadwinner and thus punish them for his crimes. That would make them blame the victim for their plight and make him their enemy.

What we can do is to find
a place for him in a home that taked boys off the streets and aims to help them reconcile with their families. This is often a long process, so they are sent to school or trade training while they stay there. This boy can, if he is given enough time, restore contact with some of his mother's relatives. If they know where he is, they will most likely accept him; family solidarity is a prime social value.

In Africa,
building a better future is more important than punishing past wrongs.