Charlène from Burundi

My name is Kanyange Charlène. I learned about the movement in the 5th grade when I was about to be baptized. I wondered which movement I could adhere to in order to get baptized because in the area that I lived in, you could not be allowed to get baptized if you did not belong to any movement. I went to the movement of Schoenestatt but I didn’t enjoy it. Then I went with “Abagendanyi” and didn’t feel it was my place either. That’s when I found the Focolare movement and I saw the love they welcomed me with and how they were peoples of good morals and I wished to grow looking like them. As time went by my love for the movement grew. I kept hearing words about loving all people and I asked Jesus to help me walk in that path. When I got to the 7th grade, the Focolare in my region only met on Fridays and because my classes in high school were in the afternoon, my parents asked that I came home to eat before going back to school. I felt as though something was missing when I didn’t hear the “Word of Life”. So I would sometimes go without eating because I didn’t want to miss it.

The movement made me who I am today. It raised me and taught me to pray, to truly love, to make an effort for others. In brief, the Focolare was like a parent to me because without it, I could have been influenced by bad friends or get into bad habits. I thank the movement for what I am today.