Kent Ferris, the Diocese of Davenport’s Social Action director, will be part of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Diocesan Partners Global Solidarity Africa Trip this fall. Ferris will join 11 other diocesan social action directors and two U.S. CRS staff members in visiting Ethiopia and Tanzania from Sept. 9-21.
The trip is designed to be an immersion experience for those who have diocesan responsibilities in promoting CRS programs. Ferris notes, “CRS provides much support to us in our efforts to live our Catholic faith and in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable around the world. Our faith comes alive by praying, learning, sharing and advocating together for a more just and peaceful world. I am committed to all four facets of global solidarity and will incorporate my travel experience into future efforts here in our diocese.”
The tentative schedule includes time in cities and in rural areas, visits to food centers for vulnerable populations, agriculture, HIV/AIDS care and education sites, water systems and other infrastructure development projects, community-based health care, and sites for production of Fair Trade goods and microfinance projects.
Aside from trips to Canada, Ferris has not traveled abroad. He’s been busy securing a passport and visas and obtaining inoculations and medications for yellow fever, typhoid fever and malaria, to name a few illnesses he could be exposed to.
He’s also completing reading assignments from the CRS reading list, as well as supplemental sources such as “Enough,” by Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman. CRS is paying for 75 percent of the trip’s cost and the diocese is paying the remaining 25 percent.
Previously, representatives from the diocese have traveled with CRS to Guatemala, Benin and Madagascar.