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On October 28, 1895, Fathers Alexandre Hamard and Émile Bonhomme landed in Grand Bassam, sent by Father Augustin Planque, Superior General of the Society of African Missions, for a teaching mission.

- Fr. Pierre TRICHET, Sma Archivist:

“In 1895, the African Missions landed with two Fathers who were in fact called to respond to a need for school (…) When they arrive, they presented themselves to the governor who told them that he there were schools to take care of. There was first, one in Grand Bassam, which was the capital at that time (...) going round the surrounding villages, they came upon a village that seems very nice to them, with a village chief who is very welcoming.

The second school was founded in Memni. "

-Bishop Joseph AKE, Archbishop of Gagnoa: “I know that the missionaries arrived in Memni through a settler who took them in his little boat and sent them to the side of Petit Alépé where he dropped them off ”

Jérôme OTI, Catechist in Memni :

“Father Hamard and Father Bonhomme arrived in Bassam, we told them to come and look towards the forest, to see what was happening there. They followed the river Comoé, once they got to Alépé. From Alépé, they went to Otui; then they bypassed the area and got to Grand Alépé. Grand Alépé did not want to receive them. They chased them away. Next, they got to Montézo; Montézo chased them too. When they arrived in Memni, the villagers wanted to drive them away. It was N’Doumi Awa who welcomed them. "

Very quickly, the small team of missionaries saw its numbers increase with the successive arrivals of Fathers Matthieu Ray, Jean-Marie Bédel, Pierre Méraud and so many others. Father Méraud arrived on October 21, 1896. He was both a teacher and an itinerant missionary.

- Bishop Joseph AKE, Archbishop of Gagnoa:

"So Méraud, we call him the Father of the Akye. To us ... he was the grandfather. He stayed there. He learnt our language… He also sent catechists to our Akye villages: to Adzopé, Anyama, and Akoupé. As a result, the Akye people, especially those near Anyama, were quickly evangelized it was thanks to him. He left a deep imprint on the Akye people.

Father Pierre Méraud lived 46 years in Memni and 16 years in Dabré. A long missionary stay in the midst of a people who considers him today as their apostle.

Lazare AHOU, Independent Researcher:

“in general, he is the Father of everyone. And from what I was told, he was a good priest. He was good, he was courageous. He spoke of himself as being an Akye bushman. From what I read, he saw himself as bushman because he did everything on foot. From Memni he was going to Adzopé; that is a distance of about100 km and more. And he was walking, there were no vehicles. Like I said, the Akye bushman. He was really someone who had truly come to do the work of God. "

In a short time, the first nucleus of evangelism was formed along the coast around the schools. These assured support to the missionaries.

- Fr. Pierre TRICHET, Sma Archivist:

“There was a small salary, which is in fact was about a third of the salary of professional teachers, which allowed the two priests to live. And so, the superior of the Fathers in Côte d'Ivoire, called the apostolic prefect, stated that, we can open as many missions as we want, since there were no questions of money involved, because I am not obliged to feed them since they earn enough money (…) This is how Côte d’ivoire opened 7 schools in 3 years. In the first 3 years, 1895-1898, there were 7 schools that were opened. No other territory where African Missions work has been the scene of such rapid opening of missions. "

When in France, in 1904, the Combes law prohibited teaching to religious congregations, it was extended to the colonies. The missionary left then the schools to devote himself to primary evangelization. But before, the beginnings of this evangelization were painful and laborious.