After gaining new knowledge and skills from ASEC programs, African sisters play a very big role in society sustainability and the church at large. The ASEC programs provide great opportunities to sisters to acquire different skills and knowledge which are very important in building sustainable societies. Their knowledge, steeped in new technologies, values, culture and ethics, enables them to establish schools and colleges where they can reach a majority of the population. The moral values provided in the Catholics schools help children to grow spiritually, socially and intellectually. This is also affects older people and parents through their ongoing interactions with the schools. It is my belief that as time goes on many of the sisters in Africa will become more professional and will be able to offer expertise in a variety of subjects with more confidence and accuracy.
I am so grateful to be able to express my heartfelt appreciation, and to share with the readers of this article the critical role the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) has played in the education of religious congregations, and the building of strong and sustainable African societies. It is notable that ASEC is becoming a fundamental component of the empowerment of sisters through the different programs it offers. Currently more than four hundred sisters in Tanzania have benefited from ASEC programs, said the Tanzania ASEC Director while addressing 27 participants in the Administration Track One on mentoring. This provides a great contribution to the development of the Tanzanian Congregations and the society in general. Since the arrival of ASEC, the indigenous and international congregations in Tanzania have conquered a big challenge to educate sisters in a time of economic depression. Despite various challenges religious face in evangelization, the knowledge obtained from ASEC programs provides skills and means to success.
The basic computer course has improved my ministry
The basic computer knowledge and skills I acquired last year in 2016 shaped my ability to perform my religious ministry more effectively and efficiently. I was able to share with my sisters who are studying at colleges and universities, methods of expanding their knowledge by finding learning materials more easily on the internet using Google. As a school administrator and one of my Congregation’s Council members, I know how valuable ASEC’s contributions are to us. Teachers, parents and students all benefited greatly from the knowledge we have acquired. I would like to assure ASEC that our continued recruitment of sisters will creates a dependable society. This will brings about development and positive changes to the young generation whom we believe are the future building blocks of our nation.
What I learned from SLDI Administration course
The Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) Administration course took place at Holistic Education Centre Tanzania from 8th July to 5th August, 2017. I learned several topics which are most productive for leadership ministry. These are
- leadership styles
- team building
- conflict resolution
- job description
- grant proposal writing
- strategic planning
All of these are very essential to achieving the goals and objectives of society and community religious development. During the course I was able to realize the potentiality and support the Church members, have while sharing knowledge, talents and skills in group discussion with sisters of different congregations. I realize that the sisters are not only a means to implement educational goals; they are also the key to economic development and sustainability. Most sisters who attended the leadership course verified this by telling the ASEC coordinator and director that they were intellectually molded and felt empowered with new leadership knowledge and skills. These will be very useful in renewing and enforcing development in our assigned responsibilities.
Experience from the field trip
We attended a field trip on 4th August 2017 to Holy Cross Nursery and Primary school in Kihonda Morogoro Tanzania. The main goal of the field trip was to broaden the knowledge acquired during the course. All the participants were so grateful to share their knowledge and skills with Sr. Suzan Benedicto, SCC, the headmistress. Both the headmistress and the assistant headmistress Sr. Fedes Alphonce (SCC), are SLDI alumnae. This school is forming honest and responsible leaders. Their school VISION is based on striving for excellence. The School MOTTO is “Children for a Better Tomorrow”. These children are destined to be strong and capable people who are prepared to strengthen economic development and to eliminate poverty in Tanzania.
The whole school community and especially children were so jubilant and sang wonderful songs of welcome to us. During our sharing and interaction with Sr. Suzan, the headmistress, she explained the school objectives of as well as its progress. She said that the purpose for establishing primary education in 2011 was to assist the children in needy families around the area who were not able to acquire quality fundamental education after completing kindergarten, a grade they had had for the past 13 years. The school has performed wonders due to the influence of the community spirit of love and sacrifice. All the teachers and workers have adopted this spirit and thus becoming more committed for the betterment of the children they teach and the development of the school. The secrets of the school’s achievement are strong leadership management, teacher’s creativity, the dedicated and effective school committee and parent’s involvement.
The headmistress thanked Mrs. Hedwig Nafula, the administration facilitator for 2014 and 2017 for her contribution towards the empowerment of the sisters. Sr. Suzan explained that her techniques and tactics used in running the school are the fruit of SLDI administration course she attended two years ago. Therefore she encouraged the sisters to apply all the knowledge and skills they obtained during the course. Sr. Flavia Kamazima, (DOLPH) one of the SLDI Administration participants highlighted the following educational questions to the headmistress: How are you obtain the effective school committee? Which system and strategy are you using to get and employ teachers? Which methods and techniques are you using to solve school challenges and teachers’ appraisals? Can you share with us the system utilized to organize long and short term strategic plans for your school? The headmistress willingly shared her experiences regarding the above questions and the sisters also shared what they learned for the whole month at administration course.
Every participant acknowledge the contribution of Sr. Suzan Benedict and pledged to put into action all the things learned, for the betterment of the society and the church at large. It was the general feeling of the group that we would ensure that our congregation and the society benefit from the implementation of the knowledge we have acquired in the administration course We will continue communicating, and sharing ideas and ways to overcome challenges, in order to build a strong and effective society. All in all we thank God for the ASEC program, its benefactors, and its staff members who are making a great difference by empowering the lives of African religious through education.