Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI)

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Empowering Sisters to Lead

The Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) program, the largest program run by ASEC, has a clear and simple purpose: to provide leadership and technology training to Catholic sisters in Africa.

SLDI Program Structure

Above: Sisters improve their record keeping and reporting with ASEC-SLDI workshops, where they learn to use Microsoft Excel. One sister says, "It is my first time time to sit in a class and learn something which I can apply straight. We are on fire. We are thinking of how to go back and start it!"

Technology & Leadership Workshops

In the SLDI program, sisters complete workshops in technology and leadership over a three-year period:

  • Year One: A month-long technology workshop in the Basic Technology or Web Design track
  • Year Two: A month-long leadership workshop in either the Administration or Finance track
  • Year Three: A month-long leadership workshop in either the Administration or Finance track
Sisters engage in group work during an Administration workshop in Zambia in 2015.

Sisters working together during an Administration workshop in Zambia.

Field Trips

Field trips began in 2015 to provide a “hands on” learning experience for sisters. Participants visit an array of model projects and sites, such as:

Some field trips visited projects led by SLDI alumnae. Sisters, instructors, and coordinators all reported high levels of satisfaction with this new addition to the program.

Becoming Alumnae

Upon graduation from the program, sisters receive a laptop to assist them in continuing their work at home. Alumnae are expected to mentor at least 3 other sisters and are encouraged to invite their mentees to attend the annual alumnae workshops.

Equipped with a strong foundation of skills, many our SLDI alumnae go on to pursue a college diploma or Bachelor’s degree, some through our HESA program.

ASEC alumnae report mentoring 35,000+ individuals, serving over 2.2M+ people. By implementing projects with their new skills, ASEC alumnae report creating an estimated 3,800+ jobs.

Alumnae Workshops

SLDI Alumnae and their mentees engage in continuing education and networking through SLDI’s annual alumnae workshops. In these three-day workshops, sisters can:

  • learn more about a specific topic or skill area
  • share successes and challenges they experience in their work
  • discuss emerging issues
  • broaden their skills
  • network with other alumnae and their mentees.

Institutional Capacity Building (ICB)

Housed under ASEC's SLDI program, ICB supports the internal strength and the external service of National Conferences/Associations and congregations in Africa as they strive to positively impact human development. In the ICB program, ASEC recognizes the existing capacity of Institutions of Women Religious and collaborates to strengthen systems and improve the vitality and vibrancy of women religious in Africa (Since 2019). Learn more

SLDI Outcomes*

Since the program's inception in 2007:

  • SLDI has served more than 3,300 sisters through technology and leadership development workshops.
  • ASEC alumnae (SLDI & HESA) have raised over $19.5M+ in grants for their communities.
  • SLDI mentees have raised $353,000+ in funding for human development projects.
  • The top 3 ministries of SLDI participants are teacher, administrator and bursar.
  • 68% of sisters' projects impact more than one UN Sustainable Development Goal.

For more detailed information about our outcomes, please see our evaluation reports and presentations.

*SLDI Evaluation Report

Invest in Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI)

Consider supporting a sister to study in the SLDI program for $5,000/year.

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SLDI Evaluation Reports

For questions regarding SLDI, please contact:

Nicole Vilogi-DiPietro, MBA

Nicole Vilogi-DiPietro, MBA

Program Manager, Programs
[email protected]