Superiors of women’s religious congregations of Malawi held their annual general assembly at the Msamba Pastoral Center in Lilongwe, Malawi, at the end of February. This assembly concluded with a training session on entrepreneurship.
Sister Helen Kasaka, LSMI – Nairobi, Kenya.
Religious Superiors of Malawi concluded their annual general assembly under the auspices of the Association of Consecrated Women of East and Central Africa (ACWECA) with a strong commitment to adopt the project Sisters Blended Value Project (SBVP). This development project aims to develop social entrepreneurship skills among the sisters.
Fight against precariousness in the congregations
Sister Célestine Nasiali, of the Oblates of the Assumption and coordinator of the Sisters Blended Value Project, explains that consecrated women must learn to transform their social ministries into social entrepreneurship activities. “Through this project, congregations can create their own social enterprises that not only express their charisma, but also allow them to generate income to become self-sufficient. The main objective of the project is to enable the sisters to start and develop social enterprisesSister Nasiali said.
The training aims to provide practical entrepreneurial skills to reduce precariousness in religious congregations in the ACWECA region. These projects should also favor women and young people in the communities where consecrated women work.
Sister Nasiali stressed that the charisma or identity of the congregation must be reflected in the project. The particular project undertaken must contribute to the sustenance of the members of the religious congregation while supporting the sustainability of the project itself. It is equally important that social enterprise has a positive impact on the community in which women religious carry out their apostolate.
Reduce dependence on donor funding
The project The united value of the sisters aims to reduce reliance on donor funding for nun-run programs. Successful local projects resulting from this initiative should promote and enhance the dignity of women religious. Anyway,”donor funding is decreasing day by day, leaving the question of sustainability unanswered Sister Nasiali explained.
The Superior General of the Teresi Sisters, Sister Agnès Jonas, thanked Sister Nasiali for her presentation and expressed her gratitude to the staff of the Association of Consecrated Women of Eastern and Central Africa for having given women the skills of social and religious entrepreneurship. “With this presentation, several sisters will undoubtedly undertake social entrepreneurship. This is also one of the resolutions of this ACWECA Annual General AssemblySister Jonas said.
Develop entrepreneurial skills
For her part, Sister Stivelia Macloud of the Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the only congregation in Malawi that carries out the project The united value of the sisters, shared his experiences on how his congregation is approaching their social enterprises. Plans are underway to organize similar courses for other ACWECA member countries in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.