Category Archives: Education For Life News

Report on the Education for Life Bandcamp

21st July 2012

– The Parish of the Blessed Sacrament – Viginia

The  Idea of the band camp  was to use music as a tool to evangelize youth ,Music  is universal and attracts youth, There are a few Youth bands in the Archdiocese but there has never been an opportunity for them to come together  and look at the spirituality behind music and liturgy ,The team comprising  of  Mark Naicker (Program Co ordinator – Education for life)Sean Latergan (Musician and youth worker St Dominic’s –Hillcrest) Vincent (Youth for Christ Missionary )Zee (Youth for Christ Missionary )The team met every Wednesday at the Chancery to discuss the Program. The meeting always began with inviting God into our discussions and asking  for his guidance in our project. Posters were sent to all Parishes in the Archdiocese .Sean created a website for Participants to register .A total of 35 people registered and there was a registration cost of R50 to cover the costs of the meal and teas  and stipends for speakers. The day began with registration and an opening prayer from Fr Joseph. Sean welcomed the Participants and explained the reason behind the Camp, This followed by four speakers ,first was Katia Benedetti who spoke on the topic of Professionalism in the Ministry then,was David Sprong- Our Musical Heritage. Sean Lategan spoke about the The Heart of Worship and the final speaker was Fr Julian Davey and his talk was Gateway to the Heavenly Jerusalem – Music and the Liturgy. All participants were asked to bring a packed lunch to share which brought the message of  sharing together as a family. All activities during the day was designed  to impart not only music knowledge but important life lessons .The Practical sessions for the participants was an amazing experience as it gave them the opportunity to learn new skills but also to realize that playing in the band is not about the music but about  the spirituality behind the music. Two of the musicians where not Catholic but facilitated with respect and understanding of the Catholic faith. The facilitators were Claire Coleman Vocalists, Avi Mackanjee – Guitarists, Paul Boissezon  – Bassists, Jeremiah Nair       – Drummers , Sean Lategan– Keyboardists after the practical session the participants were divided  into mini bands by myself. The newly created bands now had to  name their band and to  play together as a band to the song that the team provided them. This was exciting as the newly formed band members had to work together as a team with complete strangers. The presentations where good, after the presentations the participants attend the Parish mass. The program continued after mass with a meal together and ending with a praise fest where all present were allowed to come and use the instruments provided to thank God for the day together .

The youth band camp was a vision of  Education for life which is always in search of providing a platform for Youth and young adults to be inspired to change their lives to a positive Christ filled life. I would like to thank Sean for his commitment to Our Vision as a team, he brought the band camp idea to a physical reality, getting the facilitators, the speakers ,making sure the setup was done perfectly. Most importantly I thank the band camp team for our vision together.


The team will be having their final meeting on the 2nd August to discuss where to from here ,We may need to add a few more members to the team or if the team decides we can leave it to the 4   of us.


  • Build a band comprising of  those that participated in the camp
  • Be part of the Education for life parish promotion teams on A Sunday
  • Organize praise and worship evenings which would include adoration and confession

We need to encourage young people to be active in their Spirituality ,to understand their purpose of being called Catholic, I hope the team can help set the youth on fire like the first deciples,by making them trust in the Churches spirituality and Guidance and love and thereafter becoming young adult  missionaries for the Christ

Mark Naicker

– Program Co ordinator – Education for life

Education for Life Program (SACBC)



Education for Life is a program aimed at the formation and support of our youth in good Christian principles, a healthy way of living and a deep respect for all life. It encourages a healthy approach in relationships between members of the opposite sex and abstinence of sexual intercourse before marriage. It points to the dangers which confront our youth of today, and educates accordingly, especially towards the harmful effects of drug taking so that our young people be empowered in fulfilling their goals and dreams.

By the late 1990s the Bishops saw the need for such a program among the youth and in January 2003 they approved it as a National Youth Program and placed it under the National Youth Desk within the SACBC which includes South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland.

What event are we planning? Early this year we met at Mariannhill with the Diocesan Coordinators. We discussed many things there. One of them was the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Education for Life. We want to celebrate with all the youth of Southern Africa including Botswana and Swaziland. There will be those who want to share their testimonies and to encourage other young people to see the importance of abstinence and live life positively.

Who will the event benefit? Firstly our youth will benefit. There is a World Youth Day but some of our youth won’t be able to go to Brazil. We need them to take this opportunity to be part of the National Youth Day here in South Africa. We need to accommodate our youth in such events because we always speak of urban areas not rural areas. What we are planning to do will help our young to understand the norms of the Catholic Church and they can be counted as strong Catholics. Education for life is embracing every one not in the Catholic Church only but to any young people who want to live life positively and become an agency of change.

Why we request Donation? The program will have its 10th anniversary 2013.We know that in the early years in Southern Africa the Church was funding all events. Things has changed, we need to train our people to do things for themselves. If i recall very well it was 2005 where we received a message from our Bishops in the Pastoral letter. [GET UP WALK WITHOUT CRUTCHES]. They said: “Make a plan how to get rid of the crutches; Faithful people of Southern Africa! It is time to sit together in your parishes and communities to discuss how to support yourself financially. In this way you make a plan to get rid of your crutches and stand on your own feet. Rather than staying a cripple begging form other people.” This was message from our Bishops here in South Africa.

Request: To celebrate our 10th anniversary our team is planning a “National Youth Day” which will be held here in South Africa and, no doubt, we need your financial support in this effort. To facilitate this we have opened the sms line donation. Just SMS: Education for Life and your name to 32310. The SMS will cost R1. It will be wonderful to have your support.

Conclusion: I started to work at SACBC in 2009, it was not easy. But with the help of Sr Benedette Duffy a Holy Cross Sister; I gained strength and move forward with the programme of Education for Life. That is why I need to share my experience as a National Coordinator and see the need of Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Education for Life.


Thanks to each and everyone who supports the EFL. Which covers 29 dioceses?

Sr Victoria Sibisi (FCSCJ)

SACBC National Youth Programme Coordinator

Fundraising for Education for Life!

This is the  SACBC Youth Programme of Education for  life.

We are preparing the big event next year.

We have chosen this way to raise fund for our project, hoping this will help us.

Please help us by sms Education for life and your name to this number: 32310.

The Sms will cost R1, 00. With your help the  programme will grow!

Thank you very much

May God bless you!

– Sr Victoria Sibisi FSCCJ


28 May 2012.Durban Metropolitan will meet @ Mariannhill:

Venue: Tre-Fontein

Time: 10h00am

The idea of the meeting: Preparing the forthcoming events: 10TH Anniversary of the Education for Life.

Date: 02-04 August-2013.

Education for Life 10th Anniversary Soon!

The team of Education for Life and Diocesan Coordinators are preparing special events next year. We had a meeting last Month and we looked at some areas of the Programme that make us think about celebrating it. The Education for Life program has been in existence since 1999 in South Africa. It was born in the Diocese of Tzaneen; a team from Kenya which included the co-founder of the program Sr Miriam Duggan was invited by Bishop Emeritus Hugh Slattery to train people in the diocese.

The program really took root in Tzaneen; amongst the people trained was Fr John Selemela and Sr Bernadette (Holy Cross) who was then a teacher in the diocese of Tzaneen. Sr Bernadette moved to the Archdiocese of Pretoria at the SACBC as the secretary to the Associate Secretary General. Sr Bernadette was instrumental in introducing the program to the Bishops of the SACBC until it was approved and endorsed.

Our Achievement

  • We were the first program that advocated for behavior change
  • EFL is alive and active in almost all the dioceses within the SACBC region
  • We modified the program from Uganda and developed a spirituality which is taken from the Gospel of Jh 10:10
  • We are running the program schools and houses of formation
  • Within the SACBC region, over 100 000 people have undergone the Education for Life process We have introduced the program to Pre-teen to assist them to make well informed choices as they grow older
  • We have ran the program in other countries such as Ireland and Australia
  • We hosted an Inter-Africa conference where 12 African countries were present
  • We launched Youth Alive which is a program that helps young people to sustain EFL values Amongst the young people that encountered the EFL program some have been called to the priesthood and religious life others to marriage


  • We have a major problem of always training new facilitators as this is a voluntary ministry therefore when people find employment they move
  • In some diocese Youth Alive have not taken root and as a result it becomes difficult to sustain the program
  • Funding especially in the dioceses is a problem

Beyond Ten Years

  • We would like to revive those dioceses that have fallen and help those who are starting out.
  • To establish Youth Alive in all the dioceses
  • Promote Pre-Teen workshops in all the dioceses to continue training people in the EFL program Promoting EFL in schools
  • We would like to have more new members in the team.

Written by Sr Victoria Sibisi FCSCJ


Mariannhill Education for Life Conference 2012 – Timetable

12 March (Monday)

16:00 – Arrival & Registration

17:00 – Mass- (KZN Cluster) Bishop Dlungwane & Bishop Kumalo

18:00 – Supper

19:00 – 10th Anniversary celebration 


13 March (Tuesday)

07:00Mass (Eastern Cape Cluster)

08:00 – Breakfast

09:00 – Reviewing the Manual  

10:30 – Tea Break

11:00 – Manual Continued

13:00 – Lunch

15:00 – Manual Continued

16:30 – Tea Break

17:00 – Manual Continued

18:00 – Supper

19:00 – Recreation


14 March (Wednesday)

07:00 – Mass (Free State & Cluster)

08:00 – Breakfast

09:00 – Recap

10:30 – Tea Break

11:00 – Youth for Christ

13:00 – Lunch

15:00 – Youth Ministry and Media in the modern World.

16:30 – Tea Break

17:00 – Youth Alive Manual

18:00 – Supper

19:00 – Recreation


15 March (Thursday)

08:00 – Breakfast

09:00 – Recollection

12:00 – Mass (Gauteng & Polokwane Cluster)

13:00 – Lunch

14:30 – Outreach- Durban

18:00 – Supper

19:00 – Recreation


16 March (Friday)

08:00 – Breakfast &Departure


2nd week of Lent Reflection

Genesis 22: 1-2, 9-13, 15-18.

God tested Abraham and said  to him; “Abraham” And he answered; Here I am, take your son, your only son ,Isaac, whom you love and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I shall point out  to you..They then came to the place to which God had directed them.

This is about you and me trying to hear the voice of God but failing to take it into action. How many times God spoke to us and we just ignore His voice. We are the pillars of change, we need to be the first to listen what God is telling us. Sometimes you feel like having a call of joining religious or priesthood but the world is calling you, and you don’t know which way you want to take. Which voice are you listening .World Voice or God’s voice. Try to think and where are you now with your life. Yes I am working for the Church and my Congregation but which voice I am listening now.

Lent is the time of many activities: Reflection, Sacrifice and Love of Neighbour. It is very painful to take a long journey without planning. It is time to forget about me think about others and pray to God to see the needs of others.

Gospel of Mark 9:2-10 is about transfiguration: Who needs this kind of life right just now, is me and you. Jesus took Peter and James and John and led them up to the mountain. How many people do you want to take with you? Or you are so selfish you don’t want to involve people on your journey.

Psalm 50: To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Co-ordinators Conference

12-16 March 2012

Education  for life Coordinators Conference

Venue: Mariannhill Retreat House

Starting point is 17H00 PM.

Contact Person : Sr Victoria Sibisi FCSCJ EFL Coordinator

As we are preparing the 10th Anniversary of the Education for Life we are going to have special Opening Mass.  We need to pray hard  for next year  preparation. This celebration will be focusing of what we are going to do next year for our Anniversary.

Bishop Dlungwane will be main Celebrant
Bishop Xolelo Kumalo will give us a talk and words of encouragement.

All those who will be attending be there in time.

Events For Next Year

We all know that Education for Life was endorsed 2003.Next year is the year of Celebration. Please find ways of raising funds for this special events. You rremember that our Launch was at Johannesburg, next we are moving to Durban. We spoke with Cardinal Napier OFM and Secretary General Sr Hermenegild Makoro CPS they supported us 100%.

We are waiting to meet the Board in May this year hope they will support us.

After all we as Coordinators  ,Youth Chaplains and Youth Workers we need to work together for  the best.

Let us start now to prepare. Suggestions and Donations of this events  are welcome!