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.
- 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