A SEEDLING PLANTED, NOURISHED AND ROOTED IN LOVE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO GROW TO FULL MATURITY.
WE ARE ALL SEEDLINGS IN THE HANDS OF GOD WHO DESIRES OUR TOTAL FREEDOM AND FULLNESS OF LIFE ALWAYS.
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