by Masiko Chris Beckham
It all began with the East Africa Teacher Formation Conference in 2017 and 2018 where 141 and 120 participants respectively from more than 20 dioceses across east Africa gathered in Masaka Diocese. The conference included teachers and educational leaders from Catholic schools and education offices. This ignited a burning desire in the hearts of most of the participants who wished nothing less than to start the program in their schools and dioceses.
CSYMU has had an incredible breakthrough with the grace of God. In 2019 the program was introduced in 11 dioceses all over Uganda. Holding the very first National Diocesan Coordinators’ meeting at the end of 2018 where 11 Diocesan Coordinators gathered. The key outcomes of the meeting resolved to focus on sensitization as part of the implementation process, as a way of breaking new ground in places where the program will be introduced for the first time.
In this case initial retreats for teachers and students where conducted in the Dioceses of Soroti, Tororo and Moroto. The focus was to introduce the program to teachers and students through promoting the vision of creating Catholic schools as centers of the new evangelization and conducting recollections which focused on increasing the spirituality of participants. In Soroto Diocese one secondary school was reached, 700 students and 10 teachers trained; 7 primary schools, 18 secondary schools and 1 institution with 5,491 pupils, 6229 students and 69 teachers were respectively trained in Tororo Diocese. In Moroto Diocese, five secondary schools were reached, 2029 students and 63 teachers were trained. Leadership and teacher formation programs were also conducted in Fortportal and Kasese Dioceses where 27 head teachers and religious teachers, 15 teachers and youth leaders respectively attended. Total schools reached are 5,491 pupils, 8958 students and 184 teachers and leaders were trained during first term. In the remaining part of the year, we are hoping to have more initial retreats and formation programs being conducted as we reached out to other dioceses which are part of the CSYMU network.
On the other part of the ongoing formation for teachers and youth leaders, we are organizing our first Equipping School 2019 between Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th September 2019 in Kasana-Luweero Diocese. We hope to have between 100 to 150 participants from all parts of Uganda and some people from Kenya.