Published On: February 7, 2022|Categories: News, sbvp-news|

Catholic Sisters contribute significantly to the development of the Church and society through their pastoral and social ministries. As the New Year begins, Sisters in the AMECEA region are working towards enriching their contribution by building the capacity of their members to offer holistic service to humanity. A collaboration between the Sisters in the Region under the umbrella of the Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa (ACWECA) and Strathmore University (SU) is the beginning of this important journey.

ACWECA has reached an agreement with Strathmore University (SU) through the Strathmore University Business School (SBS) to establish a framework of strengthening collaboration and networking between the two parties. This is based on their respective mandates, within the region and beyond, to support Catholic Sisters to build  their vision, ministry, infrastructure and committed personnel. Further, the collaboration will help to enhance their ability in social entrepreneurship while strengthening their organisational sustainability and profile among the people they serve.

The two parties, together with the US-based Conrad Hilton Foundation that is funding this collaborative initiative, held a joint meeting in January, 2022 at the ACWECA Secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya, where they critically discussed the content of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing the roles and responsibilities of each partner.

The parties agreed to work together for the provision of capacity building solutions for the Catholic Sisters in Eastern and Central Africa with the support of the Conrad Hilton Foundation. The cooperation under the Agreement shall be carried out in line with the agreed principles of collaboration set out in a substantive agreement.

According to Sr. Jane Wakahiu, LSOSF, PhD, Director of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Catholic Sisters Initiative, the agreement is intended to develop a collaboration framework within which each party will have specified roles and responsibilities to promote mutual benefits of each organisation, with a specific interest in the provision of specific solutions.

In this collaboration, ACWECA will focus on developing the capacity of the Sisters and support their social enterprises to positively impact hundreds of thousands of lives within the Region. This will be done through adapting and translating methodologies by Strathmore to address the unique challenges faced by sisters in the Region.

Strathmore University, being the party with the technical expertise, will make available the necessary individuals and resources towards the implementation of the Sisters’ Blended Value Project (SBVP) whose key components will be technical mandate: Capacity Development in Solutions; Social Entrepreneurship; Collaborative Networks and Communities of practice; Research, Innovation Lab; and Integrated Financial Services Solution.

The collaboration between SU and ACWECA with the financial support of Hilton Foundation will formulate a long-term shared vision that will serve their common objectives and render the future activities more effective and beneficial to both institutions. The two institutions are eagerly intensifying the cooperation between them and are establishing appropriate working arrangements for the provision of Capacity Building Solutions for the Sisters in the Region.

According to Dr. Angela Ndunge, Acting Executive Dean for Education, Strathmore University Business School, this collaboration puts the two institutions on an onward journey to enrich the ministries carried out by the Sisters in the Region, both in the Church and the society.

Similarly, the Coordinator of the ACWECA SBVP Sr. Celestine Nasiali, a Sister belonging to the Institute of Oblates of Assumption says she is excited working with the local university, which is going to empower the consecrated women in the Catholic Church. This is because Strathmore University understands the context and the roles of an African woman in society.

This collaboration transforms the Sisters’ ministries into social enterprises. According to Sr. Bridgita Samba, the Secretary General of ACWECA, the collaboration of the two parties with support of Conrad Hilton Foundation is a blessing to the Region. She believes that it will equip the Sisters with Skills and facilitate them to continue contributing towards the Sustainable Development Goals (especially SDG No. 1) for the growth of the region and Africa in general.

By Sr. Helen Kasaka, LSMI

This article was first published on the ACWECA website: