The Pontifical Mission Societies in Zambia has embarked on an Initiative to introduce Holy childhood activities in Catholic Schools. The Initiative started in Lusaka and it is now planned to be implemented in all the dioceses in the country.
In order for our Initiative to succeed, we needed to equip our teachers by training them in the School of Missionary Animators (SOMA) before they start the activities in their respective schools. Consequently, in March this year, the Pontifical Mission Societies national office organized an On-line SOMA Training for Catholic Teachers working in Catholic Schools where they are planning to introduce Holy childhood activities.
The Formation initiative took place on 19th to 24th March 2021 with a big group of Teachers from Catholic Schools who were joined by some Aanimators from Parishes with access to the internet. In addition, a good number of Priests and Religious Sisters from all the 11 dioceses in Zambia joined in the formation training.
We received an overwhelming response to this Initiative. More than hundred and fifty (150) teachers from thirty-three (33) schools participated in the formation training.
1. PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS
The following Schools participated;
a. St. Canisius Secondary School, St. Vincent De Paul and Mazabuka Girls Secondary School from Monze Diocese.
b. Cheshire Homes, Bambino Convent, St. Daniel, Tarcisiafloriana and Ngayo Epiphany School from Solwezi Diocese.
c. Chikowa Day Secondary School and Mejocama school from Chipata Diocese.
d. St. Kizito, Fr. Hugh Primary, Maria Regina, St. Mary’s and St. Peter’s from Livingstone Diocese.
e. Lubwe Girls Primary, Chifunabuli Boys Primary, Don Bosco Primary, Our Lady of Africa, St. James Primary, Chimese Primary from Mansa Diocese.
f. Holy Family Convent School and St. Mary’s Pre School from Kabwe Diocese.
g. St. Odiwa Special School from Kasama Archdiocese.
h. Lwitikila Girls Secondary from Mpika Diocese.
i. Our lady of Annunciation and Our lady of Assumption from Lusaka Archdiocese.
j. St. John Paul II, St. John’s Convent school, San Pio Catholic School and St. Peter Community School from Ndola Diocese.
2. TOPICS AND PRESENTERS
Seven Topics were presented in SOMA I as follows;
a. Introduction to the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) and the SOMA; presented by Fr. Edwin Mulandu - PMS National Director-Zambia.
b. History and Charism of the Holy childhood; presented by Sr. Roberta Tremarelli - General Secretary of the Society of the Holy childhood.
c. Trinitarian and Ecclesiological basis of Mission; presented by Fr. Cleophas Lungu - Scripture Scholar and ZCCB Secretary General.
d. Missionary Animation life, Services, Communion and Spirituality; presented by Fr. Bonaventure Luchidio - PMS National Director, Kenya.
e. Missionary Pastoral Activity, Animation and Communion with Children; presented by Sr. Constance Chanda Nsofwa- ZCCB National Youth Chaplain.
f. Missionary Co-operation with Children and Our Missionary Service to the family; presented by Sr. Marjory Mwansa – Holy childhood Animator, Lusaka.
g. Planning & Resources for the formation of the Missionary Childhood; presented by Sr, Shanetta Musonda- Holy childhood National Coordinator.
3. COURSE DELIVERY
a. The training was conducted using ZOOM On-line platform.
b. The training was delivered in 6 days.
c. Each session carried 3 hrs. as follows;
i. 1 hour. presentation.
ii. After 1-hour presentation, participants went into smaller groups for 30 minutes group discussion.
iii. After smaller group discussion, Participants presented the outcome of group discussions, to the larger group.
4. ASSESSMNET FOR THE PURPOSE OF AWARDING THE SOMA I CERTIFICATE.
For the purposes of awarding a certificate, participants were assessed in two areas; attendance and written assignment.
To qualify for the Certificate a Participant must have attended,
i. all the Six (6) virtual sessions.
ii. not less than 120 minutes in each session.
i. At the end of the course each Participant was asked to submit an essay of five hundred words (500 words) on one of the topics provided by the course organizer.
Participants who did not meet the Criteria were asked to repeat the entire Course for them to be awarded a SOMA I certificate and Participants who have successfully completed SOMA I will progress to SOMA II which will take place in July this year.