Workshop on a sustainable future for Marist life and mission in Africa and Asia
“A sustainable future for Marist life and mission in Africa and Asia” is a project being conducted in Administrative Units in Africa and Asia by a taskforce devoted to increasing financial sustainability in these regions.
The idea behind the project is to “provide the means (for the AUs) to have a better vision of what they have, how this is being managed and how it might be managed better”. “We are trying to work with Provincial Councils so that they can move ahead on their own,” in the words of Br Libardo Garzón Duque, Econome General, in charge of this initiative, which is also being driven by the Province of Brazil Centro-Sul, which is providing technical support and advice.
Although the taskforce began to meet in 2011, it was only in 2016 that the project got underway with the first work meetings in the provinces of Central-East Africa (PACE) and Madagascar, the District of West Africa, and the Province of South Asia. In the same year, there was a meeting in Nairobi with participants from all the Provinces of Africa.
In January 2018, Br Libardo and the taskforce decided to begin work with the other Provinces of Africa: as a result, the Province of Nigeria held its workshop at the beginning of April 2019, and the Province of Southern Africa, that will have its workshop in May.
At the workshop in Nigeria, which took place from April 8 to 11, they were present the Provincial, Br Vincent Abadom, members of the Provincial Council, the commission of financial affairs, Brothers and around 50 people in leadership positions.
“Nigeria is already well-organised; they have a strategic plan running from 2014 to 2020. What we did was to review this plan and its progress, and to build on this, using the methodology developed for these workshops,” explained Br Libardo who was present for the Nigeria workshop. June Cruz andFernanda Arruda, both from Brazil Centro-Sul attended as facilitators.
“Now at the start of the coming year we are going to have a meeting of the ‘global’ team, made up of a representative from each of the Provinces taking part in the process to make some adjustments and envision the next steps”, added Br. Libardo speaking about where things have reached.
The initiative “A sustainable future for Marist life and mission in Africa and Asia” originated in 2009 when the General Chapter asked the General Council to set up a group to consider the financial sustainability of the Provinces of Africa and some of Asia.