Catholic nuns drawn from various congregations within Malawi and others from Kenya and Zimbabwe are undergoing a month long financial management training being held at Association of Women Religious Institutes in Malawi (AWRIM) Secretariat in Lilongwe.
Programs Coordinator for the initiative, Sister Teresa Mulenga of Teresian Sisters says the workshop which is being supported by African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) is aimed at equipping Sisters with knowledge and skills in financial management which is crucial in their day to day undertakings.
She said much as Sisters strive to preach the Gospel but still more knowledge in financial management is unique that would eventually increase their financial capacity in managing their respective congregations.
"Yes, our core mission as Sisters is to evangelize. However, we cannot either preach the Gospel if we are not financially stable. We need to keep our Congregations going and of course support the mankind both spiritually and humanitarian hence this workshop is crucial to us," said Sister Mulenga.
Sister Mulenga said among others, the sisters will be equipped with skills in preparing cash books, using excel for computing financial transactions, prepare financial budgets, writing project proposal, data collection and report writing just to mention a few.
"For instance,proposal writing for us as Sisters is very crucial.We need resources and these can only be accessed through proposals to potential funders. We cannot also submit a proposal without a clear budget and therefore we need to know how to prepare budgets. This can be done using a computer and excel is one program which is normally used. At the end of project implementation, we also need to report hence report writing is also important to us," she said.
She said the training is ably being facilitated by the Faculty of Commerce of the Catholic University of Malawi (CUNIMA).
As one way of appreciating the benefits of aluminawho have benefited from a similar training in the previous years,Sister Hilaria Chombo,Country Director for ASEC last week, Friday took the current crop of trainees on a site tour at St Marys Rehabilitation Centre in Chezi,Dowa where Sisters of Mary Mediatrix are taking care of malnourished children and orphans.
"St Marys was purposely chosen because among the sisters running the centre two are ASEC beneficiaries we were to see how ASEC is impacting the lives of the people through its beneficiaries".
"We were impressed with what the sisters are doing; firstly they have successfully ended malnutrition in the area. Currently the sisters are running an orphan centre to care for orphan due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Further, sisters are assisting the elderly from the surrounding villages,"said Sister Mulenga.
According to Sister Brenda (in charge orphan department)said they are running a number of projects including agribusiness, for smooth running of the activities at the centre, thanks to the training they acquired from ASEC.
Meanwhile,Sister Margaret Thumpwa of the Sisters of Our Lady has commended ASEC for empowering nuns across Africa with such educational skills.
She said she will strive to implement and put into practice what she has learnt during the training.
Eleven Congregations from Malawi and four from Zimbabwe are attending the training making a total number of 19 participants.
ASEC was Founded in 1999 by four Congregation of Women Religious in Pennsylvania together with Colleges and Universities founded by Congregations.