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Seminar on the sustainability project for Marist life and mission

16/02/2018: Rwanda

From Feb. 4 – 10, the province of East Central Africa held a workshop that aimed to make Brothers and laity more aware that “our resources must be at the service of the Marist life and mission of the entire Institute,” at Rubavu, Rwanda.

All the communities and apostolic works in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Central African Republic were represented by Brothers and laity. Brothers Libardo Garzón, general econome, Teófilo Minga, translator and Jorge Gaio, provincial econome of Brazil Centro Sul took part, as well as two laity from Brazil who worked as facilitators, Masimo Dirksen Della Justina and June Alisson Westarb Cruz. 

In his presentation, Br Libardo showed the participants that the project is a matter of concern for the whole Institute and he emphasized on the dangers of a self – referential and fragmented use of resources as well as a lack of transparency, formation and professionalism; he explained that these are barriers that interfere with our ability to live and grow as a global family.

The workshop allowed each participant to know the financial realities of various communities and apostolic works. Figures were presented and analysed in an atmosphere of trust.

It also appears that in some schools, there is a misunderstanding on the role of a school bursar and the school principal, particularly in buying items needed to run the schools.                                                                                                          

During the work done in matrix 8 and 9, participants were divided into groups of work and the situation of each school was carefully studied. The objective was to identify strengths, weakness, threats and opportunities. This was really cumbersome as participants had to think and argue, keeping in mind the two objectives: to generate income and to offer quality education in Marist values. Participants were also asked to find out concrete actions which can help achieve the objectives. It took each group at least two hours to complete the work on each school.

Income generation goes hand in hand with the use, the maintenance, improvement and optimization of the Institute’s existing assets and facilities but also with an increase in number of Marist Private Schools. That is the reason why each community and apostolic work must develop a spirit of saving.

On Feb. 9, the participants had a fraternal gathering to thank the Brothers and the lay facilitators. In his speech, the provincial expressed his gratitude to Br Libardo who contributed financially to the expenses of the workshop. He also thanked the facilitators reminding the participants of the importance of implementing the workshop to manage well the Institute’s resources.

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