Sisters’ Association in South Sudan Boosts Catholic Nuns’ Leadership Capacity in Training

Sr. Veronica Daniel Othow, Director of the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) in South Sudan.
Credit: ACI Africa.

The administration of the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) based in South Sudan has trained over thirty Nuns who are part of the leadership teams overseeing their respective Religious Congregations.

The five-day capacity building initiative that concluded November 22 focused on leadership and management in view of facilitating service delivery in the Nuns respective Congregations and local communities.

Implemented through Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) and Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA), ASEC leadership aimed at providing knowledge and skills to leadership teams of Congregation of women, and men where applicable, to develop systems, procedures and processes for better management of their temporal resources.

Speaking to ACI Africa on the sideline of the training, the Director ASEC in South Sudan, Sr. Veronica Daniel Othow said, “We are running this program with the Superiors in South Sudan under institutional capacity Building (ICB) program for African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC).”

Highlighting some of the topics explored during the training, the member of the Sisters of Sacred Heart of Jesus (SHS) further said, “Our conversation in the workshop is focusing on transformational leadership and types of intelligence a leader needs.”

“It is a refresher course because all the Superiors are prepared for some of these skills before they get into the offices,” the South Sudanese Nun told ACI Africa during the Sunday, November 22 interview, adding that the training sessions bear an impact on the Religious Orders’ effectiveness.

The 49-year-old Nun explained, “The importance of this workshop is helping to deal with the community because a Superior is a leader of a community and there are people under him or her that is why they need to refresh themselves.”

She further explained those at the helm of Religious Orders need refresher forums because some lead communities for many years. 

The main areas of interest covered in the workshop that kicked off November 18 included religious leadership in the contemporary world, transformational leadership, understanding ethical failures, harvesting from leadership as well as financial management and planning, Sr. Veronica said. 

Among the participants in the training that took place at Good Shepherd Peace Center in Kit area of Juba in South Sudan were Provincial Superiors, Council members of various Religious Orders, Regional Superiors and representatives of different Congregations.

According to Sr. Veronica, members of South Sudan-based Religious Orders residing far away from the capital Juba registered a low attendance due to transport challenges caused by impassable roads.

A Catholic Church-based organization established in 1999 and operational in ten sub-Saharan African countries, ASEC existsto facilitate access to education for women religious in Africa that leads to enhancement and expansion of the education, health, economic, social, environmental and spiritual services they provide.”

The ten African nations include Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Headquartered in the United States of America, ASEC has the vision “to be a sustainable organization with a proven capacity to collaborate, develop and deliver educational programs that strengthen the capacity of women religious in Africa.”

Since its establishment in South Sudan in 2016, ASEC has fostered a variety of programs, especially the education of Sisters through HESA.

“The Sisters are sent to the universities either to pursue diploma, undergraduate or their first degree, post graduate, and this time they had a trial of PhD,” Sr. Veronica told ACI Africa.

She appealed to those at the helm of Religious Orders in South Sudan “to allow the Sisters to come and join this program especially the higher education for sisters in the universities.”

“I urge Religious Superiors who did not participate in this institutional capacity to avail the Sisters to come and participate in the workshop next time,” the SHS member said, noting that Sisters who participate in the refreshment courses get skills, which help them to improve their services to the society and also make their respective Congregations sustainable.

“All of us are aware of our current situation and the economic situation is the first challenge we have and many are facing it really hard,” Sr. Veronica said.

She added, “We do have the insecurity, which many Religious are facing in different areas in South Sudan but we have our own sustainability challenges to deal with.”


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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
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