by John Sivalon
A common Swahili saying states: Elimu ni Bahari. Translated that means that Education is like an Ocean.
In many African countries, education has been closely associated with the Christian missionary movement. With the structural adjustment programs of the eighties and nineties, there has been a revival and renewal of the Church's role in social service provision and education specifically. The members of our region have been involved in various education apostolates from pre-primary to double doctorates, from secular universities to Coptic seminaries. This section brings you some of those members' reflections on their ministries both past and present. We invite you to join them in providing an atmosphere in which Africans can become self-critical in their thinking and self-directing in their lives.
Working in Cairo, Egypt, Fr. Doug May taught and inspired young men in training to become Catholic Coptic priests in a Muslim society. Based at the Doonholm Parish center in Nairobi, Kenya, Fr. Bob Vujs established and directed a Montessori Teachers' Training College. Fr. Dick Albertine taught at the national seminary in Windhoek, Namibia, while also serving as the chaplain for university students. Brother Mark Gruenke responds to the people in his parish in Namibia by establishing Computer Training. In Kowak Parish of Musoma Diocese, Fr. Jim Conard built and oversees a new secondary school for Tanzania girls. At the Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, Tanzania, Fr. John Eybel supervised students in Clinical Pastoral Education. Fr. Lance Nadeau is the Catholic chaplain at Kenyatta University in Nairobi. Fr. Mike Snyder continues similar work at the Muhimbili University in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Fr. John Conway taught theology at St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Karen, Kenya. Fr. Mike Kirwen is the director of the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies in which Seminarian Romane St. Vil participated. Bro. Ed Redmond taught mechanics to youth in Mombasa, Kenya. And last, but not least, Fr. David Smith was the founder and head of the Department of Academic Computing at the Bugando University College of Health Sciences (BUCHS) in Mwanza, Tanzania.