Sr. Christine Syombua, East Africa Delegation Superior shares an update on the effect of the new lockdown on SND ministries in East Africa.
Each year we hold a Teacher Training Course for the young sisters in East Africa. This apostolic orientation prepares them for teaching, as well as sharing the SND mission. Our 2021 TTC program was to commence on 22nd June in Nairobi, Kenya. Normally the group begins their training in Nairobi and then proceeds to Buseesa, Uganda. Little did we know that this was not going to work for us this year!
On June 6 at 10 p.m., the president of Uganda declared that the schools were to close for at least 42 days with immediate effect due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. The public transportation was to continue until June 9. We had only three days to assess and act, but it was a blessing for us because at least we had some time to reorganize our programs. Yes, we truly had to move very fast!
Some sisters were on holiday while others were supposed to travel to their new stations by June 30. Now this could not work! I started calling all those who were on holiday to report back to their communities by June 9 before the lockdown. The twelve Candidates who were preparing to travel to Mpala, Uganda on the 12th had to change their plan and book their tickets to travel on the 8th instead. Three had to move all the way from Arusha, Tanzania to Mpala, Uganda. The other nine Candidates had to move from Buseesa to Mpala.
The TTC group was supposed to report for the program on June 21, but six of them were in Tanzania in different communities and five in Uganda on their home visits. They all had to reach rural Buseesa in Uganda by June 9.
The travel restrictions and expenses were so taxing. So, for this year the TTC group will not go to Nairobi. They will stay in Buseesa until the end of November.
As I write now, all the sisters are settled, in and the training is going on well. For me this is a great miracle! Calling sisters to move from one country to another within that short time was not an easy task. But by God’s grace it worked perfectly because every sister became involved in these new arrangements. It was indeed ‘a great communion.’