Since its inception in 2007, ASEC’s largest program, the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI), has expanded from five countries of operation to ten, serving more than 3,300 sisters. Through SLDI workshops, sisters are equipped with skills and knowledge in technology, finance, administration and leadership. They gain confidence as they learn how to work more effectively and collaboratively.
2018 marks Phase IV, Year 3 of the program and we have many milestones, highlights and experiences to share with you. This year alone, ASEC facilitated 36 SLDI Workshops (18 Administration, 18 Finance) in ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa!
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SLDI Phase IV graduations will continue to take place until December, 2018. The program anticipates approximately 780 sisters to graduate by the end of the phase.
In October, Asst. Director of SLDI, Jaime Herrmann and Asst. Director of Evaluation, Jennifer Mudge attended the first SLDI graduation in Lesotho, where 22 sisters were honored for their hard work and successful completion of the program curriculum.
SLDI Lesotho graduate, Sr. Theresia Noko, SCO summarized the celebration ceremonies perfectly with her comment,
"I will never forget."
Graduations are joyous occasions at ASEC, because a sister's involvement doesn't end there. Alumnae are encouraged to mentor others and collaborate with other program graduates and their mentees at annual gatherings. Nine alumnae workshops took place in early 2018.
SLDI field trips began in 2015 to provide a hands-on learning experience for sisters in the program. SLDI Administration and Finance workshop participants visit a variety of real-world projects, many of which are run by ASEC alumnae.
In 2018, field trips were taken by SLDI students to the following sites:
- Ghana: University of Cape Coast Agriculture and Research Farm
- Kenya: Limuru Cheshire Home for physically and mentally handicapped children, Amani Rehabilitation /Primary School
- Nigeria: One Village Farm
- South Sudan: Bishop Mazzoldi Memorial Primary and Kindergarten
- Lesotho: Elizabeth Residence of the Srs. of St. Joseph, Sekamaneng Community of the Holy Names Sisters.
- Malawi: Early Child Development Center Ulongwe, Alinafe Hospital Benga, Mtendere Hospital sustainable projects, Chenzi Orphanage
- Zambia: Chipapa Holy Rosary Srs. Development Project, Kasisi Organic Farming Project, St. Mary's Secondary School, Chilanga Project
- Uganda: Bishop Asili Hospital projects, Mother Kevin sustainable farm Busunju, Srs. of IHM Reparatrix Projects Ggogonya
- Tanzania: Fukayosi Village
Three-day Partners Workshops took place this June in Kenya and Ghana. The workshops brought together 70 key SLDI stakeholders to collaborate and prepare for the fifth phase of the program. Members of ASEC’s U.S. and Africa staff, SLDI workshop facilitators and Secretaries General of different associations of congregations were in attendance.
Program site visits and interviews were conducted throughout the year in five countries by U.S. staff in January (Zambia, Kenya), June (Kenya, Uganda, Ghana) and October (Lesotho), 2018.