The workshop began on the 25th of March and ended on the 27th at Kiltegan Theologate house, Langata, given by Fr. Ismael Matambura (Director of AJAN) and Pascalia Sergon (AJAN Programs and Capacity building Officer).
The 38 participants comprised theology students and their formators. This religious group came to now about the AHAPPY (AJAN HIV and AIDS Prevention Program for Youth) during an interaction between AJAN team with the Kiltegans at Kamiti prisons where both institutions happen to be ministering to the youth in prison and Correctional centers. Interested with the AHAPPY program that AJAN runs with youth in prisons from the testimony of one of the Ladies Prison officers who got trained in AHAPPY two years ago, the community invited AJAN to give a three days’ workshop on the same.
The theology students of St. Patrick’s, besides doing their studies at Tangaza University College, undertake various outreach ministries from Parish pastoral works, service to prisoners, with youth refugees, victims of gender-based violence, among many.
Another key characteristic of the community is their composition of various Africa nationalities. This means that they reach and serve a wider population of young people and vulnerable communities at the grassroots level. That is why AJAN finds sharing knowledge and resources in such fora, particularly among religious groups as critical. It’s noted that AJAN’s eager involvement with other religious groups is also in line with its renewed orientation of placing the Church at the center of the fight against HIV & AIDS through character formation of the young people, the young religious and pastoral agents.
What was the objective of the AJAN entering into the training besides sharing knowledge and materials? That by the end of the training, the participants gain insight into the importance of transforming the beneficiaries of their ministries, into agents of the change they want to see. In other words, recognize their role as ministers, not only as agents of charity, but as that of facilitating communities, youth, etc. to self-knowledge to adopt appropriate actions that respond, sustainably to their issues of concern.
At the close of a very productive workshop, participants gave their feedback. Below is an excerpt as expressed by the group represented by Fr. Fidelis Ubi, SPS, Director of formation- and Daniel Kasonde, Student Leader:
“We as St. Patrick’s Theology house would like to thank you our facilitators from AJAN for your expertise in sharing the information with us during the workshop that we had. We felt there was excellent delivery of the training for us during the workshop on AHAPPY. We strongly feel that with that training the knowledge will help us in promoting integral development of young people in our various places of our pastoral outreach which we are involved in. We found the workshop to be very enlightening and we indeed learnt a lot from it. We feel better equipped to help the young people in the places of our pastoral outreach to live a better life and also working and hoping for an HIV & AIDS free society through sharing the knowledge and skills your team empowered us with. We are hopeful the knowledge and skills will enhance our outreach”.
Fr. Matambura expressed his satisfaction and consolation in delivering the training. “I feel encouraged and consoled in hearing the testimony of the participants, in seeing the joy and in considering their active participation in the workshop exercises. I have no doubt that today AJAN has expended his ray of network among the Church’s pastoral agents who, with competence and passion, will extent the message of AHAPPY of combating HIV and poverty among the youth through promotion of values integral formation”.
AJAN Programs and Capacity building Office