ACTS Report on NMCS 2013 National Conference

UntitledAssociation of Catholic Tertiary Students
No 399 Paul Kruger Street Pretoria
(SACBC Youth Office)
National Chaplain 0785430586
National General Secretary 073 870 1435
Website: http://acts.sacbc.org.za/
Email: muchakupangwa@gmail.com

ZIMBABWE NATIONAL MOVEMENT OF CATHOLIC STUDENTS: 2013 NATIONAL CONFERENCE

VENUE: Makumbi Visitation High School
DATE: 09 – 12 August 2013
THEME:  ‘Africa’s Commitment: Stand up Take your Mat and Go’
Day 1: 09 August 2013

This was the arrival and registration day for the purposes of the national conference. There were a number of students from different tertiary institution across Zimbabwe, also present at conference, were invited delegates from NMCS Zambia and ACTS South Africa. The purpose of the Conference was to inspire African students to be responsible for crafting own solutions as highlighted in the Africa Menus. As the Catholic norm, the national conference burst into flames through an organised opening holy mass, which was well attended by the delegates.

Day 2: 10 August 2013

Different activities and talks were lined up for the day. The day started with a breakfast and hastened to the opening of the theme of the national conference with discussions among delegates. Fr Manyere unpacked the theme of the conference, discussing why Africa has to commit itself, and challenged students to Stand up and take our mat and go as instructed by Jesus in John 5:8. This was followed by a leadership debate on Young Catholics in Leadership. Some of the questions that were raised were, how do Zimbabwean young leaders measure their readiness in becoming true leaders, how one can become a true leader that positively respond to the signs of times.
The forum also gave the delegates an opportunity to review NMCS Zimbabwe national constitution and to discuss the code of conduct within the NMCS Zimbabwe constitution.

Fr Clyde mentioned that leaders should not volunteer for the post but for the duties and the responsibilities that falls under the post. In addition, this was enhanced by different leadership attributes that were suggested by the delegates as to what do they expect to see from their leadership. Some of the characteristics that were mentioned were humbleness, honest, Christ centred and commitment.

Prayers for the peaceful NMCS Elections were also made to invite the Holy Spirit during the election process. Later on elections were done using the newly adopted constitution in accordance with the NMCS Zimbabwe Electoral Code and Processes and the day was closed by having Holy mass.

Day 3: 11 August 2013

11th of August, the day of Saint Clare of Assisi happened to be the most successful and rich day of the conference as indicated by the national conference program in terms of the Catholic faith. All the delegates at the conference were challenged to live like St Clare who completely gave herself to God and found happiness in serving the Lord.

Lessons

  • We are called to be united as one body of Christ.
  • We have to work hard to achieve more for God.
  • We do not have to complain when doing something to God like what St Clare did,she did not demand for rewards for her services to other but she found joy and happiness rather.
  • These days we are living in a bad society with bad evil thoughts and we feelchallenged everyday by those evil actions and thoughts but we have to be different within our societies, universities like St Claire.
  • We do not have to forget the ethos that we were taught by our parents as they arestill relevant
  • To be a good leader starts with living in harmony with others and being orderlyorganised.

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The Second Vatican: The role of the laity in the Church

Speaker: Mrs Chimange from Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP)

This was an interactive session where delegates had time to discuss the role of the lay people in the church as stipulated in The Second Vatican. Some of the roles mentioned were:

  • To respect for the human dignity
  • Stand for those who are marginalised and less privileged (disadvantaged)
  • Being at the forefront in fighting unemployed and poverty
  • Called for ecumenism promoting and spreading the word of unity and love
  • To be the voice of the voiceless in our different communities and universities
  • To give moral guidance to the world

Eco-justice paradigms

Speaker: Mr Kangata from Environmental Management Agency (EMA)

Talking about responding to the signs of the times, it was evident from the conference that not only companies are focusing on green issues and ecological justice activities but also the church is trying to do much in putting measures of reminding people that they are part of this God created living organism. For example the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe has set aside 16th of October every year as a day of going green. Nevertheless the spirit will be cultivated through massive green and eco -justice teachings within parishes, students communities like NMCS Zimbabwe, and other catholic guilds.

One of the issues that was raised as part of the discussion was that, should the waste management be privatised or left in the hands of the local authority. This was covered by different mixed reactions from different people as they had different opinions. Some of the lessons learnt were:

  • Encouraging people to reuse/recycle
  • Avoid activities that contribute to veld fires
  • People should conserve resources that they have
  • Use resources wisely for sustainable purposes
  • All the waste must be taken to the designated places
Day 4: 12 August 2013

This was the last day of the conference. Lined up for the day was the cleaning up of the place and lastly was the closing Holy mass.

AIMS FOR THE CONFERENCE

  1. To learn from other Region Catholic students organisations as to how they do their activities, including conducting national conferences.
  2. To promote the idea of going green or eco-justice.
  3. Improve the connectivity of ACTS South Africa with other Catholic Student organisations in the region.
  4. Improve networking amongst different Catholic groups.
  5. To share ideas on issues of common concern thus supporting each other.

Compiled by

Welcome Kupangwa

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National Secretary General (2013/2014)