By Prince Henderson

National Youth Leaders under the banner of National Movement of Catholic Students (NMCS), an overarching body for all tertiary Catholic Students in Malawi which is a federation of Catholic Students Organizations (CSO) have been trained in Church leadership, thanks to the Pastoral Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.

Opening the workshop in Mangochi last week Saturday, National Pastoral Secretary, Fr. Regis Ted Kamela said youths in the Church are an important agent and ought to be fully equipped with necessary leadership skills and knowledge.

“In the youth department, we call them proximate nursery for the next Church leadership. It is one of the important youth group but it is a known fact that every young person is so valuable. Their quest for learning new ways of doing things puts them on the advantage segment of the youth group,” said Fr. Kamela.

He said among other leadership challenges that were noted were poor coordination skills, poor communication skills, inadequate knowledge of ecclesial authorities and lack of leadership perseverance.

“Apart from that, we also noted lack of strategic leadership skills and poor resource mobilization and management skills among Catholic Youths,” said Fr. Kamela.

Against this background, Blantyre Archdiocese Youth Chaplain, Fr. Frank Mwinganyama equipped the Catholic Youths with knowledge on the Hierarchy of the Catholic Church and how information flows from the Pope to the Small Christian Community. The Catholic Church is well structured when it comes to information flow.

“It is the duty of the Catholic Youth to understand that the Catholic Church is the Universal Church so that they can understand the liturgy of the church,” He said.

“On Communication skills the Youth leaders are now able to understand the importance of using official communication rather than using Social Media to exchange information within and outside their zone. The students now understand the basic the importance of active listening during a conversation and also the information and emotions behand any communication,” said one of the facilitators, Sidonia Dzikolidaya.

Vice Chairperson for NMCS, Violet Thooko Machika described the training as an eye opener and timely saying this will boost their leadership skills not only for their own benefit but also for the good of the Church and the nation as a whole.

“We would like to thank the Episcopal Conference of Malawi for its concern towards the youths. Indeed we are the future leaders and with this training, most definitely we are going to take over Church leaderships with the much needed experience,” said Machika,a student at Catholic University of Malawi.

She added: “We now know how to address the Bishop and the Archbishop in the church something which we didn’t know and also the Pope and Cardinals. We never knew that Pope is His Holiness, Cardinals are His Eminence and Archbishops and Bishops are called His Grace and His Lordship respectively”.

The training called upon at least sixty youths drawn from all higher leaning institutions in the country, with funding from the Jesuit Fathers through Episcopal Conference of Malawi.

The theme of the training was leadership skills for young catholic leaders