June 28, 2017

KENYA: Nun Wins Principal of the Year Award

MOMBASA JUNE 27, 2017(CISA) – Sr Anastacia Amollo, Principal of St. Mary’s Lwak Girls High School has won the 2017 Principal of the Year Award (POYA).

“I thank God. I am humbled. I can say I have won this because of my commitment and, more so, my dedication, love and passion in what I am doing,” Sr Anastacia of the Franciscan sisters of St. Anna said after receiving the trophy.

“I appreciate those who have supported me and I am glad to have reached this level. I am grateful to all, especially my school and the employer, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC),” she added.

Sr Anastacia won alongside Mrs Philis Wangechi of Mahiga Girls Secondary School and Mr Paul Thairu Kamau of Loreto Girls Secondary School Limuru both winning the Teacher of the Year Award (Toya) and the ICT Teacher of the Year Award (i-Toya) respectively.

The winners were selected from 23 competitors, eight from the Poya category, eight from the Toya section and seven from the i-Toya segment.

They both received KSh100, 000(USD1000) each and trophies for outstanding performance during the Annual principals’ conference held at the Wild Waters Centre in Mombasa on June 23.

Speaking during the event TSC chief executive officer Nancy Macharia said that the winners will receive promotion for their outstanding performance.

“I direct that they get promotion to the next grade immediately and the promotion should be reflected in the new collective bargaining agreement that becomes effective from July 1.”

The teachers went through a rigorous process from the sub-county, county and national levels where they presented a PowerPoint report, were interviewed by a panel of professionals and had to outline their achievements both in and outside the classroom.


ZAMBIA: Catholic Priest Elected SIGNIS World Vice President

LUSAKA JUNE 27, 2017(CISA)-Fr Paul Samasumo has been elected as one of the two World Catholic Association for Communication (SIGNIS) Vice Presidents for the period 2017-2021.

Commenting on his election Fr Samasumo thanked the assembly for giving him the new task.

“I am humbled and grateful to the assembly for their confidence in me and my Continent, Africa. I thank my superiors at the Pontifical Secretariat for Communication who have always given me the space to work with SIGNIS.

My candidature was actually not proposed by Africa, but once it was made, my African brothers and sisters at this Congress warmly embraced the idea,” Vatican Radio quoted Fr Samasumo as saying.

Fr Samasumo who is the head of Vatican Radio’s English and Kiswahili Service for Africa becomes the first African to hold one of the top three positions in SIGNIS.

The election of Fr Samasumo took place during the SIGNIS World Congress 2017 which was held between June 19-22 at Laval University in Canada’s Québec City themed, “Media for a Culture of Peace: Promoting Stories of Hope.”

Fr Samasumo will be the Vice president alongside Mr Lawrence John Sinniah of Malaysia.

Ms Helen Osman from USA was elected SIGNIS World President taking over from Mr Gustavo Andujar who did not seek re-election.

The three together with the Treasurer constitute SIGNIS world’s executive committee.

The African Assembly of delegates elected Nigerian priest and university professor, Fr Dr Walter Ihejirika as new SIGNIS Africa President.

SIGNIS is a Worldwide Association of Catholic Communicators representing more than 140 countries.

Its’ members are national associations grouped by regions of the world. There are six regions: Africa, Latin America, North America, Pacific, Asia, and Europe, as well as an International Group composed of international organizations.

The administrative headquarters of SIGNIS, the General Secretariat, is in Brussels with another office at the Vatican, which provides technical and material support to Church and secular organizations all over the world.


SOUTH SUDAN: Churches Condemn Warring Factions for Ignoring People’s Needs

JUBA JUNE 27, 2017 (CISA) – The South Sudan Council of Churches (SSC) has criticized the country’s political leaders “on all sides” for placing political and personal interests above the needs of ordinary people.

The council is made up of the heads of the member churches, including Archbishop Paulino Lukudo Loro of Juba, charged that the country’s problems are “man-made, a result of mismanagement, blatant corruption, insecurity, lack of governance and the rule of law.”

“Greed, hatred and the struggle for power have left the ordinary people of South Sudan, on all sides of the conflict, as the losers,” the council said in a statement June 23 at the conclusion of a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Catholic News Service reported.

The church leaders said that while in Ethiopia, they visited refugee camps to talk with South Sudanese people who have fled the violence and stated that they came away saddened by listening to the refugees’ experiences.

They however thanked the people, churches and government of Ethiopia leaders for welcoming the refugees.

While welcoming the creation of a forum for national dialogue late in 2016 by President Salva Kiir, council members said that, for the effort to succeed, specific criteria for discussion must be met.

They lamented that the attempt at dialogue has gone unaccepted by opposition parties.

In the statement, the church leaders said they were speaking solely as religious leaders and that, because they were not politicians, they could not give “detailed political recommendations.”

“As pastors and shepherds, our first priority is the suffering of our people,” they said adding, “Nevertheless, we dare to speak to political leaders as Jesus instructed us, ‘like sheep among wolves … as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 2011. But just two years after independence, political tensions erupted into violence. The fighting, displacement, insecurity and drought have led to large-scale hunger and malnutrition across the country.

The UN estimates that 3.8 million people have been displaced and at least 28 million are in need of food aid. Tens of thousands have died in the violence.