The project, Major Superiors’ Formation and Training Project (MSFTP) was initiated in response to a need expressed at the 2005 General Assembly of the Association of Consecrated Women in East and Central Africa (ACWECA). ACWECA is an umbrella organization for eight national associations of women religious within the AMECEA Region. The regional office for ACWECA is located in Nairobi, Kenya. The project was intended to benefit leaders of religious congregations–Provincial and Regional leaders of AMECEA countries, namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Malawi and Zambia. This inter-congregational initiative aimed to help religious leaders become servant-leaders–after the model of Christ, the servant of God. The need for leadership training was expressed by religious leaders in a number of congregations who found themselves in leadership positions without prior preparation. As a result, the 13th ACWECA Plenary Assembly mandated the Secretary General to raise funds and “organize leadership sessions for superiors and provincials.”
All of the AMECEA (The Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of East Africa) countries struggle with extreme poverty and therefore the sisters who work in the parishes and dioceses of these countries usually receive no salaries. Moreover, because most religious congregations function on small budgets they are not in a position to pay the cost for training opportunities such as this. It became necessary, therefore to seek financial support from outside sources.
Religious congregations make many sacrifices to provide formation of their young members and educate their sisters as teachers, nurses, and social workers. Major superiors of these congregations find it helpful to meet periodically to share challenges and explore creative solutions to problems. It was out of this need that the mission and goals of the MSFTP were formulated.