LCCL Newsletter – September 2021

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Warm Greetings from LCCL Secretariat!
The last few months have been eventful in our country. We all watched with horror as
our country was reduced to ashes and utter lawlessness with the looting that erupted
after the arrest of the former state president, Mr Jacob Zuma. One can argue that this
was the worst violence South Africans have ever seen since the end of Apartheid. The
riots claimed more than 340 lives and resulted in extensive damage to infrastructure;
more than 200 shopping centres suffered looting or damage, while 100 malls were
subject to arson attacks, 161 liquor outlets and distributors were damaged, 1,400 ATMs and 90 pharmacies
were damaged and about 300 banks and post offices were vandalized. In addition, 40,000 businesses and
50,000 traders were affected overall, while stock worth R1.5 billion was lost and 150,000 jobs were stated
to be at risk.[1] The damage to KwaZulu-Natal’s economy alone is estimated to be R20 billion and estimated
losses suffered by the province of Gauteng are at R3.5 billion meanwhile these damages could cost a loss of R50
billion to South Africa’s national economy.[2]
Much of the unrest is said not to have been driven by direct political issues, but was instead driven by the
country’s long-term challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Unemployment is measured at
34.4%, which is the highest globally amidst the worsening pandemic crisis and as a direct result of the deadly
unrests and looting that gripped the country.
[3]
Around the same time, Eswatini was also experiencing
violent protests which were calling for democratic reforms in the country.
As Church and Religious, these unrests left us feeling uncomfortable and unsure as to what to do about the
situation. The LCCL(SA), in conjunction with Radio Veritas called for a day of prayer for the two countries on
17th July for healing and an end to the violence. The intervention was well received, most people felt healed
by this gesture as it gave them an opportunity to get in touch with the pain and to release it. Members were
further invited to intensify their prayers for an end to this violence. Noble as our intervention might have
been, the question is, was that enough? As Religious, we are called to be prophetic and the question is, how
prophetic were we in response to this situation?
During the Apartheid years, the Church, and Religious were known to be the voice of the voiceless. I
remember stories of some of my own Religious sisters who were staunch ANC members (Some of you might
remember Bernard Ncube who became a Parliamentarian). Some of the sisters suffered incarceration
because of their participation in the fight against Apartheid. I cannot help but ask myself, what has silenced
the voice of the Church? As Religious we are called to respond to the signs of the times and the question
remains, how are we responding to these times of Covid 19 with high joblessness, poverty and inequality?
How can we as Religious and as Church today carry out our mandate of being prophetic witnesses during
these unprecedented times? The Executive is formulating a response/action plan in a bid to respond to these
Social Justice/economic issues. If you have ideas on how we can remain prophetic as Religious and as Church
during these times, you are welcome to share those ideas with the Executive through the Secretariat. May
God bless our beautiful country as we navigate our way through this maze of unprecedented events.
Sr Nkhensani Shibambu CSA, President LCCL(SA)
CATHOLIC CARE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (CCCI) – From Institution to a family and community based
care.
CCCI is a new Project from the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). The vision of CCCI is to create
a world where every child grows up in a safe, loving family or supportive community. It aims to help religious
men and women involved with care of the child to read the signs of the times and thus respond accordingly
by providing the best care to children, to reduce reliance on institutionalisation, and to encourage family
and community based care. Children for one reason or another, are removed from their parental care or
when orphaned and or abandoned would be placed in foster care or be put up for adoption and in other
instances, be placed in a children’s home. The aim of CCCI is to promote de-institutionalisation which is
about moving such children from institutions back to their families and to stop new ones from coming in.
It is said that 80% of the children in our institutions in Africa, have family members and or parents and that over 6000
catholic sponsored child care institutions are in the Global South. The CCCI Movement says placement in a
facility should not be the first option but should be the last option. There has been extensive research conducted
into the impact of institutionalized care on the development of a child. This research indicates that
institutionalisation has a negative impact on the development of the child. This global movement aims to
bring this awareness to all those who work in this space. Religious conferences in the African region have
started this movement and hence the need for us to join in the movement.
As LCCL(SA), we were approached by CCCI last year to begin the conversation around de-institutionalisation
of our facilities. Several meetings were held with the UISG – CCCI where the objectives of the project were
outlined and upon further reflection, the Executive committee took a resolution to join the movement. This
was brought to the AGM in March 2021 where the Executive was given a mandate to further engage on the
matter with the UISG. More meetings were held with the UISG and subsequently with GHR Foundation who
is the funding partner for the project to explain the project in detail. From these meetings, the Executive is
of the view that participation in this venture will be beneficial to the members and the country as a whole..
What are the implications of our participation in this venture?

  1. First we need to form a working group/team who will be responsible for getting the project
    started.
  2. Apply for funding from GHR Foundation.
  3. Conduct a landscape assessment of Catholic Care in South Africa. This requires to be done by a
    team using an assessment tool. It requires desk research and field work. Field work entails
    collecting information from Catholic-sponsored care institutions to create a portrait of Catholic
    care within the area. This includes information about religious life, Catholic care institutions,
    contextual factors effecting care for children, and available resources to support care reform. The
    landscape paints a picture of religious life and care for children and will help establish a system
    that is responsive to local needs.
  4. Convene stakeholders and discuss and discern the results: how are we called to live our
    charism? Shall we move forward with efforts to advance the CCC vision?
  5. Move ahead to implement the CCC.
    We need at least five (5) members to form the working group/team and so would like to invite you if you
    have members in your congregations or staff in your care facilities who are social workers, child and youth
    care workers, psychologists, researchers, data analysts etc., who can make part of the working group. Some
    of the responsibilities of the working group would include to manage and oversee the project. We would
    like to ask you to get in touch with the Secretariat by 22nd October if you have members who meet this
    criteria and submit their details. Do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat should you need further clarity
    on the project.
    We would also like to have a list of all those Religious institutes within the conference that have a charism
    of care or mission to care for children and other vulnerable persons. The Secretariat will get in touch with
    you to update and verify information that is in our database. We are grateful for all the work and
    contribution that you have been making over the years in this ministry.
    Upcoming Activities
    The following activities are planned for the next coming months:
  6. A course on Self-Care with Fr Hugh Lagan SMA:
    The Executive Committee is planning for a workshop on “Looking Back to Move Forward” for elected
    leaders on 05 November 2021 from 11am to 12:15. More information will be sent to you in due
    course.
  7. A session on Professional conduct and Child Safe Guarding:
    Fr. Mike Lewis, SJ, Chairperson of the National Professional Conduct and Child Safeguarding
    Committee will give a presentation as indicated below:
    Date: Mon 18 Oct
    Time: 2.30pm – 4.00pm
    Platform: Virtual
    You are all urged to participate in this webinar as Professional Conduct and Child Safeguarding very
    essential topic, and as leaders, we need to be more aware of the requirements thereof. A link will be
    sent to you in due course.
  8. Peer Groups in Durban and Gauteng: Fr Bheki, Fr Jude, Fr Neil and Fr Siphelele will contact male
    religious members in the Gauteng and Durban areas to form peer support groups for male leaders. A
    woman’s support group is already in existence in the Joburg area. You are all encouraged to form peer
    support groups in your areas as per the outcome of our AGM 2021. If you are interested in getting
    one started in your area and would like advice on how to go about it you can contact the Secretariat
    for more information.
  9. Joint Witness Meeting:
    We thank God for the success of the National Joint Witness meeting 2021 which was held from 6-9
    September via ZOOM under the theme: “Enabling an Emerging Church”. Attached herewith, are the
    outcomes of the meeting for your reading pleasure and further discernment and dissemination.
  10. LCCL 2021 Subscriptions:
    Members are reminded to pay their 2021 Subscriptions to help LCCL secretariat to cover the running
    cost of the office. You contribution is deeply appreciated! So far only 6o members have paid out of a
    102 members.
  11. COVID 19 Stats
    You are kindly requested to submit all the information on Covid 19 infections, deaths and or
    recoveries to LCCL office on a monthly basis. We will continue praying for each other’s safety and
    healing.
  12. LCCL Website
    Please check LCCL website for new posts and if your congregation would like to post any items, please
    email the contents to LCCL office.
    Sr Thao Phi FMM (Secretary General)
    Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life South Africa: lcclsa@mweb.co.za: www.lcclsa.co.za
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