Canisius Kollege (Berlin) students visit Zimbabwe for a Companionship program

By Margaret Mikiri

A group of students and teachers from Canisius Kollege, a Jesuit School in Berlin, Germany, are in Zimbabwe, visiting Makumbi Visitation and St Rupert Mayer Schools, for a two week companionship programme. 

The group is comprised of two senior teachers and six students, three boys and three girls.

Their visit is under 'Unlocking the Future':The Jesuit Education Recovery and Development Programme in Zimbabwe.The companions programme is under Result Area No 12.

The companion programme a platform for Jesuit Schools in Zimbabwe to develop networks and Ignatian Communities of learning with other Jesuit Schools in other parts of the world.

Mrs Beatrice Von Schmidt-Pauli-Haux one of the senior teacher at Canisius Kollege explained what the companions programme strives to achieve. 

 “It aims to develop a mutually beneficial and sustainable relationship between schools in the developed countries and their partner school, or mission, in the developing world,” 

“This companionship calls for an attitude and readiness to cooperate, to listen and to learn from others and to share a common spiritual inheritance,” said Mrs Von Schmidt-Pauli-Haux.

Paula Roesler, one of the students visiting St Ruperts Mayer expressed her joy to be in Zimbabwe and Africa for the first time. She expressed her keenness towards learning new things, meeting new people and sharing ideas with other students of her age.   

“I’m very excited to be in Zimbabwe and about this companionship programme, learning new things about life and spiritual formation will help me to be an empathetic person.”   

The Companions Programme is a school linking scheme between young people in Jesuit and Catholic schools in the Global South and Global North. 

The visiting students will learn, study, attend masses and experience life together with local students, while the teachers experience teaching in a different environment and different context. 

 St. Ignatius called his first followers companions and it is in the spirit of St. Ignatius that the Companionship Programme has been set up. 


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