Being Magis outside the classroom

 

One would think being MAGIS is only for Jesuits, or only for those belonging to a Magis network, but a group of teachers from Catholic schools can also testify to being Magis outside the classroom. 

To be MAGIS, is to be more. To do more for Christ and more for others. 

Recently the MAGIS Zimbabwe Network engaged eleven Catholic teachers for a faith sharing experience held at the LARCHE Community, a home for persons with intellectual challenges.

The experience, was part of a long day service programme coordinated by Magis Zimbabwe and the Jesuit Education office for its Beit scholars. It was held on the 24thof August 2018

Tariro Gava a teacher at Kutama College said, the experience was an eye opener for her as it gave her a different perspective on mentally challenged persons.

“It is a whole new experience for me because before coming here I had a different mindset towards people with intellectual challenges. This has been life changing especially after spending time and talking to the people here. The experience changed my perspective towards mentally challenged people”

LARCHE is home to twenty-three people who are intellectually challenged and their drive is to prepare the ground for each one of them to lead a normal and decent life.

Mr Time Baluwa, LARCHE Zimbabwe Coordinator, said it is a gift for Larche to work with people who share the same spirituality and understanding. 

“We work with Jesuit Education, they endeavour to create better environment for students and teachers. We allow them to bring teachers here at LARCHE and experience the life. That way we contribute to the forming of teachers who will also contribute to the formation of students.”

The exercise was part of an ongoing Ignatian formation for teachers taking the ethics course and Ignatian pedagogy and spirituality program.

Fr Ignatius Padya SJ, the Youth Delegate for the Jesuit Province, said such exercises help form fellow teachers to have an ear or eye for the less privileged. 

He shared his desire to make follow up exercises with several teachers in Catholic schools and also share with students the richness of a Magis Expirience.

Some felt the exercise took them from their comfort zone, it challenged them to want to do more for others. While others were grateful for the experience. A few said it was a life changing experience as it was their first time interacting with persons with mental disabilities.

The teachers spend the day cleaning, working in the garden and interacting with the co-members as well as the stuff at LARCHE.

by Nonhlanhla Ngwenya 

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