MALAWI NATIONAL MOVEMENT OF IMCS
HISTORY OF MALAWI NATIONAL MOVEMENT OF CATHOLIC STUDENTS (NMCS-MALAWI).
1.1 FOUNDATION OF NMCS-MALAWI
Since the foundation of Catholic Students Organization in different Universities and Colleges of Malawi, UMCASA (University of Malawi Catholic Students Association) representative has been one of the positions in the Executive board. Each College had to appoint a male and female representative to take up the tasks entailed by the position, of which the core ones were to participate in national meetings of CSOs of all colleges, and be a conveyor belt, linking one CSO to the other as per the effectiveness and efficiency of CSOs across the country. By then, the Catholic Association was called IMCS-Malawi.
However, IMCS-Malawi 2010 Executive saw how faulty the scope of the movement was, in terms of delegates present at its meetings. By then, only UMCASA representatives attended the national meetings. As such, in September, 2010, IMCS-Malawi/ UMCASA, invited representatives from other colleges whereby a new National Executive was elected. Since the office bearers were elected at national level, a suggestion was made to coin another term suitable for the nationwide association, hence the shift from IMCS-Malawi to National Movement of Catholic Students (NMCS) whereby meetings and/or conferences could be patronized by all the students and not representatives only.
However, the implementation of the idea had a gradual pace hence the delay to fully embark on the Movement in 2010.
Nevertheless, the success story of NMCS-Malawi is that it was later received warmly, nationwide, such that many colleges in Malawi are affiliated to it. With reference to the above paragraphs, as NMCS-Malawi is rapidly taking ground, with its Executive members trying to increase its diameter so that each and every individual college and other institutions of higher learning are aware of it.
- CURRENT SITUATION AT NATIONAL LEVEL
NMCS-Malawi has student members categorized into 3;
- Ordinary: Open for all Catholic tertiary students in colleges and seminars and belong to a Catholic Society ( Catholic Students Organization)
- Associate: Open to former members of NMCS
- Affiliate: Conferred by the National Executive or any individual or organization
Since its establishment, NMCS-Malawi holds elections annually during it’s annual conferences. Executive members from all college CSOs meet to, among other issues on the agenda, elect new National Movement leaders. Six student members are elected into office ranging from: President, Vice President, Activities Coordinator, General Secretary, Treasurer and Publicity Secretary.
However, currently, deputies are elected to support the positions of: Activities Coordinator, General Secretary and Publicity Secretary.
NMCS-Malawi has had National Conferences as a way of bringing togetherness through socialization, upholding Christian fundamental beliefs through sensitizing and mobilizing the youth on issues to do with spirituality, in connection to the our “One, Holy, Catholic Church.
The most recent National Conference was held on 5 April, 2016 in Salima, at Salima Technical College which saw over 300 national delegates patronizing it. The conference was deemed not only a success, but particularly; a devised better platform to enmesh Catholic students across the country.
One of our plans we would like to embark on, is to sensitize people about NMCS so that it remains a common ground to share with all the colleges in Malawi. The following table shows colleges per region which NMCS-Malawi has planned to sensitize by the end of this year.
|REGION||NAMES OF COLLEGES|
|NORTHERN||· Malawi College of Accountacy,
· St. John of God
· University of Livingstonia, Rumphi Campus
· Karonga Teachers Training College
|SOUTHERN||· Soche Technical College|
NOTE: The regions are political boundaries, and do not conform to the geographical divisions of NMCS-Malawi. NMCS-Malawi has four divisions, known as Regional Conferences. These are;
During the Handover Ceremony held in Lilongwe at the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Secretariat on 29,2016, the newly elected leaders ( elections were held during the annual NMCS-Malawi in Salima at Salima Technical College) were given an outline of tasks to carry out, from which plans for the 2016 year were derived. As such, the current Executive is looking forward to;
- Care for the environment (Laudarto si) by raising awareness on climate change and the role of human beings in caring for the environment
- Encourage patriotism towards the development of the country which may include writing concept papers
- Increasing devotion among Catholic students thereby upholding the Catholic culture through retreats
- Equipping youths with skills on social issues, i.e. on marriage, social rehabilitation i.e. on abortion, promiscuity etc, by conducting workshops, among others.
2. CURRENT IMCS SITUATION IN MALAWI
IMCS can be said to be rapidly gaining ground, as far as its awareness is concerned. Since the introduction of NMCS in Malawi, we have managed to send representatives to the IMCS meetings, for instance in last year’s conference.
Furthermore, in June 2011, Malawi had the privilege of hosting an International Conference which was held at Natural Resources College (which is a constituent college of Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources). The delegates (Catholic Students) were from Zambia, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Rev. Father Alojz equipped the International delegates with the zeal to potentially uphold youth fellowship and apostolate vis a vis effectiveness and efficiency of the Movement. The inference is that IMCS is still recognized thoroughly by the Office Bearers of NMCS and many students down its structure.