Wadzanai Training Centre is situated in Borrowdale, a suburb of Harare, about 12 km north of the city centre. The building was constructed by the Presentation Sisters in 1951. From 1951 to 1979, it was used as a Preparatory School for boys. During the 1970’s the revolutionary struggle in the Country intensified. Religious Congregations were forced to withdraw many of their sisters from rural missions. Religious Superiors saw this as an opportunity to give their sisters the time to upgrade their basic education, but where? The regular school was not the ideal environment. Thus, on the 1st of April 1979, the Presentation Sisters responded to the need by making their building in Borrowdale available to the Conference of Religious Superiors.
Thus, on the 1st of April 1979, before Independence which came in 1980, Wadzanai was started with the brave ideal of a joint effort by all the women Religious Congregations. Hence the name ‘Wadzanai’ (meaning “coming together, working together”) was chosen. The Centre offered Junior Certificate and Ordinary level examinations. After Independence many Ex-Combatants had been dismissed from camps. They needed both psychological and spiritual help to fit back into society and earn their living and Wadzanai provided that opportunity. In addition, spiritual formation and catechetical training, pastoral training, dressmaking, adult literacy classes were provided.
The Catechetical course which lasted over twelve months was thorough and intensive. Those qualified were enthusiastic but back in their parishes there was very little remuneration for their contribution. Negotiations with the University of Zimbabwe in 1994, requesting that Wadzanai become a Centre for those willing to pursue a Diploma in Religious Studies, were started and the first students received their diploma in 1996.
Religious Studies is a broad discipline encompassing:
Such a Diploma provides a very important background for catechetical training. Over the past 25 years 437 students have graduated.
The Catechetical program continues to run concurrently with the Diploma. Students receive a Certificate in Teaching Religion granted by the College itself. Students study:
Wadzanai is in partnership with sister Institutions, both Catholic and non-Catholic, the Catholic University and State University. The Conference of Religious Superiors are planning to have a number of new courses for Sisters in 2020. Wadzanai hosts a number of retreats, workshops and conferences each year e.g. Child Protection, Justice and Peace and Interfaith dialogue.
Network Pastoral Africa provides a tremendous opportunity for sharing of ideas, giving new insights and learnings. These meetings provide valuable mutual support. We are deeply grateful to missio for providing for such meetings.
Sr. Ena Kelleher (Director)