SIHMA | Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa

SACBC Training for Pastoral Agents of Migration

The Southern Africa Catholic Bishop Conference has organised his traditional Training program on migration for pastoral agents, that took place at the Lumko Institute in Benoni (Johannesburg ) on the 27-31 March 2023.

The Training involved coordinators of desks for pastoral care of migrants and refugees and Caritas operators from different dioceses of 5 countries: South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique.


The main objectives of the 4 days course were:


1. To share experiences on the responses to the plight of migration and advocacy in our dioceses and network.

2. To build capacity and strengthen Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees in our dioceses and network.

3. How to organize the online assessment template and how to capture protected data.

4. To understand the legal framework of International Migration in South Africa.

5. To understand the legal framework concerning stateless persons and persons at risk of statelessness and the unique vulnerabilities stemming from the lack of legal identity in the Southern African Region.

6. Identify actors working on statelessness and, possible areas of collaboration with them, to improve civil registration in the Southern African countries.


Many topics have been explored in these days of training, from the fundaments of human mobility to the concrete work on the ground with migrants and refugees. Among them: understanding migration concepts and key terms, online assessment and capture protected data, sharing reports /experiences of dioceses and organizations in SA, cross-border experiences (Beitbridge, Ressano Garcia, Eswatini, Botswana and Maseru), legal framework concerning stateless persons and persons at risk of rtatelessness (right of civil registration), human rights of migrants, undocumented migrants and statelessness, human mobility and Social teaching of the Church, fund-raising and network.


Presentation have been given by different speakers: Fr Phuti Makgabo, Fr Rampe Hlobo (SJ), Sr Maria Rissini (MSCS), attorneys from Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR). Also SIHMA offered his knowledge and expertise, presenting 3 keynotes: Understanding  migration in Southern Africa, Spirituality of human mobility, The experience of work at SIHMA and Scalabrini Centre and the Scalabrini network.


As usual, there was a very participative atmosphere, with many interventions and questions from participants that made the interaction between speakers and audience easy and effective. All this exchange of information and procedures can now be put into practice by the different organisations for a more structured and effective pastoral care of people on the move.


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