The Missionaries of Africa Congregation was founded in 1868 in Algiers by Arcbishop C. Lavigerie, while only a year later he founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa. In 1892, at his death, 278 missionaries, from 5 different nationalities worked already in 6 countries: Algeria, Tunisia, Uganda, Tanzania, Congo, Zambia.
These missionaries are better known as White Fathers, not only because they were “white” (other Christian congregations with “white” members had already penetrated to some unexplored areas of Africa) but certainly because of the white tunic (gandura) they were wearing. In the midst of this religious and political turmoil, the White Fathers were able to set and re-set mission stations and implement many activities according to the principles and methods given by their founder in order to adapt to the ways of living. Besides the priority to evangelize, the White Fathers, since the beginning, tried to implement social and economic works, such as clinics/hospital (general and for lepers), agriculture, cattle-breeding, charitable societies, saving banks, schools. They were(are)interested in helping to develop a complete human being, on the spiritual levelas well as on the physical, emotional, educational level. Among all these areas in which their gave their contribution I would try to focus the attention on the educational aspect.
As Shorter underlines ;There was no so called “formal education” when the missionaries arrived in the Buganda Kingdom., as well in the other reigns which occupied the actual land of Uganda. There were no schools buildings, professional teachers, books, pencils etc.
Altogether there was an ‘informal’ educating system ( indigenous education ) which aimed at creating ideal persons, especially disciplined and respectful men and women, very much anchored to their clans and their origins in order to help them fit in the their society. Mothers, aunts and grandmothers taught to the girls;...