The Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Synod of Livingstonia has spiritedly called upon various institutions in the country to consider having chaplains so they can help out on spiritual matters saying doing so can significantly turn tables around on a myriad psycho-social issues.
Moderator of the Synod, Isaac Malongo, said it was imperative that institutions including hospitals, universities and government ministries, departments and agencies seriously thought about the matter.
He said during a training of church ministers at Embangweni Mission of the CCAP organised by the Council of Chaplaincy Ministry (COCHAM) in Mzimba.
“Chaplains are very crucial in every institution because they provide special guidance to people in there especially as far as spiritual matters are concerned,” Malongo said.
According to Malongo, most of the suicide cases and attempts that have proliferated in the country could be attributed to lack of chaplaincy in various institutions.
“Most of these cases are because people have psychological issues and yet they can’t turn to anyone because they think they have no one they can to talk to. No one who can understand them. That is where chaplains come in,” he said.
Embangweni Mission Hospital director, Kondwani Zgambo, hailed COCHAM for their initiative, and hoped that with the training the hospital would be provided with a chaplain from the Synod soonest.
“We deal with physical health matters, and sometimes we notice that our patients are more than that. Some are psychologically sick and we cannot handle that. So, I am hoping the Synod will seriously consider providing us a chaplain,” Zgambo said.
Meanwhile COCHAM executive director, Mabvuto Chipeta, told Nyasa Times that they have called upon the Minister of Education, Agnes NyaLonje, to consider recruiting chaplains in all tertiary institutions in the country.
“If the country is to produce high quality graduates who are responsible, ethical and morally upright they need professional psycho-social support and that means chaplains,” Chipeta said.
According to Chipeta, a recent research COCHAM has conducted with chaplains at Malawi Adventist University, Malawi University of Science and Technology, Mzuzu University and Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences has revealed that chaplaincy services play a pivotal role in the integration of faith and learning.
“In all these tertiary education institutions, students are encouraged to espouse their religion of choice freely and to nurture their spiritual welfare.
“Hence, chaplaincy helps them find their spiritual way in order to live a meaningful life at a critical stage where peer pressure is very high,” said Chipeta.
He said the chaplain’s main responsibility is to provide moral and spiritual support to students and staff.
“This is achieved in a variety of ways, including counselling students and staff regarding their faith and spiritual life. It may even involve holding daily devotions and presiding over special ceremonies.
“Also, to ensure ecumenical harmony, the chaplain is responsible for coordinating the religious services of the various groups on campus in liaison with student leaders.
“The chaplain also serves as a link between the students and college management in matters relating to religion and morals. It is also the responsibility of the chaplain to advise management on the same,” Chipeta explained.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :