MY PROFESSIONAL CAREER AT THE TRAINING AND DOCUMENTATION CENTER (CFD) IN KIGALI
- By Joseph Sehorana
- On 07/08/2020 at 12:37
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The Training and Documentation Centre (CFD-Centre de Formation et de Documentation); former Ecumenical Centre for Research and Theological Promotion (CORVT- Centre Œcuménique de Recherche et de Vulgarisation Théologique) was created by the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda (EPR) in collaboration with other Christian denominations in 1996. The objective of the Centre was, on one hand, to contribute to the reconstruction of the vitality of religious denominations after the 1994 Genocide comitted against Tutsi, and, on the other hand, to serve as a cornerstone to the unity and reconciliation process for the people of Rwanda.
To achieve this objective, the Centre has created 3 distinct programs, namely: the Theological Training Program, whose participants are pastors, evangelists and lay preachers without formal theological training; the Program for Christian-Muslim Relations, whose main mission is to help established religious denominations in Rwanda to break denominational barriers; and the Program for Research and Documentation, which carries out research on theological and pastoral challenges.
Since 2001, decision-making councils have looked favourably upon limiting COVRT’s scope of work to training and documentation. The work of theological promotion was reserved for the Faculty of Protestant Theology of Butare, which was reconstructed and resumed its activities. Thus, the previous name of COVRT was changed to its new and current name of CFD.
From that time, the Centre for Training and Documentation has adapted its activities so as to meet the challenges that churches and the country were facing. With this objective in mind, the Theological Training Program was created along with the Programme to Fight against HIV/AIDS Program in 2001. In 2004 the Programme for Training of in-service Pastors began with two objectives. The first was to help the ecclesiastical staff from Protestant churches in Rwanda to reconcile the theories learnt with the pastoral practice on the ground. The second was to help them to be efficient in their work.
When I was affected to CFD in October 2006, the aforesaid programs were operational and playing a big role in reinforcing collaboration among different religious denominations in Rwanda. I was in charge of Theological Training and Fight against HIV/AIDS Programs.
The offices of the Centre for Training and Documentation (CFD) are situated in Kicukiro in the locality known as SONATUBE, in the City of Kigali. At CFD i worked with Pastor Desiree RUTAGANDA who was our Coordinator for several years. He was a man of faith and of exceptional professional rigor. Among the other co-workers at the CFD I remember Mr. Gerard RUBAYIZA; HABIMANA Jean Damascene; Pastor Dushimimana Daniel (who recently passed away) and MUHOZI Emmanuel. All those have been in charge of the Muslim-Christian Relations Program (at different times). There was also Pastor Bienvenu MUSABYIMANA who was in charge of the programme for training in-service pastors; Mr. Athanase who was in charge of finances and Albert MUNYESHYAKA and HABIMANA Jean Damascene who were at different times our drivers. My work at CFD consists above all in organizing several seminars within the framework of the fight against HIV / AIDS and of theological training by extension. Among my accomplishments at CFD, I can mention the production of various books and teaching materials and the training of over 6000 lay people in basic theology.
Before ending this article, I must thank Reverend Desire RUTAGANDA who has contributed a lot to the development of my professional career. I also thank those whom we have worked together at CFD. I cannot forget to thank the Bishop of Shyogwe Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Jered Kalimba who assigned me to CFD right after I finished my theological studies and Pastor Elisée MUSEMAKWELI who was the President of EPR when I was at CFD.
Arch. Sehorana Joseph