Art of Caring

Filbert Tarimo
The spirit of caring for the environment in Lavigerie House, is enjoyable. It surrounds several kinds of intelligence. Normally the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, nurtures students to grow in the aspects of intellectual, spiritual, human formation and pastoral work. As part of the signs of intellectual growth, which is intermingled with spiritual formation, human formation incorporates doing manual work which involves several intelligences, such as body/kinaesthetic and spacial intelligences. The use of the body parts, creatively to make the compound beautiful, also, helping in the development of sufficient reasons for the existence of things the way they appear by nature and how they should look like.

Areas of concentration include our gardens, where we obtain our vegetables, our animal farm, our banana plantation where we obtain our yellow bananas and Matooke. Together with this, we have candidates who are committed in taking care of our Chapel working as sacristans, those taking care of our cafeteria working as assistance bursars, those caring for our recreation hall, those caring for our bicycle shed, without forgetting those who are in the team compounds and overalls of the management of the compound shrubs and flowers. All these responsibilities are under the same spirit of finding joy in whatever one is doing. This is what can be confidently named as the joy of being part of the Lavigerie community in Jinja.

Lavigerie House has its culture which does not need amendments. This culture keeps the community alive and enjoyable. Indeed if maintained no matter the change of administration or community members, the joy of living together in an international community will remain, which every member desire to have a share. This culture is simply explained in few words: finding joy in your responsibility. This aspect in the community does not need to be emphasized to any member, everyone finds it as a value for community living. Actually, according to me, it has to be embraced and whoever tries to extend a hand to eradicate it remains non-cooperative in the community.

Any person, who is not aware of the aspect of finding joy in our responsibilities, his intention may not be to achieve a common good as a community but to make other people’s lives in the community unenjoyable. The community leaders, the whole of the community administration do not experience hardships because every member finds joy in his responsibility in the house. It is on this note that my experience as a community leader, will be shared with you our readers.

For at least one year as the tradition of Lavigerie House holds, I was among the community leaders and in-charge of manual work organisation in the house. During this time, I experienced a lot of dynamics on the ground of what should be done in our community compound. Basically what made it all successful is the attitude already established in the community that was never taught to anyone but caught from our seniors who lived in the house ahead of us. It is fortunate that the spirit is progressing well. Integration of my personality, as an extravert, played a lot in maintaining that attitude, not by persuading people, by analyzing with sincerity the vitality of whether one does his responsibility with joy and experiencing some happiness through contemplation of nature.

It is also on this ground that my true self came up as a reflective practitioner in the field of leadership, responsibility and community life. A man full of zeal to embrace his responsibility in communion with those around; mobilising community activities and being part of it; exploring different dimensions for a better and more beautiful community; initiating others in self movement, and acquiring new knowledge in using both mind and body strength that one is granted from God among many other aspects.

Well, the year ended with a lot of joys around my personal life as far as responsibilities and leadership roles are concerned in Lavigerie House. The most and precious appreciation should be given to the Almighty God who provides wisdom and knowledge attached to the gift of leadership. The other appreciation should be given to the community members who never got tired to perform their responsibility with the light of faith and joyful hearts. We were giving our best in this field of manual-work, which was enough for success. Indeed it was a joy of caring for each other and our community compound as far as environmental care is concerned. I cared for them, and they responded; that is by caring for my duty and responsibility as a leader, so all together we cared for our community through performing manual activities together as a contribution to the common good of all of us.

Filbert Tarimo