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Lucy Steinitz

Author of Making it Happen, & co-author of My Life - Starting Now.

Dr Lucy Steinitz is co-author of CALLED TO CARE no. 8, My Life – Starting Now.  She is also the author of Called to Care no. 2, Making it Happen: a guide to help your congregation do HIV/AIDS work

Lucy Steinitz with a young teenager in South Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Born and educated in the United States, Lucy has lived and worked in Africa for 17 years.  She was co-founder and the first National Coordinator of Catholic AIDS Action in Namibia, and also co-founder and first chairperson of CAFO – Namibia’s Church Alliance for Orphans.  Afterwards she worked for Family Health International as their adviser on children and youth for Africa.  Since 2011 she has been Deputy Chief of Party and Senior Technical Advisor of the USAID-funded ‘Yekokeb Berhan’ Programme for Highly Vulnerable Children in Ethiopia.  She is also the author of numerous books, training manuals and articles. 

When Lucy and co-author Eunice Kamaara embarked on writing My Life – Starting Now, they were clear about their objectives:

Lucy Steinitz with Getaso, an orphaned boy in Debre Markos, Ethiopia

“We wanted local church groups and other organisations to have an easy-to-use and fun-to-experience life-skills course that would attract young people, build their self-confidence and prepare them to overcome many of the challenges they face as teenagers and adults.

“The world is changing fast – perhaps more so in African than in any other continent.  Young people have to balance old values and new opportunities, facing experiences where there is often no precedent.  Their lives are already very different from those of their parents and community leaders.  Yet many values can – and should – persist, for instance, faith, mutual respect and the word of God.  We wanted to show how these values are still relevant to the challenges that young people face in this rapidly changing world, and how they can help to guide young people through the labyrinth of modern life.

“Between the two of us, Eunice and I have over 40 years of experience with young people in Africa – in rural and urban settings, and in several countries.  To prepare this manual, we also reviewed many other life-skills programmes, read their evaluations and talked with dozens of young people to get their inputs.

“A final test of the manual was done at the Osire Refugee Camp in Namibia, which included children from several African countries.  They loved it, as did their parents, who spoke several different languages.  I recall how the final ceremony had to be translated into a multiplicity of mutually incomprehensible tongues.  But at the same time, the ‘language’ of hugs was universal, as everyone appreciated the skills which the young people had developed while testing the manual.  Their comments and suggestions led to a number of changes to the text.

“The only regret I have is that My Life – Starting Now has not yet been translated into any other languages.  I hope that situation will soon change.”

See My Life - Starting Now.
See Making it Happen.