A comparative study of Catholic and Bemba marriage educational programmes in selected Parishes of Lusaka District and their impact on marriage and family life

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Chewe, Mumamba Mary
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This research is a comparative study of Catholic and Bemba Marriage Educational Programmes which was conducted in order to ascertain the impact of these marriage educational programmes on marriage and family life in selected parishes of Lusaka Urban. A survey research design was employed. Both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used to collect data from respondents. The universe population comprised all people who were in or were once in marriage, all Catholic Marriage Instructors, all Bemba Marriage Instructors and all priests in Lusaka Urban. The sample comprised a total number of 172 respondents. 140 participants in Catholic or Bemba or both marriage educational programmes were selected by simple random sampling technique. Purposive sampling technique was used to select 11 parish priests, two priests in charge of marriage tribunal and enculturation respectively, 11 couples of Catholic Marriage Instructors, 4 ifimbusa/bashibukombe (male Bemba Marriage Instructors) and bana Chimbusa (female Bemba Marriage Instructors). Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse all qualitative data which were sorted into categories of themes as they emerged from the discussions. All quantitative data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and the findings were presented in form of frequency tables.The study showed that both Catholic and Bemba Marriage Educational Programmes were based on very elaborate contents which dealt with all aspects of married life. On the other hand, the study also revealed some challenges faced by both marriage instructors and participants. The challenges were lack of understanding of the meaning of marriage, lack of a support system for those who had been in marriage for some years, negative attitude towards traditional wisdom, lack of traditional preparation for some men and the subsequent failure to use knowledge and skills from these programmes.The study recommended early introduction of marriage preparation for the youth and longer period for marriage educational programmes where the meaning of marriage would also be explained by the marriage instructors. The study recommended the need for marriage instructors to coach the youth in dating, selection of marriage partners and courtship as was done previously in traditional communities. The study also recommended that marriage instructors should explain the importance of virginity and abstinence in order to counter the moral erosion in the society. Finally, it was recommended that the government should come up with a policy to promote intambi (traditional culture) by encouraging various ethnic groupings to share their rich cultural heritage in relation to marriage through different media in order to instil a positive attitude in people towards our cultural heritage, which was misconstrued as satanic or barbaric or unholy by some churches and Western Culture.
Marriage Religious aspects-Catholic Church , Marriage