In many of the communities where E3 partners serve in Southern Africa, people face a daily struggle to provide for their families and even survive.
HIV and AIDS and other health issues are rife. Employment opportunities are scarce. For many families, it is a challenge even to put one meal on the table each day and send their children to school. But, there is hope. Our local partner churches are changing people’s lives for the better as they share the Gospel in word and action.
Pastors and churches
Many grassroots church leaders cannot access effective training and support as they seek to reach out to those around them. That’s why an important part of E3’s work is the Emerging Leaders programme (EL). It enables leaders to understand local needs and how to respond in effective and sustainable ways, with a particular focus on HIV and AIDS and improving livelihoods.
Emerging Leaders provides training so that church leaders, their congregations and communities can lay out their own community transformation agenda. We believe that the solutions to local issues lie with churches and communities themselves, and not with outside development experts with little knowledge and experience of the community they seek to transform.
The training process is interactive and helps participants develop sustainable church-based projects to respond to issues such as poverty, TB and HIV and AIDS. The course helps them identify their strengths and the local assets and resources available. The four key processes are:
Mobilising grassroots leaders
Training workshops for leaders
Implementation of workshop learning by starting church-based projects
Mentorship through monitoring, evaluation and reporting on church-based projects.
For Mountaineers for Christ in Mokhotlong District, Lesotho, the practical outcomes from the training were a feeding project for HIV patients, support for orphaned and vulnerable children and HIV and AIDS community education.
Meanwhile in the Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Acts of Faith is enabling local churches to work together on agricultural projects to benefit widows and orphaned children.
Our local partner churches run a number of HIV and AIDS support initiatives including feeding patients on HIV treatment and practical, emotional and spiritual support for orphaned and vulnerable children.
Amidst the pain and suffering caused by HIV, churches can bring hope for the present and the future as they reach out in word and action…
Feeding people on AIDS Treatment
Many patients are unable to afford the nutritious food they need in order to stay healthy, so E3 partner Mountaineers for Christ provides food as well as emotional and spiritual support at a local hospital in Lesotho. The project aimed to reach 140 people per week, but amazingly is actually feeding over 1,000 people per month. The six churches involved have also set up HIV support groups to serve these patients. This has brought about collaboration between the churches and community and has started to break down “walls” that have historically divided the churches.
Support for orphaned and vulnerable children
Lulisandla Kumntwana (meaning “Reach out to the child”) runs a community-based programme to support over 2,500 orphaned and vulnerable children in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Volunteers from local churches, counsellors and youth workers support and care for the children to improve their emotional, social, practical, educational and spiritual well-being.
Mobile Mission Maintenance in Zambia runs a feeding scheme, preparing 250 meals from Monday to Friday to feed children who live in abject poverty in a Township near its training centre. These meals are keeping the children healthy and strong.
Meanwhile, Acts of Faith in the Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), is using E3’s Emerging Leaders training to enable local churches to work together on agricultural projects to support widows and orphaned and vulnerable children.
The Back to School programme provides uniform and equipment for orphaned and vulnerable children who otherwise would be unable to attend school.
Many orphaned children drop out of school because of a lack of support and encouragement and insufficient money to afford uniforms and other school equipment. E3’s Back to School programme provides funding to each of our partners so they can enable children to return to school and have a chance of a better future.
Elizabeth is part of the Back to School project at Centre for Christian Missions in Zambia. Both her parents died when she was 9. She desperately wanted to continue her schooling and had been working hard selling fruit in the market place before going to school. Thanks to joining Back to School, she can now concentrate on her schooling and any money she earns will help provide food for her family. Elizabeth is determined to complete her schooling and become a nurse.
E3 also supports children in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, directly through local schools. This support is funded by the generosity of individuals who give £7 / $10 / R100 per month to enable a child to attend and complete school. Supporters receive regular updates on the child’s progress.
Microfinance programmes give people a hand up out of poverty. Income from a small business empowers them to provide for their families’ most basic needs and contribute to improving livelihoods for others in their community as the microfinance group grows.
In many of the communities where E3 partners serve, people face a daily struggle to provide for their families and even survive. This struggle for survival can force families to get involved in criminal activities. For example, many refugee women and young girls engage in prostitution to make money to survive.
Providing food parcels, clothing and school equipment are a vital part of many churches’ ministries, but our partners are also seeking more sustainable ways to give people a hand up out of poverty. Microfinance does just that. E3 partners provide training to equip people with basic business skills and then provide loans so they can start small businesses to provide for their families.
Microfinance groups also save together so they can all help each other and meet regularly for support and encouragement. All the repaid loans and interest received remain as the funds of the group and the money is loaned to other needy families so it can go on having an impact on people’s lives.
At Key Ministry International Church in Durban, South Africa, Pastor Samson reports that all 40 refugees who are part of the microfinance programme can meet their families’ needs and no longer depend on food parcels.
Beatrice Malomo who lost her husband to AIDS was devastated. She had no idea how she would care for her children, then aged 12, 8 and 3. Thanks to the microfinance project at Paran Christian Ministries, Beatrice found peace and hope for the future. She set up a small business baking bread at her home to sell in her community. She is able to provide a meal for her children and pay for their basic school necessities.
Most of our partner projects face the challenge of gender-based violence in their communities. It affects many families, directly harming children and adults alike. That’s why E3 is developing this programme to support our partners as they seek to bring change and protect those who are vulnerable.
Our Advocacy Against Gender-based Violence programme is called “Flourish” and has started a dialogue with young people, adults and community leaders to highlight the issue, explore ways to put a stop to it and help our partners implement initiatives that challenge and end sexual violence.
E3’s Life Skills programme and Girls’ Clubs for Back to School children already dialogue with children on this issue. In March 2019, E3 hosted a workshop called Let’s Talk About It with over 89 teenagers to discuss issues that affect them. Some E3 partners already have experience in protecting people’s rights and transforming situations where sexual violence exists. We will be learning from their experience as we develop this work.