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.
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 eSwatini, Acts of Faith is enabling local churches to work together on agricultural projects to benefit widows and orphaned children.
HIV and AIDS support
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.
Back to School programme
Back to School 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.
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.
If you would like to change a child’s future through education, find out more about supporting a child through E3’s Back to School giving programme.
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.
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.
Advocacy Against Sexual and Gender-based Violence
Most of our partner projects face the challenges of sexual and gender-based violence in their communities. It affects many families, directly harming children and adults alike. That’s why E3 is supporting our partners as they seek to bring change and protect those who are vulnerable.
Our advocacy work includes:
- Workshops to raise awareness among community leaders, adults and children, and help communities take a stand and support those affected.
- Life Skills programme and Girls’ Clubs for Back to School children in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
- Flourish, which is run by a group of young adults from King’s Community Church in Pietermaritzburg, to educate young people about sexual health, healthy boundaries in relationships, and advocacy against abuse and rape.
- Lulisandla Kumntwana uses games and sport to mobilise community people and speak about sexual abuse with participants in KwaZulu-Natal. Rachel Fredlund, the Project Leader, has a wealth of experience and expertise in child protection.
- Umvini Community Foundation in Pietermaritzburg is concerned about the increasing numbers of sexual abuse cases and runs workshops to educate teenagers about sexual abuse.
- A children’s healing, support and recreation centre run by Inceboyenkosi Community Foundation in Swayimane, which will reach out to 450 women, children and young people.
- Acts of Faith in eSwatini ran a workshop in 2019 with orphaned and vulnerable children in Manzini to check on the children’s physical, emotional and spiritual health. It gave the children a voice, highlighted how AOF could continue to support them and enabled the children to teach their peers about abuse.
Sexual abuse and violence are major issues in South Africa:
80% of all reported sexual offences are rape, and 68.5% of the victims are females.
40% of rapes are committed against children.
Only 19% of child abuse cases in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape were referred to the Police by Social Services.
Recorded Live Births stated that over 3,260 female adolescents aged from 10-14 years old gave birth in 2018.
(Sources: Police Statistics, University of Cape Town Study)