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Author: UnitingWorld

The Pacific Conference of Churches’ annual Pacific Day of Prayer will be observed this year on Friday 8 May.

The liturgy and worship resources for 2020 have been prepared by Kiribati Uniting Church (KUC) with a reflection by KUC Secretary for Mission, Rev Maleta Tenten (pictured above left).

Under the theme ‘Christ our Living Hope’ (1 Peter 1: 3–12), the worship resources reflect on the global challenge of COVID-19 and the impacts of Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold, which recently devastated parts of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga.

Rev Maleta finds encouragement in Peter’s letter to Christians suffering persecution under the Roman Empire and encourages Christians today to consider how COVID-19 has put more pressure on those who were already suffering injustice before the crisis.

“There are existing empires in our midst and from outside our regions who continue to control and exert power over the powerless,” says Rev Maleta.

“The Easter message speaks to us to ‘Rise with Christ and not to be afraid’ to start afresh. We have to examine ourselves and our roles as Christians to see and to hear the cry of those who continue to suffer, the oppressed, those deprived of their human rights and dignity, the poor, women/girls and children being abused and violated, those with bleak future for their children and generations because of climate impacts…”

Read Rev Maleta’s full reflection and find the worship resources for the Pacific Day of Prayer below.

Website (Pacific Conference of Churches)

PDF Download


Prayer points for the Pacific Day of Prayer 2020

For the impacts of Coronavirus

  • Victims of Covid-19
  • Families who had lost their loved ones
  • The safety of health care/service providers/volunteers
  • Safety of our countries from this life threatening disease/virus

The effects of Cyclone Harold and other natural disasters

  • Victims of natural disasters
  • Families who had lost their loved ones
  • Support to victims who lost their homes, livestock, farms etc…
  • Children‟s of families affect and for their education

For those who continue to suffer in our societies

  • The poor
  • Women and girls from sexual abuse
  • Violence against women and children
  • Disabilities/disabled people including elderly
  • Gender inequality

For victims of climate change and sea-level rise

  • Those in coastal and low lying islands
  • Poor health due to water shortage and brackish water
  • Poor housing especially those alongside the coastal line due to strong wind and king tides

For West Papua

For the impacts of globalization in our countries

Header image by Natasha Holland: (from left:) Rev Maleta Tenten – KUC Secretary for Mission, Rev Dr Tioti Timon – Principal of Tangintebu Theological College, Bairenga Kirabuke – RAK (Women’s Fellowship of KUC) Project Coordinator and Gender Focal Point.

UnitingWorld is the international aid and partnerships agency of the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA). The UCA is a member of the Pacific Conference of Churches.

With curfews and lockdown measures in place across the Pacific, our church partners are responding to COVID-19 and reaching out to their communities in creative and innovative ways. Projects in health, sanitation, education and gender equality have had to quickly adapt to address the impacts of COVID-19 and the safety lockdowns.

The crisis is doubly alarming for people in the Pacific. Health infrastructure is severely limited and there are no welfare safety nets for thousands of people suddenly unable to work. The need for solidarity and support across our region is needed now more than ever.

We’ve been in contact with our church partners and have provided some short updates below.

For updates on all projects, click here to visit the Projects page.



Papua New Guinea

Lockdown measures have significantly curtailed project activities and staff are working from home on unreliable Wi-Fi connections.

The Safe Water for Remote Communities project team has begun refocusing the existing hygiene behaviour change activities towards handwashing and hygiene messages that are specific to COVID-19.

The team has a strong partnership with the Milne Bay Provincial Government and as Papua New Guinea will have curfews and other lockdown measures for the foreseeable future, the team has sought special permission to support government-led educational messages to communities.


Fiji

The Methodist Church in Fiji (MCIF) have been an active part of the national COVID-19 programme under the Ministry of Health to engage their large national network in precautionary efforts and community education. MCIF President Rev Vakadewavosa has been outspoken on the need to listen to health advice and respect government restrictions, as well as giving theological and pastoral guidance on responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

With national lockdown measures in place, the Methodist Women’s Fellowship through the Gender Equality Theology project are exploring alternative ways to continue to share Gender Equality Theology and Theology of Child Protection and Care messages during this time.

MCIF are also seeking to support families who are struggling with food rations as many people have lost their jobs due to the lockdown restrictions.


Solomon Islands

Rural communities in the Solomon Islands have been flooded with people from urban areas after the government directive for all citizens not working and living in cities to return or relocate to their home provinces immediately. This has created a difficult situation for many families and communities, as well as escalating the risks of domestic violence.

The United Church in the Solomon Islands (UCSI) have identified a need to focus on families in lockdown. They have created educational resource packages, ‘Safety and Protection at Home Under COVID-19,’ using simplified community-level messaging on Gender Equality Theology and Child Protection.

They have begun distributing to congregations and the wider community through regions, circuits, health officers and Assembly Office personnel.

UnitingWorld’s project funding is contributing towards the cost of this work.


Kiribati

The Reitan Aine ki Kamatu (RAK – Women’s Fellowship of the Kiribati Uniting Church) will continue to deliver their radio broadcasts on Gender Equality Theology and Theology of Child Protection and Care through this project.

Tonga

The Free Wesleyan Church in Tonga (FWCT) have been supporting the government-led response to COVID-19 and health and hygiene messaging. With restrictions now lifting somewhat, the church office is back open and FWCT members are allowed to meet in small groups.

With less imports to the country, food supplies are becoming limited so the government has directed families and communities to establish home gardens. FWCT are encouraging all in their church to follow this directive.

In partnership with the Tonga National Council of Churches, FWCT are also making efforts to strengthen their Disaster Chaplaincy Network and deploy chaplains into communities. They will provide mental health support and work with communities as they struggle to find God in the midst of the pandemic and seek to live out a faithful response. UnitingWorld is working with the FWC and TNCC in this chaplaincy work.


Vanuatu

The Presbyterian Women’s Mission Union (PWMU) Project Team are unable to carry out many of their activities as normal, but they will be showing the ‘Violence is a Sin’ message from PCV leaders’ advert, on Vanuatu TV during the lockdown measures. They will also be running a text message campaign and reaching people through alternative media such as Facebook where they can continue to share messages of valuing family life, healthy human relationships, the importance of hand washing and how to make homemade masks.


Tuvalu

The FFEKT (the Women’s Fellowship of the EKT Church in Tuvalu) have a sewing group to support women to earn an income. Since March, the sewing group has been sewing face masks to sell to community members to promote personal hygiene and safety around the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tuvalu, the government has been proactive in putting measures in place to prevent potential transmission, including messaging around the importance of good health and hygiene.

The government office, NGOs and community members have been ordering masks from the FFEKT sewing group and so far (as of 6th April), there have been 126 orders for masks. They are encouraging people to buy two masks each so that they can wash their masks and ensure they remain clean. For those who cannot buy the masks, the sewing group is teaching them how to make their own so that they can provide masks for their family members.


Other resources

The Pacific Conference of Churches has been providing theological guidance on COVID-19 to help people understand what is happening and give practical and pastoral guidance in how to respond. The messages are being adapted by member churches across the Pacific.


Please continue to pray for our church partners and support the relief effort as you are able.

Click here to donate.

Jaya is a 13-year-old girl from a small village of 300 people in rural Punjab, India.

Her father died when she was four and her mother couldn’t afford to raise her, so she left Jaya with her grandmother. Jaya’s grandmother works as a cook, and over the years it became increasingly difficult for her to look after a growing child by herself.

Jaya began studying in a local government school, but the standard of education was poor and when she returned home there was no one who could help her with homework or give her care and attention. With the absence of proper health and hygiene conditions in the village, she often fell ill.

In 2017 our partner church connected Jaya with the girls’ hostel project we support, which was set up to help vulnerable girls access high quality education, accommodation and care during the school term.

When Jaya arrived, she was poor in health and lagging way behind in her studies. Spending time with other girls in the hostel encouraged her to stick to her studies until they started to improve. Each year, her grades have gone up, and she now loves having the time to be able to play outdoor games, dance, create art and participate in all the group activities at the hostel.

“Jaya is so loving and respectful towards others,” says the project manager Rev Samantaroy. “Her health has also improved due to the monthly medical check-ups and regular health education sessions at the hostel. She now dreams of becoming a policewoman when she grows up.”

Jaya’s story is an example of how, with proper care and nutrition, access to quality education and a loving environment, young girls can explore their true potential and work towards their dreams.

Thank you for supporting this life-changing project run by our partners in India.

 

UnitingWorld is the international aid and partnerships agency of the Uniting Church in Australia, collaborating for a world free from poverty and injustice. Click here to support our work.

Imagine two groups – one male, one female – crouched around a sheet of butcher’s paper.

In regional Bali, Indonesia, village members have been asked to note on the image of a large clock what their activities are throughout the day, with men and women commenting on each other’s use of time. The results are fascinating.

“Activities like this help illuminate the differences between men and women, and motivate people to take action,” says Associate Director, Jane Kennedy. “Throughout Indonesia, women are still often regarded as home makers, ‘overly emotional’ and without the capacity to make decisions or offer community leadership. The result is financial dependency, unequal sharing of domestic tasks, untapped potential and the risk of unchecked violence.”

We’ve heard your commitment to women and men as equal partners in God’s world, and your dreams for healthy and hopeful communities.

Through our partner the Protestant Church of Bali, we’ve been using your gifts help fund an approach our partners call “The Model Village”. We co-operate with a range of donors to address gender justice, health, water, sanitation, education and income development concurrently with the input of all members of the community. Your funding is helping elevate more women into positions of leadership on committees that design and apply for community grants; it’s providing communities with knowledge about how to protect children and other vulnerable people; it’s giving access to innovation like selling locally-produced tea, coffee or handicrafts online. The Model Village works!

We want to keep the work strong as Balinese communities struggle with the impact of COVID-19. Heavily reliant on tourism, the economy and health systems are both at risk of being decimated and plunging vulnerable communities further into poverty.

Your gifts are making it possible.

If you have a heart for this work and the wellbeing of our close neighbours, please donate today.

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Thanks to ANCP, we’re making a huge difference together; lifting families out of poverty and helping people improve their lives.

Attika has been to hell and back. Many of you know her story: her village was destroyed in conflict between Muslims and Christians in 1999; she lived for years as a refugee before returning to a community shattered by suspicion, resentment and economic ruin.

Last year, Attika (pictured above) painstakingly built a new home with $5 weekly savings from a small business our partners helped her establish. A few months later it was destroyed in a series of earthquakes. She lives today in its shell with her daughter, waiting for the chance to rebuild. Due to begin re-construction with a team of Muslim and Christian builders funded by UnitingWorld, the work is now on hold as Ambon goes into lockdown to deal with the global threat of COVID-19.

It’s hard to predict how many of us would react to such a prolonged season of suffering. And yet here’s where this story has a new and delightful twist: Attika has become our church partner’s newest Emergency Team volunteer. Connecting with the Protestant Church in Maluku through livelihood training among a group of Christian and Muslim women, Attika is now a vital part of the volunteer effort. Together, the team deliver food, clean water and emergency supplies to those hardest hit by last year’s earthquakes on the island and check in on people isolated by COVID-19.

“I could never have believed something like this would happen to my home,” Attika told us. “I am so, so sad to see it. But working with the team at Sagu Salempeng Foundation (our church partner organisation) helps me forget my pain and makes me so happy! I have found something to keep me strong.”

N.T. Wright famously said: “Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project, not to snatch people away from earth to heaven, but to colonise earth with the life of heaven.”

Surely Attika’s experience of finding new life in service to others is what he had in mind: absolute dedication to each other in the midst of suffering; the ability to love beyond boundaries; the promise of redemption.

Attika refuses to give in to despair, and nor does she long for release. For her, there’s heaven to be found here and now, among the living. This is the reality of resurrection life.

Thank you to all who’ve been part of Lent Event this year. Your gifts are very much needed to continue this vital project, building peace while giving people the chance to increase their incomes and overcome poverty.

Help us continue this vital work with our international partners.

Click here to donate to Lent Event.



YOUR 2019 LENT EVENT GIFTS IN ACTION!

Our staff have just returned from critical training sessions with IPTL, our partner in Timor-Leste.

They’re delighted to report that more than 17 teachers took part in new training to implement strategies that protect children against violence, including verbal abuse. As a result:

  • Attendance in Sunday School is up among children and their parents
  • Education and awareness among community leaders is increasing
  • Seven focal point workers to keep child protection on the agenda have been newly appointed.

Cycles of poverty and violence are deeply entrenched within Timor-Leste, and you’re playing a critical role in shaping the future for a whole new generation.

Thank you!

Between 2018 and 2019, the number of people living in extreme poverty in Zimbabwe rose from 29% to 34%. That’s an extra million people living on less than $1.90 a day in the span of just one year.

An El Nino-influenced drought and Cyclone Idai has reduced agricultural production over several seasons, worsening the situation across many rural areas. The economic contraction has caused a sharp rise in prices of food and basic commodities and one tenth of rural households currently indicate they are going without food for a whole day. The unemployment rate has been estimated at 90%. All of this was before COVID-19 hit the world.

These pressures are exacerbating problems for the most vulnerable in Zimbabwe, creating higher rates of human trafficking, child abuse, gender-based violence and discrimination against people with disabilities.

Despite the huge challenges, the Zimbabwean people remain generous and resilient.

Our partners the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe (MCZ) and its relief and development agency, the Methodist Development and Relief Agency (MeDRA) play a vital role in serving their communities and advocating for the people in national politics.

COVID-19 response and MCZ project update

Our partners MCZ acted early to help flatten the curve with a campaign to raise awareness across their communities.

COVID-19 could not have come at a worse time for Zimbabwe, exacerbating already incredibly difficult conditions outlined above. Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate soared more than 500 percent in February, the unemployment rate remains over 90 percent, medicines are scarce and over half of the population is food insecure.

Zimbabwe began a lockdown on 30 March, but many people who rely on being able to go out on the streets to sell produce just to meet their daily needs will face a choice between going hungry for days on end or putting themselves and others at risk of the virus.

At a time when handwashing is one of the best ways to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, there are many households who don’t have access to running water; in the capital city Harare alone this amounts to one million people.

This is the context our partner MCZ is working within and the enormous challenges being faced in Zimbabwe’s efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.

The lockdown requirements mean that MCZ is unable to continue some of their scheduled activities under the Leadership Training project, such as delivering workshops for lay and ordained leaders. However, many project activities are able to continue despite the situation and MCZ is focusing their efforts in these areas.

One of the activities is obtaining baseline information about church and community awareness relating to child protection, gender based violence, disability inclusion and human trafficking issues. Until in person consultations can be completed, MCZ will obtain information using email, telephone and social media platforms like Whatsapp. MCZ will also focus on developing church-wide policies relating to safeguarding and disability inclusion and in developing training resources that will be valuable once workshops are able to take place.

We continue to support their work and stand with them during these extremely hard times.

Please pray for Zimbabwe and the work of our church partners there.

Click here to support our urgent COVID-19 Appeal

Click here to read a letter we received from our partners on World Prayer Day.

UnitingWorld is the international aid and partnerships agency of the Uniting Church in Australia, collaborating for a world free from poverty and injustice. Click here to support our work.

In a letter to national and international partners, the Bishop of the Diocese of Amritsar, The Most Rev. P. K. Samantaroy has outlined the impacts of the national 21-day lockdown in India and how the Church of North India (CNI) is responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Dear Friends,

As of the morning of 30 March 2020, over 700,000 people worldwide have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and 34,000 people have died due to the virus. The staggering numbers are rising every minute.

Not only has the pandemic brought illness and death for many, but preventive measures like curfews and lockdowns are posing other humanitarian concerns such as loss of livelihood, hunger and starvation.

“I fear that hunger may kill many like us before Coronavirus,” said a street vendor in Delhi. His fear and desperation are shared by the majority of the country’s poor who have been the most hit due to the current 21-day nationwide lockdown in India. Most people who work as daily wage labourers live hand-to-mouth and are therefore unable to afford buying food and medical supplies in advance. In Punjab, we are already receiving reports of riot-like situations in the villages.

Realising the urgency of the situation, the Diocese of Amritsar has already constituted a COVID-19 Relief Operation to reach out to the poor and needy. We are working closely with the local congregations and our project workers, as well as the district administration, to identify those in dire need. Food material is being mobilised through local grocery stores and distributed at key centres in Amritsar and the surrounding border villages.

The Church cannot see its people die either of Coronavirus or hunger. I urge you to support this relief effort generously through whatever means is available to you.”

Unless we act urgently and support the weaker sections of society, our world will collapse under the siege of this pandemic. Your help in this hour of need can save a family from hunger, starvation and illness.

May God bless you and keep you safe!

The Most Rev. P. K. Samantaroy
Bishop, Diocese of Amritsar, CNI

 

The Church of North India is running a domestic appeal for funds and in-kind donations of food supplies, and has also asked for international assistance. UnitingWorld has diverted India project funds for this quarter to support their emergency response and will continue to do this into the new financial year on an ongoing basis until the crisis is over.

Key activities for the COVID-19 relief effort:

  • Providing food packages to families connected to CNI’s community development projects, especially for daily wage laborers who are now unable to work.
  • Helping to amplify government messaging on COVID-19, including health and handwashing awareness, prevention measures and information on how and when to get tested.
  • Conducting door-to-door visits (while practicing spatial distancing) to families connected to the project, to ensure they have what they need during lock down.

Please pray for our church partners and support the relief effort as you are able.

Click here to donate.

UnitingWorld partners in India are cooking for vulnerable people during the COVID-19 lockdown

 

UnitingWorld is the international aid and partnerships agency of the Uniting Church in Australia, collaborating for a world free from poverty and injustice. Click here to support our work.

UnitingWorld has been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its impact on our partners and their communities.

We want to keep our staff, supporters and partners safe and we want to do our part to protect their friends, families and the broader community we work in.

As we work with vulnerable people in places that will be severely affected by the spread of the Coronavirus, our priority is to our partners and their communities, and we will seek to carry on our vital work with as little disruption as possible.

We have put in place a detailed risk management plan, and we will be updating it regularly. We are also in regular contact with our partners who are creating their own, and helping where we can.

We will have reduced staffing in the office, but we are set up to answer your calls and emails as always. Please bear with us if our response to your traditional mail is slightly slower than usual.

We ask you to join us in prayer for all those affected by the Coronavirus, particularly the vulnerable people and communities we work alongside. We don’t know what the full impact of COVID-19 will be on our partners and their communities, but we are preparing ourselves to stand with them, and respond as we can. Most of them do not have access to the same health care systems, insurance or savings that we may enjoy.

Now more than ever, we need to help and pray for one another. We will keep you updated as we know more.

Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all (Galatians 6:9-10)

Rev Dr Mery Kolimon, Moderator of our partner in West Timor (GMIT), has written a prayer below in English and Indonesian. NOTE: We published the prayer unedited out of respect for our partners. Please consider cultural differences and the difficulties of translation in your reading. 

Header image: Our partners in Papua New Guinea run community education on handwashing and water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) to prevent the spread of deadly water-borne diseases. Read more here.


 

FORGIVE US, MOTHER EARTH

A prayer by Mery Kolimon, 16 Mar 2020

 

Beloved Mother Earth,

All other creatures,

Fellow germs and viruses,

Forgive us for belittling you,

Exploiting, attacking, and hurting you, even

Wanting to destroy you.

With COVID-19 since the beginning of this year

We learn

The Creator has made all things good.

All creatures are our brothers and sisters

Living by the Grace of The Creator of life

Blessed by the Earth that gives food each day.

Yet we have hurt Mother Earth.

We have destroyed our brothers and sisters.

With a desire for more and more wealth, more and more prosperity

We have damaged the earth without mercy.

We dump our waste everywhere

The oceans, mountains, fields, and forests

Broken by our actions.

Even the bowels of the earth have been dredged without mercy

For gold, coal, manganese, marble, and other minerals.

Forgive our pride and greed.

Forgive our arrogance and evil ways.

May this plague be an opportunity for us to learn

That our human economy is not everything.

The economy must move with ecology.

Ecology and economy must be balanced for the sake of the oikoumene,

So the Earth can be a home worthy of inhabitance by all creatures.

May we learn with our minds, all of creation is not our enemy

We must organize our lives more wisely

To distance life from extinction

So that we of this generation

May experience the intention of The Creator of Life that is truly good.

Forgive us, Mother Earth,

Forgive us, fellow members of creation.

Please accept us back in the dance of divine life

Where we hug each other as brothers and sisters

Sharing energy with each other for life that is mutual and whole.

 

MOHON AMPUN, IBU BUMI

Mery Kolimon, 16 Mar 2020

 

Ibu bumi terkasih

Segala ciptaan yang lain,

Kuman-kuman dan virus sesama ciptaan

Maafkan kami yang telah merendahkanmu

Mengeksploitasi, menyerang, melukai, bahkan ingin menghancurkanmu.

Di wabah COVID-19 di awal tahun ini

Kami belajar

Sang Pencipta membuat semua sungguh sangat baik

Semua makhluk adalah saudara

Hidup dari Anugerah Sang Pencipta kehidupan

Dinafkahi oleh Bumi yg memberi makan setiap hari.

Namun kami telah menyakiti Ibu Pertiwi

Kami menghancurkan saudara-saudara kami.

Hasrat utk makin kaya dan makin makmur

Membuat kami merusak bumi tanpa ampun

Sampah kami buang sembarangan

Laut, gunung, padang, hutan rusak karena perilaku kami.

Bahkan perut bumi kami kuras tanpa ampun

Utk emas, batu bara, dan mineral lainnya.

Ampuni kesombongan dan keserakahan kami.

Ampuni kepongahan dan kejahatan kami.

Biarlah ini wabah ini jadi kesempatan kami belajar

Ekonomi manusia bukan segalanya

Ekonomi harus berjalan dengan Ekologi

Ekologi dan Ekonomi harus seimbang dalam Ekumene

Agar Bumi jadi rumah yg layak didiami semua makhluk.

Kiranya dengan budi kami belajar sesama ciptaan bukan musuh

Kami mesti menata hidup lebih bijak

Agar jauh kehidupan dari kemusnahan

Agar maksud Pencipta itu kehidupan yang sungguh sangat baik itu

Dapat kami alami juga di generasi ini.

Ampuni kami Ibu Bumi

Ampuni kami sesama ciptaan yang lain.

Berkenan terimalah kami kembali dalam tarian kehidupan Ilahi

Yang saling merangkul sbg saudara

Saling berbagi energi utk kehidupan bersama yg utuh.

 

UnitingWorld is the international aid and partnerships agency of the Uniting Church in Australia, collaborating for a world free from poverty and injustice. Click here to support our work.

Grow your networks and experience.

Serve church and community with your unique skills.

UnitingWorld is the agency of the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) driving international church partnerships to address poverty, injustice and violence. It is funded by faithful supporters in the UCA and accredited to distribute aid funds from the Australian Government.

Our skills-based Board has oversight over governance and strategy, and has membership drawn from a range of professional fields within and outside the UCA.

We’re looking for passionate members of the UCA to join the team with experience and skills in legal, governance, the development sector, strategy and/or marketing.

Contact Dr Andrew Glenn, Chairperson of the UnitingWorld Board to express your interest.

andrewroderickglenn@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Download this notice as a PDF

 

 

We received the below correspondence from our partners in Zimbabwe today about the situation in the country and to thank everyone for joining them in prayer on World Prayer Day. The letter is by Junior Vutoyi, who last month became National Director of the Methodist Development and Relief Agency (MeDRA).  She is the first woman to hold the position.

The letter was read out in the office today during a morning tea for World Prayer Day and International Women’s Day.

 


 

For such as time as this… (Esther 4: 13-14)

It is during this time that the communities that we work with look up to MeDRA for any form of assistance as we work to deliver social justice support to the marginalised. This is a very difficult time for Zimbabwe as we are going through a very difficult season. Only God will see us through!

For women and children, the situation in Zimbabwe at the moment is a very difficult one with the inflation level having reached unprecedented levels. The political and economic situation is deteriorating daily, and this is causing a lot of anxiety within the general populace. With the price of bread at $25 and $190 for 10kg of mealie meal (maize) – life is not easy for the women and children. This is increasing the burden on the women and affecting the future of children. School fees are unaffordable and putting food on the table for the family is a nightmare. The health sector has collapsed, and maternal health has been greatly compromised. Teachers are one of the lowly paid professions and they are putting very little effort on their job. Hope for a long-awaited improvement in the living standards is slowly fading.

The poor women and children both in the rural and urban areas are a sad story. With some communities suffering from a double tragedy from Cyclone Idai, the drought and floods, the situation is bad.

An ideal and aspirational world would be a place when all children can afford to go to school, have access to basic meals, clean safe water and the women have access to maternal health. People should live a dignified life.

As MeDRA, we have a role to play in all this. To give hope to the hopeless. To restore dignity. To fundraise for projects to ensure a “society that enjoys abundant love and God given dignity” through access to safe clean water, gender justice, increased household income, food secure households, shelter and everything and anything else that ensures that people live a dignified life. We have a role in the society “at such as time as this” Esther 4: 13-14 – the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe’s theme for this year. We really wish we could do more as a church organisation. To help all in need.

We are grateful that you are with us in your thoughts and prayers. With your support, we look forward that one day we will “rise, take up our mats and walk”.

Be blessed today and forever more.

Junior Vutoyi, National Director
Methodist Development and Relief Agency (MeDRA)
World Day of Prayer 6 March, 2020

 

Artwork for World Day of Prayer by Nonny Mathe, a Zimbabwean artist. Read more about it here.

 

UnitingWorld is the international aid and partnerships agency of the Uniting Church in Australia, collaborating for a world free from poverty and injustice. Click here to support our work.