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Politics and the Poor

Politics and the Poor

by Melba Maggay

It is cause for rejoicing that in the past four decades, there has been a growing awareness that the church should somehow be involved and make a difference in the massive poverty that has engulfed this country.

In the early 70’s, you could count on your fingers the number of evangelical organizations doing what has come to be called as ‘wholistic ministry.’ Today, there are thousands doing ‘transformational development,’ or, in the language of the Micah Global Network, ‘integral mission.’ Micah Global is a coalition of more than 800 faith-based development organizations worldwide.

It is in the field of politics, of making democratic institutions work, that the churches have been reluctant to step out and speak truth to the powers. While we have seen a movement towards putting Christians into office, we have yet to see a political engagement that is theologically informed and truly consistent with the concern for righteousness in our governance. This is partly due to deficiencies in our theological paradigms, and the fear of being allied with forces whose morals and ideological leanings we suspect.

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Tearfund Advocacy Toolkit

Tearfund Advocacy Toolkit

Roots, Second Edition

by Tearfund

'Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.' William Faulkner Tearfund’s Advocacy toolkit is used by staff, partners and other organisations. It is one of the most popular in the ROOTS series (Resourcing Organisations with Opportunities for Transformation and Sharing). Given its popularity, why this new edition? When the Advocacy toolkit was written in 2002, it was pioneering in the sector – the first of its kind. Since then advocacy practice has changed, adapted and developed across the sector. Tearfund’s staff and partners have grown in their expertise and experience, lessons have been learned, thinking has moved on, and there has been an exponential rise in the use of social and digital media. Read More
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Mission without Conquest

Mission without Conquest

Mission without Conquest – learning to be guest, companion and friend  in the argentinian Chaco: an alternative missionary practice.

by F.Paul (with a text of W.Horst)

The book Mission without conquest represents a case study of a way of doing mission which we as a peace church are especially interested in because it is an effort to recover the missional posture of the early church. The classic Christian missionary movement began and was largely carried out during the era of colonialism. The paradigm was  constantinian. The western worldview assumed superiority to the rest of the world because empire could be imposed through the use of force. Along with this mentality, those who went to foreign lands to convert the heathen assumed that the truth of Christianity was clear and that it was just a matter of time till Christendom would in fact take over the whole earth and then would be the end of time.

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Factors Influencing Sustainability

Factors Influencing Sustainability

by Joseph Nyamutera and Beatrice Warue

A couple of years of aid to third world communities have seen funds going down the drain with little impact; poverty continues to nag at the millions of poor people in these communities with little or no impact after the aid. International donors have played a significant role in assisting communities or governments to implement sectoral system reform strategies in developing countries. With increased involvement of donor agencies in sectoral reform efforts, two concerns have gained paramount importance and attention: effectiveness and sustainability (Homedes, 2001; Hak & Dahl, 2007). Read More
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Why Young Children Matter

Why Young Children Matter

by Common Good - Sikunye team

An estimated 1 million children will be born in South Africa this year. Each one woven together by God. Each with a unique story. Each with incredible potential. And it is at this time, the beginning of their story, that there exists a great opportunity to nurture potential and a flourishing future. For us to take steps into the future that we all want for South Africa, we must do what we can to give all children a strong start to life. Read More
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Exploring language and human flourishing

Exploring language and human flourishing

by Stephen Watters and Johannes Merz

Human flourishing is a frequent topic in the popular and academic literature, along with the annual surveys and reports that rank the happiest nations on earth.

The king of Bhutan famously described the goal for his country as pursuing Gross National Happiness (over and above Gross National Product).

Many disciplines have their own matrices by which to study human flourishing each with their own foci: health, feelings of happiness, brain activity when we’re happy, economic prosperity, an absence of corruption, meaning and purpose, a clean environment, and religious involvement to name but a few.

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The Living Wage

The living wage

by The Warehouse trust

Many years ago a friend and I ran a small employment/job-readiness project through our church in Gugulethu. One of the painful aspects of the work that changed my life was listening to men and women sharing stories of exploitation and racism, sometimes covert and other times overt; stories that opened my eyes to the ongoing suffering and immoral treatment of domestic staff in South Africa. Some of the stories were from homes that were clearly Christian in their stated beliefs. I started to ask questions like, “If we truly believe all people are equal, surely the way we treat staff should reflect that?”; “How can Jesus-followers who are called and motivated by the call to love our neighbours, be part of a system that is clearly exploiting others?”; Read More
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Flourishing in Burundi

Flourishing in Burundi

by Accessible Hope International

As a young woman in Burundi, living with a disability, Donathe S. lived with many horrors. Years of neglect and abuse at the hands of her family left her feeling isolated and abandoned. Sexual assault and abuse by her neighbours and others left her feeling broken and ashamed. However, deep inside her, she knew there was more to life. She wanted to  break free. She had heard of ADEMA Ministries and the therapy they provide for women in her situation, but the thought of having to relive the horror of all the sexual assault she had experienced, kept her from reaching out for nearly a year. Finally, tied up by her parents like an animal, and pregnant because of the assault of her neighbour, Donathe knew she had to push beyond her fear and get help if she was to ever be free from the prison in which she lived. Read More
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Build Back Better

Build Back Better

by United Mission to Nepal

On 25th April 2015 at 11:56 local time, a powerful earthquake rattled central Nepal. The earthquake measured 7.8 magnitudes and had its epicentre at Barpak, 76 km northwest of the capital Kathmandu. A second major quake of 6.8 magnitudes struck on 12th May and over 400 aftershocks of magnitude 4.0 or greater continued to send waves of panic to the people near the epicentres. It was hard to imagine flourishing when so much was destroyed. Dhading was one of the worst affected districts. The Post Disaster Needs Assessment completed by the District Disaster Response Committee (DDRC) reported that 681 lives were lost and 92% of houses (81,313 completely and 30,094 partially) in the district were severely damaged by the earthquake. Additionally, 318 schools with 3094 rooms collapsed, 49 Health posts collapsed, and 51 government office buildings collapsed. It is also estimated that 22,292 livestock and 11,939,000 kilograms of foods were lost during the earthquake. Five communities1 in the northern part of the district were prioritized by the DDRC as highly effected because 100% of houses had collapsed. Because these communities are also located in the high Himalayan zone, they were particularly isolated. They had lost family members, shelter, water supplies, food stores, tools of their livelihood as well as experiencing landslides that disrupted the trails that connect villages together. The mental stresses and trauma were significant. Read More
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Learning Leadership

Learning Leadership

Contributer: SIL International

As the world makes strides toward equal access, equality and social justice for all, traditionally marginalized communities are projecting their voices into the dialogue of their nations. However, language related barriers still present major obstacles to progress. Without the confidence to speak clearly, local leaders struggle to advocate for the needs of their people with government officials. The Kol people of Bangladesh felt this plight deeply. A Kol leader described the isolated life his community previously experienced: “Before we started working with SIL, I can’t remember if any government bodies ever visited our villages. People from my age group are illiterate. Things like early marriage, infant death, poor maternity health were very common…” After partnering with SIL, the Kol began social leadership training programs among youth to mobilize them as agents of positive change within the community. These Generation Next Groups (GNG) played a vital role in cultivating leadership skills necessary for community leaders to interface with the government and develop the interagency relationships to address their needs. And the formation of multilingual education (MLE) programs continues to benefit the earliest generations by helping young students thrive in the classroom. Read More
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