“The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
Matthew 13:33, NRSV
We are helping grassroots Anglican churches fight this coronavirus. Keep reading to find out how we and our partners overseas are adapting to this new challenge, how your donation can deliver 10 times the impact, and how you can help!
The last few months have changed our world. A virus has spread throughout our communities and nations like wildfire. From just one person, it started slowly and has expanded exponentially to the point where thousands of people have been stricken, and millions impacted.
Jesus told a short parable about something that also starts humbly, then spreads exponentially: the kingdom of God. The spread of the kingdom of God would have such an effect that whole communities would be transformed into places of healing, love, caring and kindness.
One way that Jesus explained the kingdom was by likening it to yeast working through dough. Jesus wanted people to know that the kingdom and the hope it brings, works in the same way: starting small, humbly and hardly seen, but then expanding exponentially. The kingdom of God is still spreading, bringing hope and healing today.
In responding to COVID-19, simple messages of good health information prevent illness and save lives in Kenya and Mozambique.
This is how the communities we are working with overseas are confronting COVID-19, just like we have been here in Australia. However, in rural and remote communities, this is much more difficult.
One advantage our Anglican partners in Kenya and Mozambique have are their extensive community volunteer networks to help them. This is one of the truly amazing things about our projects – they have built a network of people in the communities willing to give up their time to help others!
In Kenya these people are called the Nyumba Kumis (Swahili for ‘Ten Houses’). They are community leaders who are trained extensively by our partner, Anglican Church of Kenya – Mount Kenya West Diocese to help their communities overcome issues like family breakdown, gender violence and child abuse. These volunteers look after ten households each. Now they are also helping to prevent COVID-19!
In Mozambique these are groups called Equipas de Vida (Portuguese for ‘Life Teams’) who have long been giving generously of their time to teach their communities about good health. These Life Teams are so highly respected that our partner, the Missionary Diocese of Nampula and their Life Teams initiative, are now a recognised part of Mozambique’s official COVID-19 prevention response plan!
Read more about both the Nyumba Kumis and the Equipas de Vida below!
As followers of Jesus, we are called to imitate him in doing good. This is how we are co-workers in seeking God’s kingdom on earth. And we join with others like the Nyumba Kumis and Equipas de Vida who are doing the good work of prevention on the ground to save lives. And they are doing this in already very difficult contexts.
Times are very hard all around the world, and probably will be for months to come. And for those of you who are grieving, suffering financially or have been having difficulty coping with restrictions, our prayers are with you.
Together, whether in our own lives here in Australia, or in places like Kenya and Mozambique, we can help communities overcoming COVID-19 and provide healing and hope.
For those of you who are still able, we invite you to join us in this by donating to our ‘Communities Combatting COVID-19’ End of Financial Year Appeal.
In this appeal, your donation will again go towards projects supported by the Australian Government’s Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). This means that for every dollar you donate, we are eligible to receive ten from the government*, so that your giving can deliver ten times the impact. This makes up an important part of our work and means that we can achieve more.
Our Imarisha Maisha program and our partner in Kenya, the Anglican Church of Kenya – Mount Kenya West Diocese (ACK), has a long history of effectively giving people the information they need to live healthier, safer and more secure lives. This is particularly important in preventing COVID-19!
Nyumba Kumis (voluntary community leaders) and Community Health Volunteers are key people in the community who are trusted and who people turn to for help. They have been trained and tasked with ensuring that the local people in their towns have good hygiene understanding.
Their presence in the community will also allow us to identify vulnerable households who are in desperate need of supplies. Items like soap and masks have been, and will continue to be provided to help protect them, and food provisions will keep them going through the difficult lock-down period and into the future.
Providentially, a local group that ACK supported with economic development training has been working on a project for a while now – making soap! This group is particularly inspirational as each member is either living with a disability or is a caregiver for a family member who has a disability.
Their proud and inspirational motto is ‘Disability is not inability’. They have all experienced a lot of discrimination and many missed opportunities, but they will not let this stop them! And now they are contributing to the community effort to prevent and overcome COVID-19 in a vital way.
The group wanted to pose for the photo to show you they are united, proud of who they are and what they are achieving with your support!
Our Towards Abundant Life program and our partner in Mozambique, the Missionary Diocese of Nampula, has been working towards the goal of improving health knowledge and access to services for many years now!
Preventable illnesses are being eliminated through the work of community health educators who come together in groups called Equipas de Vida (or Life Teams). These educators are Anglican church volunteers who are dedicated to improving the quality of life of people in their communities.
These teams are trained by Adeptos (Portuguese for ‘Supporter’), who have often started as volunteers themselves. Once trained, the Equipas de Vida inform their home communities about the best way to look after their health.
Now the Anglican Diocese of Nampula is working in partnership with the Government of Mozambique, training the Equipas de Vida as COVID-19 community educators in the government’s official response, giving people clear and accurate information. It stands as a testament to our program and their commitment to be recognised in this way!
Our projects in Kenya and Mozambique are just two of the projects that we have currently changed to help combat COVID-19. To read about how the rest of our programs are coping and changing to face this threat, click here.
What do we mean by 10 x the impact?
In both Kenya and Mozambique, our partners are supported by the Australian Government’s Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). This is great news for you as donors, as every dollar that you donate towards these projects means that we are eligible to receive up to 10 more from the Australian Government*. This means that your money goes further.
Through your support, more lives can be transformed and our projects can continue to ensure communities are receiving the health information that can save their lives.
*up to the limit of our government grant. This means 10 times the impact. Conversely, if the amount of support we receive goes down, so does the contribution that we receive from the government.
Please donate to our ‘Communities Combatting COVID-19’ EOFY Appeal via the button below (select the first choice ’01. 2020 EOFY Appeal’ in the drop down menu on our donate page).
Otherwise, you can call us on 1800 249 880, or send us a cheque/money order (made payable to Anglican Overseas Aid) to the address below.
Anglican Overseas Aid
PO Box 389
Abbotsford, VIC, 3067