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In Cameroon, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, USPG is working alongside the Internal Province of West Africa (IPWA)


IPWA, created in 2012, comprises five countries divided into six dioceses: Cameroon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia and two dioceses in Sierra Leone.

The province’s bishops, clergy and staff are focused and committed to serving their communities, but as they develop their fledgling province, they are the first to admit that they lack certain types of experience and knowledge.

USPG – as long-standing friends of church in this region – has been a constant companion of IPWA on its journey. We have been a listening ear, providing a space for provincial leaders to explore options and discern the way forward.

In April 2017, IPWA held its first synod, and USPG was there.

The key item on the agenda was to agree on a five-year plan for how to develop the province.

The strategy highlights five key priorities, namely investment, governance, communication, post-Ebola reconstruction and livelihoods, as follows:

For this provincial-wide strategy to work, each diocese will establish its own operational plan that takes into account the local context, which will vary across the region.

Davidson Solanki, USPG International Programmes Manager, said: ‘This work is a very big step for the province, and I have been very impressed with the work of the leadership. They told me: “We don’t need money – we don’t need “fish” – we want to learn how to fish.”

‘My ongoing role will be to offer accompaniment to the province – to provide respectful and dignified support as the leadership seeks to become confident enough to manage its own affairs.

‘The church is also very clear about the centrality of faith. It does not want to become an NGO, but a church that is responding directly to the needs of the people through a holistic approach to mission that takes into account the economic, emotional and spiritual well-being of the people.’

 


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