In South Africa, we are supporting community development and leadership training and tackling gender based violence
Food gardens and community empowerment in Zululand
Parishes throughout the Diocese of Zululand, in South Africa, have established food gardens that are feeding AIDS orphans and generating and income for families and churches.
The initiative began in 2012 when the Diocese of Carlisle provided start-up cost through USPG, and we have continued to provide support.
Crops include pineapples, tomatoes, potatoes, onions and maize.
The food gardens vary in size. The garden in St Cyprien’s Parish is managed by just seven.
By contrast, the food garden in St Augustine’s Parish could eventually involve up to 500 women from the local Mothers’ Union.
We are also working with the Diocese of Zululand to train people to facilitate an approach to community development called the Church and Community Mobilisation Process (CCMP).
The facilitators are trained to go into communities where they work through the local Anglican church. They bring members of the community together and run bible studies that help people to identify both local needs and local resources. It is then a short step for the people to recognise that they can use their local resources to meet local needs.
In one village, the people realised they could use cows for ploughs, rather than waiting for donations to buy a tractor.
Beneficiary Sifiso Nzimande told USPG: ‘I have seen a lot of changes in my life.
'I earn a living through my involvement with the food garden. I sell produce at the local market and some shop owners buy fresh produce from me. I am happy with my returns.
'I have been able to help my mother with groceries and I have paid school fees for my young siblings. I was also able to invest in a poultry project.’
The programme is now being rolled out to three more dioceses in South Africa: George, Free State and Natal.
Tackling gender based violence
We are working with Hope Africa (the social development arm of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa) to support a programme to tackle gender based violence and support survivors of abuse.
The programme is giving a voice to survivors. It also encourages the church, faith communities and civil society to work together to address issues of gender based violence. This includes encouraging men and boys to become positive role models in their families and communities.
Leadership development programmes
We are working with the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) to build the capacity of the church through the training and education of leaders.
One training programme – entitled Understanding Poverty and Development – is aimed at both clergy and lay leaders.
A second training programme for leaders is being run by the College of the Transfiguration, in Grahamstown, South Africa.