Diakonia Desk

OHAMEVA VILLAGE

OHAMEVA VILLAGE

A poultry project is one of the livelihood projects at Ohameva in Okongo region. The project is doing well and there is also a garden project .

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OTWITWI VILLAGE

OTWITWI VILLAGE

In Otwitwi village a livelihood garden projects is flourishing with various vegetables that are sold to the community. The project is doing very well despite the challenge of crocodiles in the river where the water is pumped for irrigation.

Malaria Gaurdening Group in Otwitwi village

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Malaria Desk

Malaria Desk

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) Malaria Programme

Namibia is one of the four countries supported by LUCSA Malaria Programme. Malaria is still one of the major challenges especially in northern Namibia. The programme’s focusses include institutional capacity building, reduction of malaria morbidity and sustainable livelihoods. The LUCSA Diakonia Desk conducted technical support visit in February 2019 to three villages that are implementing the project.

A  Malaria community group at Eengonyo in Eenhana region purchased a plot and built a grinding room with their own resources. They later bought a grinding machine and the programme assisted them with half of the costs of the machine. The profits of this project are ploughed back into the project by providing assistance to those who need malaria treatment.

Eengonyo Malaria Group, grinding projects

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Migrants Programme

Migrants Programme

LUCSA DIAKONIA Desk conducted Community Peace Monitors training in Jabavu Soweto in South Africa. The training was attended by 25 participants from Orlando, Mofolo, Zondi and Jabavu townships. Soweto is one of the townships in South Africa that is also affected by sporadic upraising of xenophobic attacks in 2018 due to misunderstanding between locals and business owners from foreign countries. LUCSA pro actively engages communities through community peace monitors to promote community dialogues, social cohesion and peaceful co-existence of locals and foreign nationals. Participants developed action plans for their communities during the workshop. Testimonies about the last xenophobic attacks were shared at the workshop by the victims. LUCSA   through member churches is promoting a peaceful living between locals and foreign nationals in South Africa.

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LUCSA and FELM signed agreement

LUCSA and FELM signed agreement

LUCSA continues to respond to human needs and challenges through capacity building in areas of gender justice at member churches’ level. The Communion Office had a privilege to welcome another partner in this regard, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM) to collaborate with  LUCSA in the Gender Justice Programme and other future Diakonia response activities. FELM is one of the mission organizations in Finland working closely with the Finnish Lutheran Church and has worked in Southern Africa for the past 150 years mainly in the then South West Africa currently Namibia.  Its work currently covers Botswana, Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

On the March 2019 LUCSA and FELM signed a bilateral memorandum of Agreement at the LUCSA Communion Office in Johannesburg. LUCSA Executive Director Rev Dr David Tswaedi signed on behalf of LUCSA and the FELM Director of Foreign Affairs Mr Tero Norjanen signed on behalf of FELM. The event was graced by the President of LUCSA Bishop Horst Muller and the Reginal Representative of FELM in Southern Africa Mr Illka Repo. The LUCSA President gave thanked FELM for extending their mission work in responding to challenges in the region. He wished this partnership to be a fruitful one and commended it to God in prayer.

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Youth Meeting 2018

Youth Meeting 2018

Youth under the age of 30 make up some 70% of the population in Southern Africa and face many challenges related to education, unemployment, gender justice, health and climate change.  So, are youth pessimistic or optimistic, afraid or hopeful about the future? 

Seven young adults representing several member churches of the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA) met recently at Outlook Lodge at the Lutheran center in Bonaero Park, Johannesburg to start planning for an all LUCSA youth conference in 2019. (LUCSA, with 15 member churches across ten countries in Southern Africa, is a sub-regional expression of the Lutheran World Federation)

The youth unanimously and energetically agreed to work with the Lutheran World Federation theme for 2019-2024 “With passion for the Church and the World.”  

The committee worked on a draft programme that will include reports on youth activities from member churches, as well as Bible studies, presentations and discussions.  The conference will focus on what it means to be “Young Reformers” promoting revival in the church, Lutheran identity, diakonia, gender justice and care for creation.  The LUCSA INFOHUT program which teaches computer skills and life skills including information about HIV & AIDS will be a key part of the programme.  

LUCSA member churches will be invited to send two active youth representatives, a young man and a young woman, to participate in the conference.  Invitations will also be extended to the LWF Youth Desk in Geneva and to a Lutheran youth representative from the Lutheran Communion in Central and East Africa (LUCCEA) and the Lutheran Communion in West Africa (LUCWA). 

The LUCSA youth are enthusiastic and committed to establishing a Youth Desk in the Communion Office and to building strong relationships between youth in the member churches and making a lasting difference in their respective churches and in the region. 

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LUCSA council meeting

LUCSA council meeting

The LUCSA Council meeting was held from 3rd -7th September at the Outlook Lodge in Bonaero Park.

The Council is made up of the heads of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in 10 Southern African Countries and 5 in South Africa, 4 women 3 representatives that are elected from these member churches on a rotational basis.

LUCSA Council,Partners and Staff

The meeting started at 16:00 on 3rd September 2018 and this was attended by the President of LUCSA Bishop Horst Müller, the deputy president Bishop Dr Joseph Bvumbwe, Bishop Gilbert Filter, chair of Programme Committee for Education, Theology and Ecumenical Relations, Bishop Chemist Faindi, chairperson of the Programme Committee for Mission and Diakonia, Mrs. Kidi Tshukudu, chair of Standing Committee for Finance and Administration, Mrs. Lynette Burger, women representative, Rev Zelda Cossa, youth representative and the Executive Director Rev Dr David Tswaedi.

The meeting started with a devotion in the morning and in the evenings and these were held in the Chapel.

On the 4th September 2018 during the Opening Service, the new members of the Council were inducted by the LUCSA President Bishop Horst Müller assisted by the Executive Director Rev Dr David Tswaedi. They were Rev Martin Abrahams from MCSA, Bishop Absalom Mnisi from ELCSA, Bishop Eduardo Sinalo ,Mrs. Esther Mathulwe and Miss Emanuela Ndawanapo from EILA. They also each received copy of the LUCSA Constitution.

The sermon was delivered by Bishop Ernst //Gamxamub from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN).

The meeting continued with the report by the Executive Director. Fraternal greetings were given by LUCSA Partners. Rev Dr Elieshi Mungure sent greetings on behalf of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Rev Michael Schultheiss gave greetings on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission (ELM) Rev Kevin Jacobson on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)  Rev Dr Christine Keim sent greetings on behalf of the German National Committee (GNC/LWF)

There were presentations made by the LWF Council members Bishop Dr Veikko Munyika from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) the LWF report, Rev Elitha Moyo from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) on Gender Justice and Mr. Khulekani Magwaza from Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA) on Climate change.

On 5th and 6th September 2018 the different programme committees went into the breakaway rooms to discuss issues around the programmes and possible amendments to the LUCSA Constitution.

The meeting adjourned on the 6th September 2018 with the closing service led by Bishop Chemist Faindi from ELCZ.

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13th Assembly and 36th Anniversary

13th Assembly and 36th Anniversary

From August 23 to 26, 2018 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi (ELCM) gathered in Lilongwe to hold its 13th Assembly and to celebrate its 36th anniversary.

The assembly was officially opened with a worship service and sermon by Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe based on the theme “May God bless the works of our hands” taken from Psalm 90:7. The bishop explained the meaning of Kilimanjaro as Kilima (journey) and Njaro (impossible) saying that for the church “mission impossible” was possible with God’s power and accompaniment.

Some 200 lay delegates and 70 pastors from 9 Deaneries were in attendance.

The assembly received a consolidated report highlighting the work of the church and its departments over the past four years including 60 feeding centers for vulnerable children, the mobile clinic service, income generating activities such as small-scale bakeries and improved sustainable agriculture and crop storage techniques, malaria and HIV prevention, environmental protection and climate change adaptation encouraging fuel efficient stoves and tree planting programs.  The report also mentioned the introduction of the INFOHUT project by the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA) which trains young people in computer technology and life skills.

The historic church assembly adopted a new constitution allowing for expansion from one to three dioceses and ordination that “shall no longer be based on gender.”

At the celebration international and regional partners were warmly welcomed with speeches, choirs and dance including displays of the Diaconal and congregational work of this growing church.

Posted by in Diakonia Desk, HIV & AIDS, InfoHut
Response to the Vulnerable

Response to the Vulnerable

The prophetic voice of the Church is visible where the Church responds and advocate on behalf of the marginalised, the disadvantaged and vulnerable in the society. LUCSA heard the cry of the disadvantaged special school pupils in North West Province of South Africa. The community of Atamelang village have a school called Lialian Lehetla Special School with about 200 leaners with special needs. The school provides Socio-psyche services and vocational training for children with special learning needs.

The challenge for the school is that there is no kitchen and cool room where meals are prepared for children. LUCSA responded by assisting the school to build a kitchen and cool room with an amount P250,000.00.  The cheque was handed by the LUCSA Director and representatives of ELCSA- NT, ELCSA and LCSA pastors.

LUCSA Executive Director-Lilian Lehetla School

Responsible to the Vulnerable

Current Schoo-Kitchen Donated by LUCSA

Responsible to the Vulnerable
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Bread for the World Consultation

Bread for the World Consultation

Steffen Wiese (BftW), Beatrice Moyo (LUCSA) receive a tour from the garden manager, Thabo Motsokolo. Thabo works with the other manager, James, seven days a week to ensure that the produce is well taken care of.

Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA) Office in Johannesburg had the pleasure of hosting Steffen Wiese from Bread for the World, based in Berlin, Germany. Steffen had a partner’s meeting with Rev. Dr. D. Tswaedi (Executive Director), Mrs V. Mzezewa (HIV and AIDS Desk Coordinator) and Mr. L. Xhakaza (Finance Officer) to familiarise himself with the work of LUCSA on HIV and AIDS and to discuss specific projects and related information for future cooperations. At the end of the meeting, Steffen had an exposure visit to observe two projects of two LUCSA member churches namely ELCSA-EC and ELCSA-NT.

The first stop was at “Diakonia AIDS Ministry” or DAM, a community intervention ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA) Central Diocese located in Jabavu, Soweto. The Programme Director, Rev. SS Mugivhi, welcomed everyone and dove into how DAM is closely working with the needs of the community and how the support of partners and donors is vital to the health of their ministry.

“The need is there, and the funding is why we are walking, not crawling,” Rev. Mugivhi explained.

DAM recently had a fundraising event which brought children from the area to play games and enjoy a delicious lunch. Families could join and purchase a meal ticket as well. The fundraising event was a success for DAM and although their resources for fundraising are limited, DAM is working with its surrounding community to build up the four part ministry.

DAM has a very large after school program that runs Tuesday through Thursday, giving children a healthy meal including vegetables from their garden and from the soup kitchen. The volunteers help with the children’s’ homework and school projects, and often take them on educational field trips. There are also HIV and AIDS support groups that meet to help with the work in the garden and group members can receive support through their contributions to the DAM ministry. DAM also works to educate the after school children and support groups of PLHIV with general health information including HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment. The last part of the ministry is their communications department that releases a quarterly newsletter, “Lobone.”

Rev. Mugivhi and the garden manager, Thabo Motsokolo, gave a brief tour of their produce and future plans for the garden. They have started a small compost, and are growing mainly vegetables such as beet root, lettuce, corn, chard, and spinach.

The next stop was St. Peters by the Lake in Park View, Johannesburg, to meet Stephanie Press who runs the “Special Foster Care Project.” The focus of the project is to give orphaned and vulnerable children a safe and stable home to live in while receiving education and proper treatment for their health needs. Currently the program serves seven households each with one Foster mother and four to five children. Each of the homes are divided by the children’s age groups, and the foster mothers are provided with training and support for their positions in each house. The purpose of having a house mother is to provide supervision as well as a strong role model who encourages the children to become responsible and so that there can be a feeling of stability and family.

Stephanie has been working with St. Peters for less than a year but already has hosted a successful fundraising event through a golf tournament.  She has plans to expand their fundraising events. She has a drive and vision for St. Peters that is going to help the program flourish.

Steffen will continue on his tour of South Africa to learn and monitor projects funded by Bread for the World and attend a Partner Consultation with various partners in South Africa. LUCSA was blessed and appreciates the visit from  their long standing partner, Bread for the World.

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