Memorial to the Victims of Armed Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Liminaire – Mémorial virtuel de la RD Congo

My country has been bereaved, for nearly three decades to the present day, by multiple armed conflicts with their countless victims of massacres, summary executions, rapes, looting, etc. And despite the incredible magnitude of this disaster, there is a heavy, deafening silence…

Fortunately, voices are rising more and more to break this silence around these war crimes, these crimes against humanity, this possible genocide… as I said in Oslo, in my nobel peace prize acceptance speech, “a report is rotting in the drawer of an office in New York. It was drafted following a professional and rigorous investigation into war crimes and human rights violations in Congo. This investigation explicitly names victims, places, dates but evades the perpetrators. This Mapping Project Report, prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, describes no less than 617 war crimes and crimes against humanity and possibly even crimes of genocide. What is the world waiting for it to be taken into account? »Liminaire – Mémorial virtuel de la RD Congo

Theology of Money: Good News to the Poor and Marginalised

Discussions facilitated and collated by Dr Mogashudi Lucas Ngoetjana. Deputy CEO: KwaZulu Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) and Provincial Programmes Director.

Dr. M L Ngoetjana 2018

Introduction

This paper presents a theology of money as a philosophy of the role and nature of money in contemporary society from the perspective of the poor and marginalised. It considers socio-economic factors as a phenomenon that determines who must be kept poor and who to keep rich by powers that be. It continues to look at the land question from the Hebraic perspective of the Old Testament – the people of Yahweh and the Greek perspective of the New Testament – the Jesus movement. In this paper there is the identification of the poor. One may say, essentially, the poor are those who have no money – the oppressed and the marginalised by capitalist institutions. It professes that God in the situation of deliberate monetary oppression and exclusion is on the side of the poor and the oppressed. Lastly it addresses the fallacy of the gospel of prosperity. It argues that the manufacturing of poverty is structural.

Click this link for more info:- Theology of Money interaction with Luke

BEYOND THE KAIROS DRC LAUNCH THANKS, AND SUGGESTIONS FROM MIKE’S DESK SATURDAY 22 AUGUST 2020

BEYOND THE KAIROS DRC LAUNCH

Greetings to all
THANKS TO THE KAIROS DRC LAUNCH PLANNING TEAM:
Thank you for your dedication commitment and contribution to the four-week Kairos DRC Launch
webinar. WE had our challenges and differences and this is all part of the process.
THANKS TO OUR SPEAKERS:
Thanks again to all who gave input. All the Webinars are recorded. We have collectively generated
a wealth of ideas and practical suggestions both from panellists; facilitators and attendees.
• Rev Purity Malinga Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa –
Refugees a South African church response.
• Rev Moss Ntla from Kairos SA and TEASA – the importance of a church led Kairos
process.
• Rev Lunge Kinyamba – General Secretary DRC Inter-Religious Council/ DRC Council
of Churches- Kairos DRC work in the Congo
• Reverende Thérèse Bimpa Abulukay coordinator of the network of women of faith
and children of the CNRP/ Presbyterian Church and Inter-Religious Council
Democratic Republic of Congo. (IRC/DRC) – works with rehabilitating child soldiers in the
DRC.
• Kabwe Didier Mutonji – President of Congolese in the diaspora Pietermaritzburg,
KwaZulu-Natal, RSA
• Bridget Diana Phillips Institute for the Healing of Memories -Community Healing Programme
Co-ordinator – the need for the healing of memories for all Africans
• Ps Raphael Bahebwa Kabambire (Nehemiah Hope Project DRC/RSA; Sinai
Pentecostal Church, Durban -the future vision of a just, peaceful; healed and prosperous
DRC
THANK YOU FOR BEING PRESENT:
• The Honourable Minister: Republique Democratique Du Congo, A Son Excellence
Monsieur Le Ministre’ Raymond Tchedya Patya Ministre Délégué Des Congolais De
L’etranger/DiasporA and cabinet colleagues.

• All our attendees.
THANK YOU TO OUR FACILITATORS:
• Mrs Lubanja Tanganika Stella
• Mr Amza Brian Minga
THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO HAD HOPED TO BE WITH US BUT COULD NOT:
• Dr Denis Mukwege | Nobel Prize Laurette, – a busy surgeon and human rights activists
whose life is constantly threatened
• Daniella Gennrich Women Speak Out
• Dr Douglas Dziva, CEO KZNCC – we wish him well and full recovery after his fight with
COVID 19
• Ms Nancy Heron (Facilitator) (MCSA Justice and Service Desk) – death in the family
• Mr. Daniel Byamungu Dunia (Facilitator), Congolese Diaspora, Secretary General, Africa
Solidarity Network – stranded in Bujumbura trying to get home since lockdown March 2020
DOCUMENTING THE WEALTH OF INPUT:
Thank you: Bisimwa Timothee Makanishe for he summarises of the Kairos DRC document and
starting a process of pulling all this together.
We now need someone to sift through all the recordings; documented chats and produce a
Kairos DRC Launch consolidated document. Any volunteers or suggestions as to who could
do this for us?
KZNCC Webpage:
• KZNCC has uploaded the Kairos DRC document on their webpage
• All other documents and webinar recordings have also been requested to be uploaded.
Thank you Xola Nkabinde for undertaking to do this.
SOMETHING EXTRA:
We have done more than we set out to do.
We factored in two extra webinars:
1. One, responding to the crisis in Kivu Province, Kipupu and Sange (5 August). We issued
a statement which has been sent to all media and beyond. Thank you everyone for your
input and thanks to Illa Thompson who shaped it into being more media friendly.
(Attached)
2. Secondly a small group met with representatives of the Minister of the Congolese in the
Diaspora (19 August) to clarify how repatriation could happen. (More meetings are
needed)
A LAUNCH IS A START OF NEW ERA.
In this case it is the era of Kairos DRC.
Suggested next steps:

In my opinion the next step is to build on the ownership of the DRC Kairos by DRC Congo diaspora
and internal compatriots.
DRC CONGO KAIROS DIASPORA DRIVERS:
What is needed is DRC Kairos Diaspora drivers?
Some questions needing to be considered:
• Who from the DRC diaspora community is currently driving this process?
• Who from the DRC diaspora community will drive this process?
• What shape will this take to be effective?
• What will the goals be?
• How will Kairos DRC be promoted to all DR Congo based churches in the Diaspora?
• How will Kairos DRC be promoted to all DR Congo based religious groups in the Diaspora?
• How would Kairos DRC diaspora relate to Kairos DRC internal?
I would suggest that DRC Leadership meet and work this out.
DRC CONGO KAIROS INTERNAL:
We already have Kairos DRC drivers internally through the leadership of Rev Kinyamba & his
passionate team and Rev Dr Joel Kuvuna. working as a chaplain, a lecturer in some universities; working
in many areas of the society and attached the ECC (Protestant Church) working with all the Protestant
congregations; Dr Kuvuna has already started training pastors in the Kairos way in the DRC
KAIROS DRC EXTERNAL SOLIDARITY:
Always know that the DRC will have solidarity support from a growing group of people in South
Africa and other parts of the world. Already there is growing awareness and commitment from:
• Kairos Southern Africa;
• Methodist Church of Southern Africa;
• Anglican Church of Southern Africa;
• The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa;
• KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council;
• The Institute for the healing of memories.
• Courageous Conversations South Africa (Mining focus)
WIDENING THE SOLIDARITY NETWORK- REACHING OUT:
We need to reach out to the following:
• The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) – (Mike has already
been approached by ACCORD to look at online training for priests; ministers and pastors
throughout Africa in peace-making and peace-building – we could start in the DRC)

• South Africa Women Fight Back (They already work in solidarity with Panzi Hospital and
rape survivors in Bukavu, DRC)
• Freedom House
• South African Council of Churches
• Fellowship of Councils of Churches of Southern Africa
• All Africa Conference of Churches (Nairobi)
• Africa Methodist Council (Ghana)
• World Council of Churches (Geneva)
• Religions for Peace South Africa.
• All African Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace (Nairobi)
• Religions for Peace International (New York)
• Lawyers for Human rights
• SADC Human rights Sector
• African Union Human Rights sector
• Human Rights watch
• Religious and Human rights bodies in France and Belgian
DEVELOPING LAY-FRIENDLY KAIROS DRC MATERIAL:
Should we consider developing Bible study and theological refection lay-friendly material based on
DRC Kairos Document, for mass distribution to all Congolese and Southern Africa churches?
MY OPINION ABOUT RESOURCING IN GENERAL:
We need passionate, dedicated people to drive a vision even if there is no are little funding. This
shows true commitment. Vision and pathos precede funding. Resourcing will follow enthusiastic
and passionate people. Yes, we need resourcing- this does not always translate into money.
Resourcing comes from a heart and pathos for what one believes in. Resourcing is also the time,
effort and energy giving by people.
Already the KZNCC;
• has thus far been funding and resourcing some aspects of the DRC Kairos
• has begun to work on a funding proposal (before Lockdown), however this will need input
from the drivers of DR Congolese compatriots for Kairos DRC and how this is shaped.
ONWARD AND UPWARD:
A God Healed and transformed Kivu Province for the healing and transformation of the DRC;
A God Healed and transformed DRC for the healing and transformation of Africa;
A God Healed and transformed Africa for the Healing and transformation of the World.
A God Healed and transformed World for the Healing and transformation of the Cosmos.
What are your thoughts?
Peace; Grace and Unity
Warm regards and with much gratitude
Mike
22/08/2020

DRC Kairos Doc. Launch Statement -05 August 2020

Kairos DRC Launch STATEMENT FROM ZOOM MEETING Final 5 Aug 2020

STATEMENT FROM ZOOM MEETING
HELD ON 5 AUGUST 2020  by DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (DRC) OF CONGO KAIROS
KAIROS SOUTHERN AFRICA(SA)
NEHEMIAH HOPE PROJECT AND THE METHODIST CHURCH OF SOUTHERN AFRICA (MCSA)

Kairos SA, the MCSA, Kairos DRC and the Nehemiah Hope Project jointly held a meeting
on 5 August 2020 and called upon all churches and religious entities to unite together to
restore a just peace and human dignity to all in the DRC.
They feel this is attainable through mass mobilisation of grassroot churches and religious
bodies. This be beneficial for the DRC and also for the entire continent of Africa. The DRC
could become one of the strongest economic hubs that could steer Africa into a new era. All
this could be started by the actions of local united church and inter-religious action facilitated
by a Kairos movement in every corner of the DRC.
This was the strong message which came out of the third webinar in the four-part virtual
launch of the “DRC Kairos” series featuring church leaders and social activists in the Congo
and in South Africa. The “DRC Kairos” is a carefully crafted thought document clearly
outlying the current situation in the Congo, and pointers towards achieving resolution.

“We are strongly convinced that peace, prosperity, and freedom are overdue in the DRC. We
are making an urgent call on all of us: government, civil society, the church, local communities
and the international community to take a different course of action. The difference we are
envisaging is peace, justice, freedom and equality for all in DRC,” explains project coordinator, Rev Mike Vorster on behalf of the authors of the document, co-ordinated by the
KZNCC (KwaZulu Natal Christian Council).
The word Kairos was an ancient Greek word Meaning “opportunity”, “season” or “fitting
time”. The first South African Kairos Document was a theological statement issued in 1985 by a group of South African theologians challenging the churches response to the Apartheid
regime’s State of Emergency, originated by a group of church leaders in Soweto.

The factual context for the webinar series is the recent spate of appalling carnages whereby
more than 1300 Congolese citizens have been brutally killed, women raped and mutilated
thus far this year. Children too have not been spared. In recent weeks 15 and 16 July we
heard of further atrocities in places like Kipupu where 220 people perished and again on 31
July 2020 in Sange.
“All these incidents remain grossly underreported as though African lives don’t matter,”
remarked Rev Vorster.
Noting how for decades and centuries this part of heaven in Africa has been turned into a
constant living hell for all its citizens through the greed of international commercial interests
and neighbouring states with constant threats of balkanisation.
We were reminded by Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Bishop
Purity Malinga at the launch of the DRC Kairos on 31 July 2020 that: “Africa is endowed by
enriching natural resources, and yet these resources continue to enrich people of other
continents while the African people remain the poorest of the poor in the world. The situation
is made worse by the self- serving leaders of the African countries, who sell their souls to
enrich themselves and their connections at the expense of the masses they claim to lead. They
turn a blind eye to the sufferings of their fellow Africans as they insist on pleasing colonisers
(old and new) in exchange for power and money. It is time Africans unite and come in
solidarity with each other to reject divisions, sponsored conflicts and tribal wars perpetuated
for individual and foreign enrichment.”

We strongly condemn all these hellish activities perpetrated by sinister forces. And call that
all perpetrators are brought to a swift justice. However, condemnation is not enough. It is
therefore time to find a different pathway other than the cycle of violence and greed1
It is time to find a DRC Kairos pathway; whereby the higher values of dignity of all life is
restored and maintained because all are created in the image of God
We applaud the work already begun through the Inter-religious council of the DRC; the
Council of Churches and United Methodist Church of the DRC through their significant
contribution to reunification; peace-making and peacebuilding since the 1990’s. Kairos DRC
wishes to expand this work enabling the church to grow its core calling of liberating the last;
least and lost through its priestly; pastoral and prophetic functions.
Therefore Kairos SA, the MCSA and Kairos DRC meeting on 5 August 2020 calls upon all
churches and religious entities to unite to restore a just peace and human dignity to all in the
DRC. We feel that this is attainable through mass mobilisation of grassroot churches and
religious bodies.

This we believe can be achieved through: Mass united church action by establishing Kairos
driven Local Ecumenical 2Action Reflection Networks; uniting churches to begin in earnest
to offer people practical hope through the development of:
a. Theological reflection – with reference to a Kairos framework
b. Grassroots peace-making programmes
c. Trauma healing opportunities
d. Food security income generating projects
e. Giving youth hope through Youth economic- empowerment projects
These Kairos Local Ecumenical 3Action Reflection Networks (KLEARNs); and other
progressive NGO’s, like Nehemiah Hope will also be sources of first-hand knowledge of
outbreaks of violence and atrocities and that they be linked constantly to connect other
African bodies like KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council, MCSA and Kairos SA for further
awareness raising, advocacy and solidarity action
Both Kairos DRC and Kairos SA are willing to assist with the training and enabling of such
KLEARNs to be established.
Through Kairos DRC and Kairos SA, we approach South African Council of Churches; All
Africa Conference of Churches and the World Council of Churches to add support to these
actions
The Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) together with the United Methodist
Church (UMC) of the DRC will approach the African Methodist Council to support this
Kairos initiative and call on all other denomination who have African church networks to do
likewise.
Kairos DRC and Kairos SA will also approach Religions for Peace through the All Africa
Council of Religions to do something similar with other religions within the DRC.
We are aware that the church itself is divided and needs to find its common call in Jesus
Christ as peacemakers’ healers and justice-seekers. We appeal to all churches to move
beyond political partiality and other deviant forces that are currently tearing the body of
Christ apart,
We call on all religious entities to channel all their prayers, resources and energies into
breaking the bonds of hell so that an abundant life of heaven on earth for all especially the
least and the last in the DRC, may be realised.
Ends
Issued on behalf of the KZNCC / DRC alliance

 

Letter to The Honourable Kwazi Mshengu, KZN MEC for Education

29 May 2020

Letter – Department of Education and Teachers’ unions

ATT:       The Honourable Kwazi Mshengu, KZN MEC for Education

Mr. Sandile Phakathi, KZN Head of Ministry for Education

Dr Ngogi Mahaye, Director, KZN Department of Education

Thirona Moodley, Provincial Chief Executive Officer, NAPTOSA

Nomarashiya Caluza, Provincial Secretary, SADTU

C.S. Barnes, General Secretary, NATU

Innes Kritzinger, Provincial Chair, SAOU

Sithembiso Sithole, Provincial Chair, PEU

Dear Colleagues,

We, leaders representing ecumenical churches in KZN, write to you at this time when many are fatigued of lockdown and yet concerned about the risks of allowing our children back to school. We affirm the support and leadership that our government is continuously providing during this challenging time. We equally understand that it is in the interest of government and parents to ensure that the future of our children is not jeopardized by them being out of school for longer than necessary. We also affirm your concern for the safety of every child and educator to be a priority before they can resume their normal activities.

We applaud the announcement made by the Department of Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, that some learners will be able to start returning to school. The truth is that school is where learners spend most of their time not only for education but also for access to food, a safer space than their homes and a space to socialize with their peers.

However, safety in schools during this time of the COVID 19 pandemic is a priority, not only to the learners but also teachers, administration and other support staff. People at risk include those involved in the transportation of the learners to and from school. As a result, parents and guardians need assurance that they are making the right decision when they let their children return to school. With this is also the agreement between the teacher trade unions and the department of basic education on the safety pre-conditions which must be adhered to by government before learning can take place. This agreement is in line with the protocols that have been put in place and the same procedures that are used everywhere else where screening and testing needs to take place.

We note with concern some of the challenges currently faced by schools:

  • Slow or non-delivery of PPE
  • provision of water tanks
  • provision of additional classrooms
  • refurbishment of vandalized classes
  • cleaning and disinfecting of schools

We also note the Statement put out by the SAHRC Urging the Minister of Basic Education to reconsider the date for reopening schools for Grade 7 and 12 learners because the above challenges have not yet been adequately addressed.

We therefore, call on our Provincial government and Teachers’ Unions to support the educators and learners by ensuring that the following issues are prioritized and implemented as a matter of urgency:

  • Speed up the supply and delivery (using local service providers where possible) of PPE.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of schools
  • A clear plan on teachers and learners with co-morbidities or existing illnesses, including teachers older than 60 years. For learners this needs to include ensuring they have access to age- and grade-appropriate high-quality online and telephonic educational support together with an uncomplicated procedure to register for an online stream.
  • Appointment of people who will administer sanitizing and screening of learners and teachers during school hours
  • Employment of replacement teachers
  • Provision of water tanks where these are not yet in place to ensure hand-washing is possible
  • Additional classrooms to support physical and social distancing
  • Provision of security of the PPE when delivered in schools in light of the burglaries and break-ins that schools have experienced over this time
  • Provision and safety of scholar transport
  • Provision of adequate funding for implementing these measures

We also request that the opening up creches is urgently discussed by the department. As the economy opens, this places care-givers (particularly mothers) in an impossible situation. Additionally, young children are also extremely vulnerable to sexual and other exploitation if they are left alone at home or in the care of an inappropriate family member. We have heard some horrendous reports. Hence our concern that a suitable way forward be found, which safeguards our young children.

We would also like to highlight that there are churches within our coalition who have offered their buildings to be used at this time, as additional classrooms to make physical distancing easier. We are open to discussion on how this could be done.

Finally, we fear that failure to meet these important suggested safety measures will cause a disastrous loss of confidence by parents in government systems thereby eroding all the good work that has been achieved thus far. We offer our prayers for wisdom for you all in this important time.

In faith,

+ Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, OFM, Chairperson of the KwaZulu Natal Church Leaders Group and Chairperson of the KZN Inter Religious Council.

Dean Nkosinathi Myaka, Chairperson of the KwaZulu Natal Christian Council

Bishop Nathi Zondi, on behalf of the Steering Committee of the KZN: Covid 19 Churches Respond project.

KZN Covid-19: Churches Respond: Letter to His excellency, President C. Ramaphosa

11 April 2020
The Presidency President Cyril Ramaphosa Union Buildings Government Avenue Pretoria Email: presidentrsa@presidency.gov.za Copied: Honourable KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala

Dear Sir, Your Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa

KZN Covid-19: Churches Respond – Affirming your Leadership and Pledging Our Support
We are a broad and inclusive coalition of Churches, Christian Associations, Ecumenical Networks and Ministers’ Fraternals committed to using our extensive footprint across the KwaZulu Natal Province to respond more effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Lockdown and their respective impact.
Your Excellency, today, we wish to applaud and affirm your leadership and that of the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize in this time of disaster. We further express our appreciation for the work of the KZN Premier, Honourable Sihle Zikalala as well as the MEC for Health, Honourable Nomagugu Simelani-Zulu for meeting and updating Church Leaders on the way forward. We express our full support for your government’s efforts to save lives and in the process “flatten the curve”. We do this even as we stand in solidarity and mourning with the millions around KZN and the country whose very lives are threatened by both the Coronavirus and the extended lockdown.
In particular we affirm the generous and commendable example set by you, your Cabinet and the Premiers, of pledging a third of your salary to the Solidarity Fund. This is a powerful gesture of inestimable symbolic value. We gladly notify you that the Churches across the KwaZulu Natal province, are pledging R1 million to the relief emergency in our province.

As a Church united against the pandemic, we are putting together Emergency Relief that will roll-out cash vouchers to 1000 vulnerable families in each of the 11 Districts over the next three months through our Church-based fundraising efforts.

Other elements of our provincial plan include; (i) Communications, Education and Awareness, (ii) Pastoral care and Support, (iii) Advocacy and support around social and economic vulnerability. All of this is undergirded by an inter-denominal space for prayer and theological reflection. Full details are available on our website www.covid19response.co.za.

As Church Leaders, we continue calling on all churches, Christian Associations and ecumenical organisations and networks in KZN to come on board with specific and practical support for the coordinated work taking place at Ward level through the various Church structures we are setting up.

We further support your call for those who have resources to make a similar contribution urgently. Now is the time for sacrifice, for self-sacrificing generosity, and most importantly for Corporate responsibility, care and solidarity.

We are grateful for the third dimension of your latest strategy to address COVID-19, the programme of increased social support to protect poor and vulnerable households. We need to express our anxiety and concern for the poorest and most vulnerable at this time. May we urge you to expedite that relief through the Solidarity Fund as soon as possible.

We are receiving daily calls from across all 11 Districts from desperate individuals and communities, including some who don’t know where their next meal or rental payment is going to come from; from survivors who remain in abusive homes because they are afraid of starvation; from car guards, refugees and casual workers do not have any income. We endorse your call to support these, the most vulnerable urgently.

As we commemorate the death and celebrate the resurrection of Christ this weekend, we move from grief and lamentation to hope and new life for all humanity. This Crisis reminds us that we hold in tension the fear of death on the cross and the hope of the resurrection to a new life of Christ. At this time, we pray most ardently that he creates for us a new, more just dispensation for all South Africans.

Christ is risen! He is alive! The Resurrection is real!

+ Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, OFM, Chairperson of the KwaZulu Natal Church Leaders Group and Chairperson of the KZN Inter Religious Council.

Dean Nkosinathi Myaka, Chairperson of the KwaZulu Natal Christian Council

Bishop KE Khomo, President Interdenominational African Ministers Association in South Africa (IDAMASA)

Bishop B Mchunu, President Church Leaders Council of South Africa (CLCSA)

Bishop Nathi Zondi, Truevine Family of Churches

Rev Sipho Sokhela, National General Secretary South Africa YMCA.

Daniela Gennrich, Coordinator We Will Speak Out South Africa

Rev Gregory Matthei, Baptist Union of Southern Africa

Rev Janice Nomvuyo Mpuqa, Chairperson of the Thukela, Amajuba & Mzinyathi Christian Council

Bishop BM Buthelezi, Chairperson of the KwaZulu Region Christian Council

Archbishop Sthembiso BB Ngcamu, Chairperson of the Southern KwaZulu Natal Christian Council

Church Leaders add their weight to the COVID-19 relief efforts

Easter WeekendPress Briefing (003)  

Churches across KZN pledge R1 million to KZN relief efforts

A broad and inclusive coalition of Churches, Christian Associations, Ecumenical Networks and Ministers’ Fraternals are together seeking to use their extensive footprint across the KwaZulu Natal Province to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, the related Lockdown and their impact.

In a letter to the State President this weekend, they applaud his decisive leadership: “We particularly affirm your generous and sacrificial example, as well as that of your Cabinet and the Premiers, by pledging a third of your salary to the Solidarity Fund. This is a powerful gesture and a symbolic message. We hereby notify you that as Churches across the KwaZulu Natal province, we are pledging R1 million to the relief emergency in our province,”

“South Africa is in Lockdown until the end of April in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This dramatic and yet critical step is having a very significant impact on the country, especially on the food security of a majority of the country,” says Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Chairperson of the KwaZulu Natal Church Leaders Group and Chairperson of the KZN Inter Religious Council.

The KZN united Church plan has Emergency Relief as their most immediate focus where they are aiming to roll-out cash vouchers to 1000 vulnerable families in each of the 11 Districts over the next three months through their Church-based fundraising efforts. Other elements of their provincial plan include: communications, education and awareness; pastoral care; advocacy around social and economic vulnerability. All of this is undergirded by an inter-denominal space for prayer and reflections on the life-affirming theology of care in the face of the pandemic.

They have partnered with the South African Council of Churches and Intellimali, a well-established SMS voucher service provider, to develop a solution that sends vouchers via SMS to beneficiaries identified by local community leaders and church networks.

These vouchers can be used at any Shoprite, PicknPay, Usave, Checkers or Boxer store, to purchase food and other essential items. With operational costs funded by a designated grant, and Intellimali supplying the system at cost, this solution is extremely cost effective with 99% of funds getting directly to the beneficiary.

Church leaders invites businesses, organisations and individuals to contribute generously.

The KZN Covid-19: Church Response website has further details. http://www.covid19response.co.za/

“This is the weekend we commemorate the death and celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It is a weekend of lament, hope and new life for all humanity. We are holding in tension the death on the cross and the resurrection from the dead in receiving the new life of Christ. Through Government efforts and support of the Church and the entire community we are confident to create a new, free, abundant and just dispensation for all South Africans” adds Dean Nkosinathi Myaka, Chairperson of KwaZulu Natal Christian Council.

 

 

Ends