Wednesday, 15 August 2018
"We work together with churches to fulfil God's mission across cultures locally and globally..."
(Excerpt from SIM’s Mission and Vision Statement)
SIM is committed to serving and walking alongside the local church here in Australia and around the globe. This means when it comes to our SIMaid development projects, the end game is nearly always to hand over the projects to the local church. We believe that the enabling of the local church is key to bringing about deep and meaningful change.
The southern African country of Malawi has one of the highest rates of HIV prevalence in the world at 9.2% (2016 figures*). The country also faces challenges with well over 50% of hospital beds being occupied by people suffering from AIDS related illnesses, and the epidemic being a primary contributing factor to its 1,300,000 orphans.
SIM's Hope for Life projects in Malawi are building the capacity of a partner church (Africa Evangelical Church) to demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ and respond to the need around them.
"In the early days, the church didn't know how to engage with HIV. Talking about sexuality was totally taboo. However, we've seen that change. A lot of the Bible-based prevention work has now been able to be incorporated into the youth and children’s ministry of the church", SIM Australia worker Jacky Hammond said.
Jacky is the Project Co-ordinator for SIM's 'Home Based Care' and 'Orphan Care' projects in Malawi. These projects provide effective home based care for the sick, orphan care programs in the form of under-5 day care centres, home visiting programs and secondary school scholarships, and HIV prevention programs.
These projects are reliant on volunteers from the local churches who are involved in programs such as home visitation. These volunteers act as advocates for loving treatment of orphans. For instance, they encourage carers to keep the children in schools and to protect girls from being pressured into early marriages.
Jacky is working hard to see these projects come under the direction and leadership of their partner church. She is excited that the church has appointed a 'Projects Coordinator' so that together they can work towards having the home based care and orphan care ministries become more fully integrated into the church structure in a locally self sustaining manner over the next twelve to eighteen months.
In order to make the ministry increasingly self sustaining Jacky will work with the Projects Co-ordinator to introduce a 'goat pass-on scheme'. Her vision is to get 600 goats into the hands of the church so they can 'pass them on' to the neediest in their community. Here's how it works:
1. Someone buys a goat online for $50 AUD (you can purchase one here!)
2. A child or volunteer from the 'Hope for Life' program will receive a female goat and relevant training to take care of it.
3. When the goat has its first kid, it is passed back to the program. These goats form a 'church herd' so that when they produce future kids they can be passed on to other orphans or sold to buy items such as school uniforms and blankets for orphans in particular need.
4. After passing back the first kid, all further offspring can be kept by the beneficiary and used to provide an on-going income stream to help with food, clothes, or school fees. There is also the potential to drink or sell the goat's milk or even use it in soap making.
5. Hope for Life Malawi's ministry becomes increasingly self-sustainable as the local church is empowered to demonstrate God's love both through word and practical action!
“Over recent years we’ve been seeing a general decline in external funding for HIV/AIDS projects and yet the numbers of people in rural Malawi who are sick or orphaned remains overwhelming. The need to empower local churches to do what they can to meet this need in a locally sustainable way is now more important than ever”, Jacky said.
• Pray for the new Projects Coordinator who has been appointed by a partner church. Pray that he would be quick to learn and fulfil the role with wisdom, love and integrity.
• Pray for the Goat Pass on Scheme and the long term sustainability of Hope for Life ministry in Malawi!
• Give thanks for Jacky Hammond and her involvement and oversight of the projects.
Want to buy a goat and help pass on God’s love to an orphan? Click here
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