World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

EDAN memorandum of understanding

Memorandum of understanding between the WCC and the AACC on the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network

01 September 2004

MOV between the World Council of Churches and the AACC on the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network


World Council of Churches (WCC) has over the years expressed its commitment to the network of persons with disabilities in many ways and in various programme categories. It was at the VIII Assembly of the WCC in December 1998, that persons with disabilities came together to form their own network, which they called the Ecumenical Disabilities Advocates Network (EDAN) and named Sam Kabue, from Kenya, a visually impaired person, as the coordinator of EDAN. EDAN had begun a process of strengthening awareness of the contributions of people with disabilities to the churches and the ecumenical movement globally.

In April 1999, when a new programme structure of the WCC was formed, WCC invited EDAN to become an official part of the programme placed within the programme Team on Justice, Peace and Creation. As Sam Kabue was then, on the staff of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, an arrangement was made with the NCCK that he serve EDAN part time.

The work was going very well, thanks to the efficient handling of the programme by Sam Kabue, the network has grown and new programme needs have been identified. In January of 2004 he decided that he would like to devote 100% of his time to EDAN and it was decided to explore the possibility of AACC being a partner in this work.

AACC is an appropriate partner because it also has been deeply concerned about the struggles of people with disabilities on the continent of Africa affirming their presence and participation in the life of the churches and in societies.

A new moment in the life of EDAN:

From June 2004, the World Council of Churches and the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) will work jointly on EDAN. The office will be placed at the headquarters of the AACC in Nairobi, Kenya. The work shall be carried out at both Regional and International levels. At the Regional level, EDAN will for all practical purpose report to the AACC General secretary through the established structures and in accordance with the practice and regulations of AACC. The Programme will work closely with the Social, Economic Justice and Women Programme but will endeavour to have disability concerns integrated in all other programmes.

At the International level, EDAN shall remain a Programme of the WCC and shall be guided by the WCC' constitution and general regulations as shall be in force from time to time. Operating at the guidance of the WCC structures and governing organs, the Programme Executive Secretary shall be assisted at that level by an International Reference Group and eight volunteer Regional representatives who shall be drawn from each of the eight regions under which WCC work is implemented, namely: Europe, North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The Programme shall report on its International work to WCC through the Justice, Peace and Creation Team.

Some major streams of work to be continued:

1. To strengthen the global network of people with disabilities.

2. To continue to play an advocacy role, to ensure that the churches make themselves welcoming places for people with disabilities.

3. To expand and deepen theological reflections of people with disabilities with the help of the document The Church For All approved by the WCC Central Committee and shared with the churches at the AACC Assembly.

4. To contribute to the regional processes initiated by EDAN to strengthen the network.

Terms and conditions:

  • EDAN shall remain a decentralized programme of the World Council of Churchs operating in conjunction with AACC but shall retain its legal entity in Kenya for purposes of general management and all necessary contractual obligations in accordance with the laws of the country. It will for this reason retain a local Board in accordance with the registration statutes but the current membership shall be expanded to include a representative from AACC and at least one other member resident in Kenya and at the time being a member of WCC Central Committee. Mr. Samuel Kabue is designated the Programme's Executive Secretary and will also serve as the Secretary to the Board. He will also be the link between the Board and both AACC and WCC.

  • The Programme will endeavour to work with all the AACC programmes with the main linkage as Social, Economic Justice and Women Programme.

  • The Executive Secretary in consultation with the Board will hire necessary staff locally in agreement with AACC and in accordance with needs subject to availability of funds. The present Programme assistant Angeline Okola Charles who has undergone special training in England on disability studies will continue in the work.

  • The WCC, through the JPC Team will cover the annual remuneration for the Executive Secretary and his current assistant.

  • AACC will provide the Programme with office space and other services relating to the occupation of that space.

  • AACC will provide institutional support in payroll administration, medical and Insurance covers arrangements in line with their practice in respect to their staff. EDAN will on its part remit to AACC in advance all the necessary funds to cover the payroll and related expenses.

  • EDAN as an entity will maintain its own bank accounts and will keep its own books of accounts. All payments to third parties will be made directly from EDAN accounts except for the Payroll and related expenses, which are to be administered by AACC.

  • AACC will provide the programme with professional accounting services and will assist in making arrangements for audit services And where applicable , WCC will be charged appropriately for this service.

  • The Executive Secretary will be expected to raise additional funds for the activities with the cooperation of the General Secretary of the AACC and the Coordinator of the JPC Team.

  • The Executive Secretary will work closely with the JPC Team for the implementation of the Programme Internationally.

  • There will be a once yearly review of this new way of working done jointly by AACC and WCC.

  • Any changes to the working arrangement will be mutually agreed on between AACC and WCC.

General areas of responsibility:

1. Implement the priorities of the AACC and the WCC by developing, facilitating and carrying out programmes/activities/events on the EDAN programme.

2. Monitor, analyze and interpret trends and developments of relevance regarding people with disabilities for the ecumenical movement.

3. Facilitate dialogue within the fellowship and with other ecumenical partners on issues related to disabilities.

4. Provide leadership in this special area of expertise and knowledge.

5. Carry out processes of planning, monitoring, reporting and evaluation. The reports will be shared with AACC and WCC.

6. Prepare and monitor activities' budgets.

7. Participate in the fund-raising efforts of the AACC and the WCC according to agreed guidelines.

8. Develop close cooperation and complementary work with other programmes of AACC and WCC.

9. Represent EDAN in meetings of AACC and WCC as needed and ensure proper dissemination of information. Participate in the biannual Week of Meetings of the WCC, and in the JPIC Commission meetings.

Bp. Mvume Dandala
General Secretary
General Secretary

Aruna Gnanadason
Justice, Peace and Creation Team
World Council of Churches
Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, September 2004

Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network
(A Programme Of The World Council Of Churches)
Ground Floor
AACC Building Waiyaki Way
P.O. Box 22
00300 Ronald Ngala
TEL: (245) 1234567
FAX : (254) 1234567