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Protecting Ethiopia’s church forests

In many parts of Ethiopia, the forests surrounding churches and monasteries are among the last remaining in the country. They are severely threatened as people cut trees to obtain firewood. The church fights for the preservation of the forests by making local communities more aware of the link between the forests and water availability and by helping them to find alternative livelihoods for themselves and their families.

“Gathering in Grief” mourns Rev. Phumzile Mabizela

More than 140 people met online in a spontaneous Gathering in Grief” to mourn Rev. Phumzile Mabizela, who passed away the morning of on 5 July. Mabizela was the executive director of INERELA+ (the International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV), co-moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance HIV Campaign Strategy Group and a member of the International Reference Group of WCC Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy.

“Who will pay the recovery?” – international report calls for tax justice under COVID-19

The global pandemic has led to major structural increases in public expenditures to support health, incomes and employment. The question of who will ultimately foot the bill will need to be answered. A report launched on 15 June by the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation alerts that the economic burden must not fall disproportionately on disadvantaged groups and countries.

Church leaders in eastern Africa call for urgent action on devastating locust invasion

Church leaders in eastern Africa are calling for increased action against desert locusts which have terrorised the region since January this year.
Like scenes from the Book of Exodus, huge swarms of the insects have descended on the region, destroying farmlands and animal pastures. The outbreak is affecting seven East African countries, where such a scale of infestation was last seen seven decades ago. At stake is food security for millions of people.

Young people in Togo: “Hear our voice! We want to tell our stories!”

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme sponsored an intergenerational workshop on HIV, masculinities, femininities and sexual reproductive health education for 35 adolescents, young people, theologians, and religious leaders from 28-30 October at the Village du Benin, University of Lomé, Togo.

Celebrating the life of an ecumenical champion for economic justice: Rev. Malcolm Damon

Rev. Malcolm Damon, ecumenical champion of justice for the economy and the Earth, and a son of South Africa, passed away on 8 September.

Damon was a founding member of the Economic Justice Network formed in 1997 to serve the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa, consisting of 12 national Christian councils in southern African nations. In 2001, he joined Economic Justice Network as its executive director. Under his leadership, the network became a leading advocate in the southern African region for a fairer global trading system, tax reform and climate justice.

“Ambassadors of change” address gender justice at Uganda university

As Makerere University in Uganda admitted new undergraduate students in August, trained “ambassadors of change" were able to speak about preventing sexual and gender-based violence and HIV transmission. The ambassadors were trained though workshops offered by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme.