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COVID-19 in conflict zones: “a crisis within another crisis”

Damaris, a Nigerian woman, described her experience of 2020: “We’ve gone through hell.”

Damaris and her sisters were kidnapped in March 2020 and threatened with death as their kidnappers demanded money. Her father had to sell everything and beg on the streets to meet their demands. “We are just a common people in Nigeria,” she said. “We don’t know what we did.”

At Effata school in Togo, students transform attitudes about gender-based violence

Through four years of collaboration with the Effata Secular School in Togo, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme has introduced students and teachers to Thursdays in Black, towards a world without rape and violence, helped them better respond to HIV, and offered a safe space to discuss responsible sexual and reproductive health.

Thursdays in Black is growing in Namibia

The Thursdays in Black campaign for a world free from rape and violence has been intensified in Namibia, bringing awareness of the heightened risk of violence against women and children during the COVID-19 lockdown.

South Africans draw hope despite recurring challenges

Gender-based violence and attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa have left communities wondering where to turn. In a visit of solidarity, a World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrim Team visited the nation from 7-12 December.

On the eve of “16 Days”, churches in Nairobi launch Thursdays in Black

While lighting candles at a gathering of the All Africa Conference of Churches in Nairobi, church leaders, members of the civil society and youth on Monday launched Thursdays in Black, the global movement calling for resistance to attitudes and practices that permit rape and violence.

Unveiling the campaign, Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki, an African Brotherhood Church leader who is the chairman of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, urged churches to hear and give compassion to women suffering violence without asking questions.

Churches in southern Africa stand against violence, xenophobia

Churches across southern Africa are publicly saying #EnoughIsEnough,” with many denominations and congregations continuing to issue strong statements, arrange special prayer events, and speak out against rising levels of violence.

Both the Dutch Reformed Church and the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA) have been discussing gender justice and how to keep the momentum going on the unprecedented public demand for change.

Rev. Damon Mkandawire: “A man is a gender justice champion”

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with Thursdays in Black ambassadors who are playing a vital role in increasing the impact of our collective call for a world without rape and violence. Rev. Damon Mkandawire is hospital administrator for the United Church of Zambia’s Mbereshi Mission Hospital.

When you strike the women, you strike a rock

As South Africa grapples with a gender-based violence crisis, president Cyril Ramaphosa is convening, on 18 September, the entire parliament for a special session on how to create a society in which women feel not only safe, but enjoy human rights equal to men. With 52,420 sexual offences reported in the last financial year - and many unreported - hundreds of thousands of people in South Africa are publicly saying “#EnoughIsEnough.” Churches and faith communities are a vocal, visible part of this call for change. Will the momentum grow? Will we stand with the women of South Africa?

Moravian Church in Tanzania launches Thursdays in Black

Moravian women pastors and evangelists have said: “Enough is enough: no more rape and violence against women." Women leaders of the church marched in the streets of Mbeya town in Tanzania wearing black on Thursday to officially launch the Thursdays in Black global campaign to stand against rape and violence.

“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.

Anglican university students address violence, promote HIV testing in village schools

Students at Makerere University in Uganda have launched an evangelical and health mission in Kayunga, one of the rural villages in Mityana district located about 50 km from Kampala, Uganda.
The initiative follows the October 2018 launch of the Thursdays in Black Campaign against sexual and gender-based violence in Uganda by the Anglican community of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity at Makerere University.

Mission and people with disabilities

How much is the mission of the church related to people with disabilities? These days we talk a lot about inclusive societies and churches. But, have we arrived there? Are our societies and churches taking seriously the problems and challenges that people with disabilities face on a daily basis? People with disabilities find themselves quite often at the margins of the societies and even of the churches.

WCC seminar in Mozambique shows vital role of diakonia

The last of three capacity-building seminars on Human Resources and Church Leadership for Diakonia and Development took place in Maputo, Mozambique, 18-20 June. This most recent seminar was for Portuguese speakers in Africa, with participants coming mainly from Angola and Mozambique. The first two seminars - for French and English speakers respectively - were held in May in Cotonou, Bénin, and Nairobi, Kenya.