Projects that uplift communities
As churches on the ground, our projects address the most pressing needs in the places we serve. The communion's 37 projects in Africa tackle endemic poverty, economic injustice and harmful social practices. Its presence as a church established in the communities it serves ensures it is trusted and more easily able to tackle the worst cases of injustice and poverty. Some of those projects include:
Sawtu Linjiila radio station carries the gospel and public service messages through the airwaves in Fulani, one of the most widely spoken languages in west and central Africa. Broadcast by LWF member the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon from Ngaoundéré, a north Cameroonian city, Sawtu Linjiila’s work has created a community of listeners across the country and beyond. Theology, health, agriculture and economic development are on the agenda, as well as programs on societal issues, from poor living conditions to the exodus of young people from rural areas and to drug and alcohol abuse. Show that highlight the rights of women’ and girls is a priority. In 2014, Sawtu Linjiila radio reached some 24.5 million Fulani speakers, on 15 local FM stations, three in Chad and by media in Germany.
When Lutheran churches in southern Africa identified HIV/AIDS as the priority area of work, they got stuck in. However, their response was not coordinated at regional level. In 2003, they mandated the regional Lutheran body to coordinate the HIV/AIDS response in the sub-region, ensure the LWF HIV/AIDS campaign was implemented regionally following church leaders’ commitment to break the silence about the disease. The response was guided by two documents, ‘Breaking the Silence’ and ‘Care, Compassion, Conversion.’ Church leaders in the region acknowledged the need for the regional Lutheran body to build the capacity of churches to respond. The southern Africa regional HIV/AIDS strategy is based on analysis of the pandemic in each target country. It has four key response areas: institutional development, ensuring HIV/AIDS work is included in all project work, helping people find the power to address stigma, and monitoring and evaluation of HIV/AIDS work.
By raising awareness of the problem of female genital mutilation among the Pokot in northwest Kenya where it is still widely practiced, the LWF Women in Church and Society hopes to stem the prevalence of this cruel practice. As many as 80 percent of women and girls – some as young as 10 - have been subjected to FGM, also referred to as the “female cut.” The project promotes an environment in which the dignity of young girls is upheld. Since starting in 2008, it has trained 25 trainers, mobilized 125 local activists and reached more than 15,000 people through awareness-raising campaigns. The “Say No to FMG” project alone, implemented by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya, has reached more than 7000 people. It has increased understanding about the consequences of continued violation of the rights of women and girl in a modern society. Among its responsibilities, WICAS works to reduce violence against women and to realize better gender relations among LWF member churches and in society.