22 Jun 2016 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 22 JUN (NAMPA) The Helsinki Diakonia Institute (HDI); Council of Churches in Namibia (CNN) and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) on Tuesday signed two agreements.
The agreements were signed by ELCINs Presiding Bishop Sheekutaamba Nambala; CCN's vice president Revered Clem Marais and the Director of the HDI's Diaconia and Social Responsibility, Reverend Jarmo Kökkö.
Introducing the agreements, HDI's regional coordinator Elise Heikkinen-Johnstone said the Ecumenical Action Against Gender Based Violence (EAAGBV) aims to empower CCN members and communities to address gender-based violence issues in Namibia.
The Euro 242 859 (N.dollars 4 million) project will run from 2016 until next year.
Heikkinen-Johnstone said the project is broken down into three areas, one of which is foundational efforts towards increasing understanding of GBV and its manifestation in Namibia.
It also includes preventative and rehabilitation work comprising training and building groups of women and youth at community and church level and engaging men as allies in the fight against GBV.
Thirdly, it involves partnering, networking and coordinating GBV response with other service providers in an organised manner in order to address the legal, medical and psychosocial needs of survivors.
Heikkinen-Johnstone further noted that the Ecumenical Social Community Action (ESCA) project will enable churches to mobilise Namibian domestic resources for more equal development and right-based approaches through the application of participatory methods in vulnerable communities.
The project will run from 2016 to 2018 and is valued at Euro 493 870 (N.dollars 8.1 million).
The project will be implemented based on Christian principles with the spirit of ecumenism. In doing so, the ESCA project is to ensure that CCN members and affiliate churches' awareness and capacity are strengthened to address the needs of the poor and marginalised communities, she said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Finnish Ambassador to Namibia Anne Saloranta said the two projects provide an excellent example of co-operation with an overarching goal of improving peoples lives and securing human dignity for all.
That is very much in accordance with Finland's development policy and its key focus on the eradication of extreme poverty, she said.
Saloranta noted that the church plays a key role in society, and CCN represents 18 member churches that cover close to 90 per cent of the population.
She added that the churches are responsible for addressing socio-economic and human rights concerns at national, regional and community levels.
They are also well acquainted with communities and their challenges at grassroots level.