As Jesus commissioned the disciples to go forth and spread the good news of salvation into all the world, our focus is not limited to only Southeast Georgia, but extends to organizations working internationally that respond to people in need. As such, the Foundation developed the Africa Initiative to effectively focus our grant making efforts in Africa.
The Africa Initiative (2011 - 2015):
FOUR ORGANIZATIONS. ONE MISSION
Together was a collaboration of four nonprofit organizations:
It was formed to serve the very poor in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda. Together created a 5-year, multi-faceted initiative to build community resilience and to improve health and development outcomes for people living in the 22 villages of Kacheri sub-county, increasing their capacities and decreasing their vulnerabilities.
Together had a substantial impact on the resilience of the Karamojong in the Kotido district of Uganda. Health and other development outcomes such as education, community mobilization, saving and lending, water access, conflict reduction, land cultivation, animal vaccination, income generation, crop management and diversification, environmental protection, and latrine usage all improved. The degree of improvement varied from outstanding (latrine construction and use, and vaccinations) to less extensive (insecticide treated nets and child nutrition). But overall, virtually all measured indicators improved significantly.
Further, Together partners—executives and field staff—were universally positive about the collaborative approach that defined Together. Similarly, local leaders—from NGOs and government departments—rated Together as providing significantly more benefit than any other nonprofit organization. A substantial contributor to this outstanding achievement was the partnership model Together employed.
SMUMC Foundation and the Together Council can praise God for the success of this initiative and know that the people of Karamoja have taken steps towards the resilience they need.
For more information, please read the following evalulation reports for the program:
The Africa Initiative (2004-2011)
GIS mapping courtesy of Gray Payne in collaboration with Nina Payne, Jowett & Wood, Inc. Consulting Foresters.
The Africa Initiativerepresents partnerships between St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation and established Christian humanitarian organizations working in Africa for the benefit of children, particularly those who have been orphaned, but who also suffer the dire consequences of AIDS / HIV, war and famine.
Giving Children Hope
The Giving Children Hope program represents a continuing partnership between Church World Service and the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation. The goal is to protect the rights of and to provide support to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) living in the countries of Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and more recently Zambia and Mozabmique, who have been affected by HIV / AIDS, war and famine that they may by empowered to manage their own well being and the stability of their families,to participate in the social and economic development of their communities, and to live in the shelter of hope.
ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization)
The Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) and the St. Marys United Methoidst Church Foundation have established a partnership to create regional offices and formal partnerships in East and West Africa. These partnerships will make the agricultural resources of ECHO more accessible to individuals and programs - especially those that support, care and train orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) affected by HIV / AIDS, war and famine.