Strong communities are the building blocks for lasting development. The Anglican Alliance is at the grassroots with the local churches in their ministry to local people.
Every church has its own mission responding to the needs of the local community. Our mandate in the Alliance is to share the experiences of Anglicans who are working in their communities to tackle poverty and end injustice. Every community is unique, every story is different. Some of the basics are set out here.
Discrimination against the Dalits is the key issue for some communities in northern India and the Church is working to bring education, social care and health facilities to these people and speaking out for their rights.
Health is the development prioirty is some communities. HIV and Aids has devastated some communities: 20 million people have died and 40 million people are still living with the disease. In Malawi and Zimbabwe the Church is providing care in the community for orphans and children affected by HIV, and also for infected adults.
Every minute of every day at least one woman dies from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth: that means 529,000 die every year. For every woman who dies in childbirth, there are 20 more who suffer injury, infection or disease. And 6 million young children die needlessly every year, mostly of them from easily preventable causes. So for some communities in Latin America the big challenge is to improve infant and maternal health, and the Church of Uruguay has early years programmes for vulnerable children from the favelas or shanty towns.
In Singapore, the Church has established community health services and hospitals that serve thousands of people. And in March 2011, His Excellency President S. R. Nathan opened St Andrew’s Autism Centre.
An Anglican Alliance visit to see community empowerment in Mount Kenya East
Community mobilisation is achieved by the Church working with partners including Tearfund and the Mothers Union. The Anglican Alliance is supporting Umoja, a process in which the Church identifies community needs and then works with the community to meet them. To the right is a picture of church community mobilisation in Mount Kenya East Diocese where local farming was transformed through a new irrigation system, a fish farm opened and biogas scheme set up through the local church.
Education is a driver for community development. It's also an area in which the Church has a long track record of service. Throughout the world Alliance partners provide education at every level. And we’ve been key to ensuring that girls and women get equal access to education.
On the outskirts of Peshawar in Pakistan the Church is teaching young women how to read and write: educating women has the most transformative service.
And in South Sudan, the world's newest country just coming out of half a century of conflict, the Church is working to provide schools as a key part of building a secure and peaceful society. Throughout the world Anglicans run schools and colleges, responding to the needs of the local community.