Two weeks before its formal launch at Lambeth Palace, five groups have been set up in one week alone in Zambia to pilot the programme that brings community development skills to people working at the grassroots.
And an urgent appeal is being made by the Anglican Alliance for more people to provide on-line support as mentors for the hundreds of people who have applied to do the course.
The launch of the Agents of Change will be one of the last events at Lambeth Palace while Most Revd Rowan Williams is Archbishop of Canterbury. As one of the key initiators of the Anglican Alliance, he has also strongly commended the Agents of Change programme.
Over the past week two pilot Agents of Change Groups have been set up in Chipata, one in Kidwe, one is Solwezi and one in Lusaka. It’s a giant step forward for capacity building in development work in the Anglican Communion.
The programme has been devised by the Open University, commissioned by the Anglican Alliance. It’s the first time that the UK’s leading distance learning provider has been commissioned by a voluntary sector organisation to produce such an innovative programme. Demand for the programme has been huge, with groups from as far afield as Fiji, Bangladesh, South Africa and Guyana applying.
There’s an urgent need for more on-line mentors: each pilot needs one person with a higher education degree who can provide developmental feedback on line for the students at key points in their programme. The current mentors include people working in Papua New Guinea, Australia and the US. However, many more are needed to meet the scale of demand for students who want to do the course.
Agents of Change consists of six modules covering consultation, inclusion, governance, protection of vulernable people, work programming and financial planning. It will be available on-line or via CD Rom, and students need some level of computer and internet access.Each modules should take a month to complete, with participants expected to work up to four hours a week.
The programme is to be formally launched at Lambeth Palace on December 13th at a reception that will include a speech from a UK government minister, as well as an input from one of the Zambian pilots by Skype.
If you are able to help by mentoring a group of students, please email the Anglican Alliance director, Sally Keeble at email@example.com.