Healthcare professionals in Kenya, Pakistan and Tanzania have contacted the Anglican Alliance to highlight their progress since last year’s Commonwealth Professional Fellowship Scheme.
And three more fellows, this year women leaders in education, have arrived in London to take part in this year’s scheme – Dushyanthi Thuseetharan, from Sri Lanka, Elizabeth Marahora, from the Solomon Islands, and Janet Sarker, from Bangladesh, were all welcomed to London last week to begin their intensive programme.
Fantastic news from our healthcare fellows draws attention to the significant developments in their sector, which they say are a direct result of their learning and experiences on the scheme last year.
John Mhanuzi Wabike, from the Diocese of Western Tanganyika in Tanzania, has shared his story:
“I am very happy to let you know that the Commonwealth training I had with you in London last year has made a great impact to the management of community health programmes in the Diocese of Western Tanganyika.
“A programme for family planning (to control the high birth rates) has got off to a great start, with the help of a strong Mothers’ Union structure and youth groups in our diocese. You may know that Kigoma is the part of Tanzania with the highest birth rates – the average is eight to nine children per woman. This is also the poorest part of Tanzania and so we face huge difficulties.
“When I returned from the UK, I met with key partners in my diocese. We agreed with the Mothers’ Union representative that we would submit a project proposal to the All Saints Episcopal Church of Atlanta, which is in our link diocese. We asked them for financial assistance to start the Family Planning programme.
“We thank God that our proposal was successful! We received funding to start this vital programme. And so I have been very busy and have been conducting training on different methods of family planning through the Anglican Church, which is very strong in our area.
“So far we have conducted the training in one zone of our diocese, and we are continuing on to five more zones to cover the whole diocese. Please continue praying for us; the biggest challenge we face is continued funding for this important programme.”
And Naveed Khurram Gill, from the Diocese of Hyderabad in Pakistan, has shared his plans to build community-based maternal and infant health services. These aim to reach out to the rural population of Sindh province to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates and improve infant birth weights.
Naveed is the administrator of Kunri Christian Hospital. His work focuses on benefitting those living in the remote rural areas of Sindh province. Future plans prioritise high-quality care that is easily accessible to the most marginalised. Sustainable and long-term development goals are being discussed in collaboration with other church related and humanitarian organisations in the region.
This year, the three women leaders in education have been launched in to a full programme, including meetings with the Institute of Education, Department for Education, and Church House last week.
This week they are with Local Education Authorities in Tower Hamlets and Southwark, exploring leadership and education initiatives in the boroughs.
Updates from their programme and comments on their experience will be posted on the website!
In the picture: John Mhanuzi with mothers and children from the first Family Planning programme.