“Over the next two years, the member churches of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) are investing over €3 million in joint projects. This sends a powerful signal of solidarity in difficult times,” says Dr Dieter Heidtmann, General Secretary of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS). A good 40 per cent of the projects approved are in the sectors of ministry and combatting poverty. “The projects cover a wide range of aims, for example the sustainable cultivation of fruit and vegetables or support for children’s homes, schools and residences for the elderly.”
The 17 members of the international EMS Mission Council approved funding for a total of 51 projects submitted by EMS member churches in Indonesia, India, Ghana, South Korea, South Africa, Jordan and Lebanon. In 2021 and 2022, the projects will receive funds totalling €1.52 million a year.
One example is the children’s home of “Titipan Kasih” (“Entrusted with affection”) in Makassar on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The home cares for about 70 children and young people aged between two and 20 years old who mainly come from dysfunctional and traumatised family backgrounds. The youngest of them, little “Rain”, got her name when she was left as a new-born baby on the doorstep of the children’s home on a rainy day. The children and young adults go to school or attend a vocational training course. Guided by their caregivers, they help with cooking and household chores, take care of each other and the younger children.
Almost a third of the planned funds, in fact €100,000 more than in the last funding cycle, will be channelled into theological training and interfaith dialogue over the next two years. For example, money will go to fund the Centre for Interfaith Studies and Engagement in Africa (CISEA) of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG). The CISEA organises conferences, seminars, symposiums and workshops on topics such as relationships between Christians and Muslims, good neighbourliness and peaceful coexistence. Together with participants from other religions, church co-workers, women’s groups, young adults and students learn side by side about the causes of religious conflicts. Ghana still experiences frequent violent clashes between various religious groups.