The Economic Justice Network of FOCCISA spent an exciting two days with Program Officers of the National Christian Councils deliberating on emerging development issues in the region and the challenges faced by the Church in fighting poverty, unemployment and inequality.
To say the two days were truly invigorating and convivial is an understatement as we workshopped a Strategic Plan that will put the Church, the National Christian Councils and EJN at the Centre of fighting for the poor and marginalized communities that look to the Church for answers in their daily struggles. The Strategic Plan looks at creating a vibrant Prophetic Voice of the Church on development issues in the region that is in service to reverse the ravages of poverty and inequality that have been exacerbated by the rampant COVID-19 pandemic.
We aim to launch our Strategic Plan right away and hope to restore our faith in the fellowship we have enjoyed with the Christian Councils since its inception. Their input and discussion on our Strategic Plan was incisive and placed EJN on the path to success and fulfilling our ambition to strengthen the Church’s work in the region.
The focus of our workshop was to re-awaken our fellowship, build a sustainable Strategic Plan for EJN and explore Joint Programming and Planning on mutual issues and thematic areas. We discussed many topics and challenges that affect the Church’s work in the region, centring on the need to harness the diversity of skills and expertise that sits within the Church Councils and the many opportunities available for the Church to uplift the lives of the poor and marginalized people and bear Prophetic Witness through our collaboration and collective mobilization.
Build collective ecumenical advocacy for economic justice in Southern Africa
Influence economic and social policies to support economic justice principles that forge structural changes to address entrenched poverty and inequities
Mobilize the most economically excluded members of communities throughout the SADC region to effectively be their own powerful voices for economic justice.
Capacity Building for Economic Literacy & Advocacy
Environment & Climate Change
Extractive Economies & Tax Justice
Food Security & Agriculture
The pillars will be supported by the External and Internal Priorities that have been identified as integral to a successful implementation of the Strategic Plan and which will enjoin us and the National Christian Councils to ensure that the Church takes centre stage pushing for cohesive approaches to development work in the region to create conducive conditions for poor and marginalized people of the region to thrive. The Priorities have been identified as:
1. Build effective ecumenical solidarity and advocacy capacity to intervene in the national and regional shared contexts of socioeconomic injustice, poverty, and inequalities that affect Christian faith communities and SADC Citizens in the region
2. Bridge the knowledge gaps on critical economic justice issues impacting the church and marginalized communities in Southern Africa through research and innovative knowledge-sharing platforms to support and strengthen National Christian Councils, EJN, and Partner organizations’ advocacy interventions
3. Facilitate the implementation of programs and civil society engagement on priority issues within the SADC region, particularly through: debt, extractives, tax justice, trade, food security, and SADC policies
4. Promote policies and practical pathways to economic inclusion, participatory development, and sustainable livelihoods for youth and women in the SADC region
5. Strengthen and increase EJN network development and impact through partnering with similar networks in Southern Africa, the African Continent, and International Organizations to build high-impact shared strategies and processes to address economic justice issues of global concern.
We’ll lift and amplify our voice by focusing on two of our Internal Priorities:
• Voice & Visibility (Communications; Knowledge Production, Development & Sharing)
• Build an EJN-FOCCISSA joint Theory of Change that maximizes the network’s shared power of Christian ethics and public theology to drive cohesive, coherent alignment, and empowered advocacy for economic
• In addition, we are launching Radio iLIZWI: the VOICE which will soon reach you through your PC, laptop and mobile phone. It’ll be sizzling hot with the MESSAGE of the Day, your current news on your favourite development stories and your views!
• We will be broadcasting from all over the SADC Region. We could be in your city or town, speaking to you, your friends and partners on your favourite topics to do with your work.
• Tune into our station and spend a few moments with us each day as we find solutions to everyday challenges.