The Aids pandemia in Southern Africa is a great challenge for the churches. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana (ELCB) care for thousands of orphans whose parents have died from the disease. They give them a home in orphanages, educate them and give those about whom nobody else would have cared about a future.
Girls still do not have the same chances as boys when it comes to education. That is why the Eastern and Coastal Diocese of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT-ECD) opened the Mkuza Girls‘ school in Kibala. Three years after the opening more than 100 girls visit the school, get theoretical and practical teaching and the chance to take their lives into their hands.
Not all young people in Rwanda have a share in the booming economy of the country. Those who have no family support or are left behind in school would probably never find a job if it were not for the church. The Anglican Church in Rwanda, Shyogwe Diocese, has been administering to the youth by initiating the project "Youth at Risk". The young children can go to school, the older ones get a vocational training in carpentry, sewing or metalworking. So most of them will be able to care for themselves later.
The civil war in Eastern Congo has displaced hundreds of thousands of people. The children are the most vulnerable of them. The Baptist Church in Central Africa (CBCA) cares for the children in the huge refugee camps and organises
schooling and trauma healing programmes for them. So the children get both counselling to cope with what they have experienced and education for a better future.
The Alpha Omega boarding school gives handicapped children new chances in life. The children who need special support can visit school and are parallely prepared to care for themselves later. A training facility in farming with animal husbandry and fish ponds is part of the boarding school – this is very important in a rural area like the Karoland in North Sumatra. The Christian Protestant Karo Batak Church (GBKP) gives children a future they could never have without this special support.
The civil war in Sri Lanka has ended, but the people still suffer from the decades of war. The Methodist Church of Sri Lanka (MC-SL) has been active to support the people in various ways, e.g. with a project for war widows and their children in the district of Killinochchie and Mulaitivu. The women and their children get psychological help to cope with the traumata and are empowered to fight the poverty. This project is sign of hope for the rebuilding of the country.
To care for orphans is a task many UEM member churches carry out with heart and soul. When having left school most of the children have to care for themselves. The Christian Church on Nias (BNKP) supports them with basic training in handcraft to enable them to build up their own small businesses.