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UEM Partnership Prize 2018 Awarded

Above from left: Alex Malasusa, Ulrich Möller, Yoram Karusya, Gerhard Feiling, Barbara Rudolph, Michaela Leyendecker, Daphne Guiriras, Annette Salomo, Eliki Bonanga. Picture below: the UEM Partnership Prize (Photos: UEM)

International UEM partnerships with projects to promote women's initiatives under the motto "projects by and for women" were able to apply for the most recent competition. The participation criteria included joint planning, joint monitoring and joint evaluation of the submitted projects. The participating partners had to apply jointly for the UEM Partnership Prize. The following partnership projects were awarded the UEM Partnership Prize 2018:

1st Prize

The first prize, endowed with 2,000 euros, was awarded to the partnership project "Our Mothers - Your Mothers" of the Bartholomäus school in Iserlohn-Oestrich and the primary school Salongo in Boende, DR Congo.

Project description

Since 1986 there has been a partnership between the church districts Boende and Lofoy of the Church of the Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the church district Iserlohn of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia (EKvW). This partnership resulted in a school partnership between the primary school in Salongo in Boende and the Bartholomäus School (primary school) in Iserlohn-Oestrich. Despite difficult conditions, the two schools have been in regular exchange since 1994.

Since April of this year there has been a weekly Africa working group at the Bartholomäus school. The working group is currently working on a comparison of the roles of women and girls in Boende and Oestrich. To this end, the German children have developed a small catalogue of questions on their mothers' daily routine, housing situation, profession and leisure activities and answered them together with them. The same questions were passed on to the partner school in Boende with the request for answers. The results of these surveys will be presented during a project week and a school festival. It is also planned to present the different life worlds of the mothers in Congo and Germany in the form of an exhibition and a play.

Primary school children from the Congo and Germany have been in regular contact for decades despite many difficulties.                      

The jury praised this partnership project, which supports a women's initiative in the Congo within the framework of the so-called "Mama School" with donations from school partnership work. In this school there is an offer for mothers to learn to read and write. In addition, micro-credits are granted to women to support them in setting up a small business.

The project is regularly supervised pedagogically by the weekly Africa working group in the Bartholomäus school. The activities of the partnership are reported in public by the church media, the daily press and the school's website.
The jury particularly liked the fact that primary school children from Congo and Germany have been in regular contact and learning from each other for decades, despite many difficulties.  

2nd Prize

The second prize, endowed with 1.500 Euro, was awarded to the partnership project "#thisisme - a parntership project for young women (2017-2020)" of the trilateral partnership between Otjiwarongo in Namibia and Tecklenburg (EKvW) and Wesel (EKiR).

Project description

The subject of the project is a joint empowerment initiative by and for young women in the church districts Tecklenburg of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia (EKvW), Wesel of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland (EKIR) and the church district Otjiwarongo of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) with meetings in 2019 in Germany and 2020 in Namibia.

With this award, the jury honoured a project of the trilateral partnership between Otjiwarongo, Tecklenburg and Wesel, which considers the following three UEM pillars:

  • Advocacy: The project took place as part of the UEM's 2018 human rights campaign to outlaw violence against women.
  • Development: The project aims to promote gender equality and also to contribute to poverty reduction by training women.
  • Partnership: The project is the result of many years of partnership between the three church districts. 

The jury particularly liked the way in which young women were successfully integrated into the three church districts. The visit of girl groups in Wesel, the cooperation with the youth department of the church district Tecklenburg as well as the foundation of Girls Clubs distinguish the project in a special way.

3rd Prize

The third prize, endowed with 800 euros, was awarded to the microcredit project of the partnership between Mabira and Nassauer Land for needy women in Mabira, Tanzania.

Project description

This is a microcredit project of the partnership between the Dean's Office Nassauer Land of the Evangelical Church in Hesse Nassau (EKHN) and the Church District Mabira of the Karagwe Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT-KAD). The aim of the project is to promote women's initiatives by providing women with micro-credits with which they can, for example, set up small businesses. The loan must be repaid within six months at an interest rate of ten percentage points. The project has existed since 2010. Tanzania as a model for microcredits to promote start-ups by women

The project was developed jointly by the partnership. The former head of the UEM regional office in Dar-es-Salaam and then head of the women's department of the Karagwe diocese, pastor Savera Bishanga, who came up with the project idea, played an outstanding role in this. With her background knowledge, she gave the partnership expert advice. In addition to the microcredits, seminars were held on empowerment by women for women, which complemented the project in a meaningful way.

The project is accompanied by an intensive monitoring and evaluation process and is supported by the partnership with great commitment. The initiative to promote women's start-ups has set many positive things in motion over the past eight years.

Special prize

A special prize, endowed with 500 euros, was awarded to the partnership project "Mtoni Maternity Ward".

The Church District Unna of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia (EKvW) maintains a partnership with the Church Districts North (Kaskazini), Centre (Kati) and South (Kusini) of the Eastern and Coastal Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT-ECD).

In October 2016, midwives Anja Wulf and Michaela Pfeiffer from Germany visited the outpatient clinic in Mtoni, a suburb of Dar-es-Salaam, during a partnership visit.
 There they learned that from the problem of many pregnant women to find a safe and quiet place for childbirth. The nearest hospitals are often difficult to reach due to the constantly overloaded transport system. Many pregnant women are therefore forced to opt for a home birth, which can represent a great risk for mother and child.

This emergency situation gave rise to the idea of converting an outpatient ward into a maternity ward. The midwives collected the technical equipment and aids of hospitals and doctors in Germany and found a sponsor for the shipment to Tanzania. They personally received the equipment on site and set up the new maternity ward together with the Tanzanian doctors and staff.  In November 2018, Anja Wulf and Michaela Pfeiffer will again travel to Tanzania in order to further improve the work processes with their colleagues on site. The goal is the financial independence of the station.

The jury was enthusiastic about the commitment of the two midwives. By awarding this special prize, the UEM would like to pay tribute to the outstanding work of midwives worldwide.

The jury consisted of members of the partnership committee of UEM. After 2016, the UEM Partnership Prize was awarded for the second time during a general meeting.

Dr Martina Pauly



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