A social justice charity

A women’s rights activist and the hosting organization under a new name … These were two distinct aspects at the recent opening of a new clinic run by the New Apostolic Church in Zambia.

An emergency department, a maternity ward, and much more is being offered by the new medical centre, that the New Apostolic Church Zambia inaugurated recently in Mukushi District in Central Province. The Graceland Chisanga Mission was established as a centre of excellence and focuses on three areas: evangelizing, community service, and sustenance.

The clinic was officially inaugurated by Zambia’s vice president, Mrs Inonge Mutukwa Wina. The politician has been engaged in the cause of women’s rights since the 1970s. In 2001 she was elected as a member of parliament and has since then held a number of ministerial posts. In January 2015 she was appointed Vice President. At the dedication of the Graceland Chisanga Mission she thanked the Church for its exceptional charitable commitment.

From Henwood Foundation to NACRO

The empowerment of women is one of the goals that the hosting organization, the New Apostolic Relief Organization (NACRO), has committed itself to. Until recently this relief and developmental organization of the New Apostolic Church Zambia operated under the name “Henwood Foundation”. This name goes back to the founding father of the New Apostolic Church in Zambia: Apostle George Mkandawire Henwood.

The name, however, did not always prove to be helpful. The lack of direct identification with the New Apostolic Church was felt especially when it came to canvassing for donations and finding sponsors. That is why the board of directors decided in May 2014 already to rename the charity.

Mission, activities, and partners

NACRO envisages a socially and economically equitable, free thinking, and self-sufficient community. This is NACRO’s vision and part of its strategic plan. To implement this in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, the relief organization is involved in such fields as sustainable agriculture, health and education infrastructure development, water and sanitation, nutrition, empowerment of women, home-based care, and AIDS prevention.

In realizing their goals, NACRO works with a number of partners such as the New Apostolic Church International, the District Apostle Area of Charles Ndandula, and the German charity NAK-karitativ. It also collaborates with, for example, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as well as The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Advisory committees on all levels

NACRO’s organizational concept relies on specialist advisers: from satellite committees in the District Elder areas via regional and country committees to the general council that is comprised of several members from across the organization.

NACRO is governed by the board of directors, whose nine members are appointed by the District Apostle’s office after consultation with the Apostles of his working area. While all strategic decisions are made at this level, the day-to-day running of things is taken care of by the -called secretariat: the executive director is assisted by a programme manager, a finance officer, two country coordinators (one each in Malawi and Zimbabwe), and three accounts assistants, one in each country.

Projects that are supported

The annual report of 2014 shows what kind of projects and programmes are supported. The report was still published under the name Henwood Foundation. The charity supported more than 2,000 primary school children, 114 students received bursaries for colleges or universities, and 1,700 AIDS orphans received financial support. In addition, the charity invested in school buildings, both state-run and Church-operated.

An additional focus in 2014 was the initial funding of projects to empower people in rural areas to achieve economic independence. Small scale farmers were supported, helping them to raise chickens and goats and grow vegetables. Forty beneficiaries were trained in making quality sausages. These offers are directed primarily at women. They make up the majority of small scale farms and are responsible for their families’ livelihood.

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