Ten (10) community mobilizers drawn from five (5) local Churches were selected and given a two day training on COVID-19, WASH and Community Transformation.
In addition to the COVID-19 and WASH training, other topics on healing and community transformation like Seven Steps to Crisis Alleviation and Excellence in Transformation were also included. These seven steps in Crisis Alleviation included:
A=Affiliation: Reconnecting broken relationships
C = Categorization: Classifying people according to needs
D = Discernment: Determining the truth behind the situation
E = Employment/exchanges that build dignity
F = Freedom from unjust systems
G = God: Ultimately Christ is the answer to all our problems.
The WASH training included practical and low-cost interventions such as Tippy Taps—a homemade hands-free handwashing station.
Church leaders also learned how to identify the most vulnerable members of their church and community for a distribution of food and non-food items, sponsored by American Friends Service Committee. The developed a plan for food distribution that included beneficiary selection criteria such as widows, orphans, disabled, and other vulnerable populations.
Each participating church was given a hands-free commercial handwashing station for their congregation and banners on COVID-19 prevention.
Pastor Carlos Remijo Testimony:
I learned a lot. One of the things I learned is linking the Bible with issues of community transformation and disease prevention in a practical way. How to be a leader, love, how to solve problems, how to give trauma counseling, how people to live for God. Pastor Angelo and I will go to our Lango community and train more people. The facilitators were also well versed with their Bible knowledge.
I learned about Coronavirus in a deep and vast way. Especially myths about coronavirus and how to address them. We still have people in our community who don’t believe in existence of Coronavirus. I am really grateful to ACROSS for inviting us to this very important training. My community and ACROSS will continue to work in partnership
Pastor Yagub Akouch: Evangelical Presbyterian Church
I benefited a lot from the training especially about Coronavirus. There were things I did not know about how the virus is transmitted and how it can be prevented. I learned that the Church can do a lot and play a role in giving awareness to people on COVID-19. I will return to my Church and give the training and awareness to my Congregation.
I am a widow with no one to care for me. My elder son also died few years ago and I have been left alone in the world. I am grateful that God cares. I am thankful to ACROSS for this support and so happy for this help that has come timely in time of need. God bless ACROSS and all those working in ACROSS.
I am a widow living alone with no one providing for me, depending most of the time on support of relatives. But I know God is there for me. The heavy rains that came recently brought flooding to our area as we live near the river, and my house collapsed. With no one providing for me, I went for many days without food. Today I saw that God has provided. My thanks first to God and then to ACROSS for this provision.
This Church and Community Engagement project was a short-term intervention in partnership with American Friends Service Committee and managed by the ACROSS Transformational Leadership Team.