Tools for Self Reliance are a UK based charity working to help relieve poverty in Africa. They work with local organisations to bring about effective and sustainable change.
If you live in the Southampton/New Forest area and would like more information on volunteering, please get in touch.
Tools for Self Reliance was started in 1979 by a handful of dedicated volunteers. Disillusioned by their experiences of development projects in Africa and the failure of overseas development assistance at that time to trickle down to the grassroots, our founders took it upon themselves to work with small-scale community based groups and at the same time lobby major institutional donors and governments to adopt a more people-centered approach to development assistance.
The Revd Prof. Allan Aubrey Boesak, one of South Africa’s leading anti-apartheid campaigners, Professor of Black Liberation Theology and Ethics, University of Pretoria, and President, The Sankofa Institute for Pan African Leadership and Prophetic Ministry, has endorsed the Convivencia Declaration. In his letter to the Conveners he wrote,
I think this is an excellent, and absolutely necessary initiative at a time when the Israeli state is more violently and criminally desperate than ever before, but simultaneously when solidarity with and support for the Palestinian cause seem to finding new allies, despite, and perhaps because of the persistent assaults on Palestinians and their allies within and without the Jewish community.
Yes, you are right. We have long understood that the religious and biblical justification claimed by apartheid constituted a denial and perversion of the most basic tenets for faith and should be declared a heresy. In 1982 the world church joined us and it turned out to be one of the most efficacious actions taken against apartheid. Because we recognise such frightening similarities in the Israeli apartheid State and its pernicious ideologies and actions, I have been arguing for some time now that Christians, at least, should think of the support of Christian, Evangelical, Zionist biblical and theological justifications in the same way. I think this is an important part of the battle and a crucial avenue to pursue. In the World Communion of Reformed Churches we are working towards the same goal.
The Convivencia Alliance also recalls for me the United Democratic Front, the political movement that brought our people together across those artificial barriers of race, religion, colour, culture, and class and that was so successful in its mobilization of people in the struggle for freedom and justice in South Africa, and whose political agenda always included Palestine.Anyway, this is my longwinded way of affirming your recollection of our role in declaring apartheid a heresy, a perversion of the gospel and a blasphemy. I continue to argue that the ability to take a stand in the anti-apartheid struggle in those final stages of the 1980s was the litmus test of our spiritual and political integrity. Such is the case today with the cause of Palestinian justice. So I think that the Convivencia Alliance will be a powerful instrument to put that choice before people at this time. It will be an honour to join others in making a contribution to this worthy cause. Warmest greetings and God’s richest blessings upon you and the important work you are doing, Allan Boesak
Tom Hewitt writes, I am so excited to share with you our exclusive new film with world surfing legend Jordy Smith and O’Neill. Both Jordy and O’Neill have been supporting us for a number of years and we are so grateful to them for raising awareness of our vital work and directly helping us. This is the first in a series of fundraising and awareness activities together this year and I am delighted to share it with you. Enjoy!”
We work together with a local organisation in an enormous slum to the west of Cairo. Its goal is to enable vulnerable girls to go to school and learn to stand up for themselves. We have chosen a target group of 200 such girls because that is what we are able to cope with.
These girls largely live on the streets, where they beg or try to sell various trinkets. But they need to go to school, and we help with this. Our various projects encourage these girls to have a more positive self-image and to set higher goals for themselves in life. We also provide various sorts of training that will enable them to find better work later on.
We are delighted to learn of the appointment of a new Principal at Kagera Christian Theological College (KCTC) in Tanzania. The Revd Phocas Nshimirimana takes over the leadership from The Revd Canon Absalom Vyankende.
It is with sadness we share the news that Peter passed away late yesterday afternoon, 23 May 2020, following surgery for stomach cancer. His family wrote, “Although we are utterly bereft we rejoice in the knowledge that he is in the presence of his Lord and Saviour.”
Cyangugu is a small strategic frontier town in the south west of Rwanda on the border with The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the southern tip of Lake Kivu, contiguous with the Congolese town of Bukavu which is accessed by two bridges across the Ruzizi river.
Rik Mager is the director of the school. His wife, Caroline, coordinates the feeding programs in the Diocese because of malnutrition in this part of Rwanda. I asked Rik for an update on the program in the light of Covid-19.