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The Mothers’ Union is an integral part of the Anglican Church in Gambella, and is actively engaged in literacy programs, church activities, practical help, prayer and visitations to the sick.
In the Gambella region, the literacy rate for women is not more than 20%. The rate of school attendance, especially for girls, is low, and many women have not had the opportunity to learn to read and write. The Mothers’ Union Literacy Program in this area, started in 2011, has consistently grown, now serving on average two groups of twenty to forty adults in every Anuak and Nuer Mission centre, with plans to expand to the Opo, Dinka and Mabaan. Teachers are trained at the Gambella Anglican Centre, and then go out to teach women in the villages.
In 2013, the Mothers’ Union leaders started a training program to address four challenges that they have identified; health, poverty, inter-tribal tension and spirituality. In order to address these challenges, the Mothers’ Union will provide theological and practical skills to women across 70 villages. This will be done through a ‘train-the-trainer’ program, which will train 3,000 women and empower them to affect change in their own communities.
“We can build up our communities as we build up our women” (Rev Isaac Momma, Sherkole Refugee Camp Mission Centre)
The Mothers Union is now very active in educating other women on how to combat the major killers of children in their area: diarrhea and malaria. Credit for this goes to Dr. Wendy LeMarquand, who dedicated her time to teaching the women in the Mothers Union.
During the Bishop’s visit in October 2017, a representative from the Mothers Union stood in the middle of the assembly and shared her experience. “We are now able to save our children from the major killers in the community, diarrhea and malaria,” she said. “Dr. Wendy taught us how to treat diarrhea in a very simple way. We are now able to prepare oral rehydration fluid in our homes. We were able to save our children, and the news of our success spread throughout the area. Now many women don’t go to the witch doctor, and instead they seek our help and advice.”
The Head of the Mother’s Union