African Pastors' Basket

At the recent International Mission Developers (MD) Conference,  Kalengule Kaoma (KK), representing eastern and western parts of Africa, talked about working with youth camps and with youth and children’s ministries to identify potential new pastoral leaders. Kalengule also told about his Pastor’s Basket project where he gives volunteer or partially compensated pastors seed money to invest in helping sustain their families. Some grow vegetables, others bake bread or other products to sell. KK also names the training, education and development of African pastors as his number one need across the vast continent.

John McLean (MD) interviewed  Kalengule Kaoma after the conference:

JMc: Tell us about the Pastors' Basket Project you have implemented?

KK: We have started the Pastor’s Basket Project to help our volunteer pastors. Some are very poor, and their church is unable to pay them anything. So we give them a small amount of money to invest – some have invested it in growing vegetables, for example. As they draw an income from their investment projects, they then repay the money they were given and it is passed on to others who need it.

JMc: So it’s a form of micro-finance for volunteer pastors in Africa?

KK: Yes, that’s exactly what it is.

JMc: Delightful to chat with you, as always.

KK: Please ask the Australian brethren to continue to pray for us, for the Pastor’s Basket Project, and for the education and development of our young and current leaders. And thank the Australian churches for their generous support of projects and needs in our part of the world.

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The African Pastors' basket initiative was introduced at our recent National Conference at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, participants donated $1463.10 towards the initiative. Over time we hope to continue to raise funds to assist Kalengule Kaoma in this project, supporting the African volunteer pastors and their communities.

Update June 27th, 2019

Report on Congregation Financial Empowerment and Empower A Life Programs.

  1. Congregation Financial Empowerment Program.
    1. First of all GCI Africa Superintendents Office would like to express very deep appreciation for the support rendered by the GCI Australia Pastors Basket- both monetary and spiritual. The prayers being given have been felt as the program started off in its first year. Being launched in May 2018, this report is covering operations and activities in the last 12 months.
    2. Austrailia Pastor’s Basket gave monetary support for the program to facilitate training and financing of small income generating projects at congregational level.
    3. We are happy to report that all 5 congregations in Lusaka received the Small Business Management Training required to be able to receive the funding for the Business Plans submitted by each congregation. 3 out of 5 of the GCIZ outlying congregations have received the training. 2 more remain to go through the SBMT program.
    4. In order for the funding to be released to a congregation, certain conditions have been required in line with the ASO GCI Africa vision of a “Healthy, self sustaining GCI Africa Church”. Each congregation was required to submit 10 items including their Congregational Strategic Plan, Congregation Annual Calendar, Congregation Annual Budget, Congregation Record Keeping system, as well as the Business Plan for which they were to use the funding.
    5. This slowed down things a little as it took some congregations some time to put these requirements together. Another requirement was the opening of a business account in which the Income generating project proceeds would be kept, separate from the regular church operations account. Congregations were informed that the CFEP funds would be deposited in the IGP account in compliance with local tax requirements.
    6. By January 2019 the first congregation received its funding. GCIZ Kapete congregation received funding to start a small community school. The school started operation in January with a registration of 50+ students. The congregation Leadership team oversees the school operations. They employed 2 teachers who are handling preschool students up to 3rd grade. The school is now in its 2nd term.
    7. Some of the challenges faced by the school is being set in a rural area. Parents were initially asked to pay the equivalent of US$5 per month. Being in an agrarian setting parents have found cash a very big challenge to come across when the rains have not been sufficient for a good harvest. So the School Administration offered parents the opportunity to pay school fees with labor instead of cash. This was received with great enthusiasm. The school administration has been given a contract to make burnt bricks for building projects in the area. This contract will raise close to $2,000 for the school. So the school administration is enlisting all parents as the source of labor for the burnt brick production. This amount of money will enable the school to pay the teachers, buy school equipment and start to build a school block as they are currently meeting on the GCIZ Kapete Congregation Worship hall. They also plan to invest in a farm project using the same labor from the parents to create another sustainable project to generate income for the school and more importantly for the congregation to accomplish its strategic plan. The community has received this development with great enthusiasm as the school is catering for quite a large community. Parents are happy that their children do not have to travel large distances anymore to reach the nearest school. Parents are relieved to pay school fees with their labor and not being bound by cash payments. We look forward to seeing how this arrangement is going to work out. It looks very promising. Photos are attached as production of burnt bricks for clients has already started.
    8. The second congregation in Lusaka which has managed to fulfill the requirements is the GCIZ Chawama congregation. We are waiting for them to open their IGP account to transfer funds so that they can start their project.
    9. The other congregations are still in the process of putting the requirements together. The general feedback for the requirements is that is has helped congregations put some order in the way they operate. Having to put a Strategic Plan helped them have a focus and a sense of direction. It made them be very clear why they are starting an IGP. Having a congregation budget has not been a priority to some congregations, now they have seen the need and have greatly appreciated having to put their congregation administration in order.
    10. In April 2019, the Team of Regional Directors Wives met at the West Africa Leadership Conference to evaluate the progress on the CFEP. It was agreed that training in the next phase of the program should commence and not be delayed by the Pilot Phase in Zambia. So as the remaining congregations in Zambia were putting their requirements together, training started in Liberia for West Africa. Training for South Africa and East Africa are being planned for August and September. The Regional Director’s Wives are to identify one congregation to work with as a start, one that she can easily supervise and support as it starts its project. Progress will be evaluated in November 2019. Pictures of Liberia congregational Leadership training are attached.
  2. Empower A Life Program
    1. Once again GCI Africa Superintendents Office expresses deep appreciation for support rendered by GCI Austrailia Pastor’s Basket. Even more appreciation comes from the lives that have been impacted and empowered.
    2. July 2018 funds were sent to cover two students enrolled in the Interior Decorating and Interior Design Courses for a year. It was then reworked that the funding covered four students. This has been successful as these four students are completing their course this August.
    3. One of the students, Bertha Lungu, is a young single mother of 2. She was in a terrible situation when she started, not even able to take care of her 2 young children. She was in a state of depression and hopelessness. She is now very competent in her Interior Decorating skills. Being able to sew a large range of items. She is learning to be an Interior Designer and plans to set up a small Interior Design service when she completes in August.
    4. Another student is a Pastor’s Wife, Zungila Bowa.She is doing the same program and plans to supplement her husband’s income with the skills she is acquiring. She too completes in August.
    5. Another student completing in the August in take is Mutale Kambafwile. Though she started a little later in the program, she has been determined to catch up with the others.
    6. Some pictures are attached of the students in class. Others may be seen on the Facebook page of the school they are enrolled in Alumbwe School of Interior Design and Creative Arts.
    7. Apart from the Interior Design and Decorating skill acquired, they will acquire computer skills and small business management training.
    8. The new intake starts in July2019. Funding for another 4 – 6students would be greatly appreciated. 2 orphans have applied for Tailoring and design program, another pastor’s wife has applied for Tailoring and Design, a single mother of 5 has applied for Catering skills and we have young man who has applied for Computer skills. He is planning to set up a Business Center where he will be providing computer services.
    9. We are looking forward to seeing these lives empowered to take care of themselves and their families. Some are coming from extremely hopeless situations. They have felt extremely appreciative of being given an opportunity to make something of their lives.
    10. Thank you so much GCI Austrailia Pastor’s Basket.

Update November 28, 2018

We started the CFEP pilot program with the Lusaka based GCI Zambia congregations.   We started the training in July [2018] with the youths from GCI Zambia Lilanda Youth Church.

The syllabus being followed comes from the International Labor Organization Small Business Management Training program, designed specifically for the African environment.

It is an excellent program made up of six simple modules which can be adequately tackled a module a day, so it would normally take six days to complete the program.

This training is to equip the congregations in successfully managing the small business projects they are embarking on.

The training for all 5 congregations has now been completed.  Each congregation has been required to fulfill certain conditions and have been very cooperative in doing so.

The following are the business projects for each congregation:
1. Central congregation - Grocery shop
2. Chawama congregation- Fish and Chips shop
3. Chongwe congregation- Metal Fabrication shop
4. Kapete congregation- Pre school
5. Lilanda Youth Church- grocery store.

They have received the training with great excitement and positiveness. They are starting their projects with great enthusiasm.

We will have ongoing supervision and support for the next 12 months. We will have refresher training after 6 months. They are good to go.

Thank you so much for your support.  We will continue to keep you updated.

We are now ready to commence with phase 2 of the pilot program. This is the 5 congregations in the outlying areas.   This one will require traveling outside Lusaka to the various congregations around Zambia.

We are all set to start the preparations and training for the following congregations:
1. Mpika Congregation, Northern Zambia
2. Kabompo congregation, Northern West Zambia
3. Kitwe Congregation, Copperbelt
4. Kaoma, Western Zambia
5. Mongu, Western Zambia.

These training sessions will coincide and facilitate pastoral visits to these areas which will be a double benefit.   As these congregations start their projects, they agree to give 10% of their profits back to the fund so that funds can be raised to assist the next country.

We have already identified the next country to assist congregations to become financially empowered. We hope by the middle of 2019 the current recipients will start putting back into the fund.

Once again great appreciation continues to be expressed as congregations gain hope in being financially empowered to carry out their church obligations and activities including being able to take care of their local Pastors. 

We remind them that the greatest appreciation will be expressed through their dedication and commitment to the projects.

God bless and greetings to our church family in Australia. Regards Nsama Kaoma