“The role of the pastors to disseminate information on Corona virus disease is of great importance as the community listens to pastors more carefully, compared to other people’s voices...”
(Wani Justin Francis, Education Coordinator, Diocese of Yei)
Church is at the center of responding to immediate needs on the ground in Yei. For the C-19 task force, developed by Bishop Hilary and his team, this has also meant collaboration with other groups with similar aims and complimentary skills. This ‘all in this together’ attitude demonstrates a church, not seeking to be the center of news grabbing achievement, but rather being able to gather together key players to better serve the central needs of the community.
Along with medical professionals from Martha Clinic, and workers from two local development organizations the Yei Diocesan C-19 task force trained 35 pastors from Nyori, Angebi, Yei, Mongo and Longamere, on preventing the spread of the virus. The programme focused on practical issues; how to incorporate C-19 hygiene precautions into day to day life and how to disseminate the message. But pastors were also facilitated in discussion of how to support their parishioners to make necessary changes and how to face the presenting challenges.
Hand washing containers were provided for the pastors to take back to their areas and some of the pastors who attended the training programme were interviewed on the local radio, so that their new knowledge was passed on to a wider audience.
Whilst this training was supported, in part, by the CMS Ireland Covid-19 response there are 25 pastors from other areas who were not able to receive the training. When the hand washing containers go back with the pastors who did receive them, they will not be enough for the whole community. There is much still to be done by the church in Yei and the church around the world.
Let us keep up the sense of being ‘all in this together’ and continue to collaborate with each other, to support the global church response to the global pandemic.
Bishop Hilary sends his thanks to those whose financial support enabled the training to reach over half of the pastors targeted. He has been equally thankful for other support sent to directly assist Pastors with essential household items during lockdown. Thank you for being part of the global church response to C-19.