Welcome to the QAIG (Quaker Africa Interest Group) website.
As well as news of yearly gatherings, there are separate pages for the different regions of the African Continent.
Covid-19: What is happening on the ground? What can British F/friends do to help?
A brief report on the meeting of those involved in Quaker charities in Africa (and FWCC/QPSW/SAYM) is below. Most are in close touch with partners, and are seeking to understand and respond to the immediate needs: do have a look at the individual charity sections for information.
All charities are facing a likely fall in donations this year – so ongoing support is going to be vital and much appreciated.
There are currently several special appeals (details in the individual charity sections):
- Forward Africa – for food support for the families of bursary students in Rwanda
- Friends of Hlekweni – for food, sanitation and other support for Friends in Zimbabwe, and for the families of bursary students
- Friends of Monze – for water drums for hand-washing at rural health centres
- Quaker Congo Partnership – for hospitals, especially given the recent floods in Uvira, Democratic Republic of Congo
- The FWCC/FUM/Friends Church Africa Appeal for medical, humanitarian and spiritual support for F/friends in Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi in particular http://fwcc.world/fwcc-news/quakers-helping-quakers
Report of the QAIG charities group meeting, 23 April 2020
A dozen or so F/friends involved with Quaker and other charities working in Africa met by Zoom on 23 April, joined by colleagues from QPSW, FWCC and a Friend from South Africa. This was a Quaker Africa Interest Group initiative.
We have all been in touch with our partners in the various countries we work in – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, DR Congo, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda . We wanted to pool our knowledge of how things are on the ground particularly with those who are bearing the brunt of reinforced inequalities. What have been our individual charity responses? How can we best work together, let others in BYM know what is happening in other parts of the world family, and decide how best to channel support to particularly needy communities?
What did we hear? In several countries, food insecurity is the key issue plus inequitable technological access. Going to an internet café for a Zoom meeting is not an option in lockdown. Access to healthcare and vital medication is limited. We were reminded that many Africans are well used to handling crises, and that our partners there have strong networks and expertise. Most of us have switched our emphasis to providing immediate support via trusted routes.
Steve Kaim Caudle (Watford Meeting) commented: ‘it’s important to remain hopeful and focused on our charity’s beneficiaries’.
Quakers in the World Portal (QITW) is a website containing a wealth of information about what Quakers have done and are doing in the world, and why. African Friends have witnessed powerfully for peace and much else: helping to rebuild Rwanda and Burundi, working to eliminate apartheid, reconciling Kenyan communities, helping to enable free and fair elections, and much else. QITW is organised thematically (peace, human rights, education…) by the four FWCC sections (Africa, Europe & Middle East, Asia-West Pacific and the Americas and seeks to bring out common threads around the world and to tell inspiring stories.
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Email webmaster: Colin Bartlett