The pilgrimage continues albeit in unprecedented times

As we are in unprecedented times of isolation, social and physical distancing in each of our countries we have remained committed to staying in touch and connected to our dialogue partners through well established Whatsapp groups. It is important that we stay connected as this could be a very lonely and uncertain time for so many. We have also revisited our work plan together with our partners in order to ensure that dialogue partners have the resources to remain connected with us during this time. We are blessed and appreciative to have supporters of our work that are accommodating to these uncertain times.

GIN and UKZN partner co-develop TOT for Hearts Set on Pilgrimage

At the end of 2019 GIN partnered with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the Ujamaa Centre in order to host a workshop on developing a Hearts Set on Pilgrimage (HSoP) Training of Trainers’ (TOT) manual. With the increase in a need for dialogue partners in various countries there has been a call for GIN to expand to include additional facilitators as well as increase the rate of implementation of HSoP retreats.

We brought together a group of individuals which included dialogue partners from Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Mozambique. Scholars from South Africa and Zimbabwe who are students and staff at UKZN joined us in order to assist with an academic lens. Results that emerged from this week long workshop included the formation of an ongoing working group that has been working on completing the TOT HSoP manual which will now be used to train future facilitators for the HSoP retreats. We look forward to updating you on the progress on this in our next newsletter.

Dialogue partners call for capacity building

GIN was able to set aside three small grants to support dialogue partners in Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia through the generosity of COC. Each of the small grants were awarded on the basis of the need for further capacity building and support for current dialogue partners in these countries. The grants were managed by anchor organisations that have been working closely with the GIN Secretariat in order to hold space for dialogue partners in each of their countries.

Due to the success, for the most part, of these small grants, GIN is looking for further support for dialogue partners in each of the implementing countries. If you are interested in assisting and finding out the needs of our dialogue partners please send an email to Pierre at pierre@gin-ssogie.org Your support and interest is highly appreciated.

Christian Councils look to LGBTIQ+ communities for capacity building

It is not very often that you hear that LGBTIQ+ communities are educating or providing capacity building to religious organisations. In this case, it is true. As part of the Religious Dialogue Partners’ programme and in collaboration with FOCCISA Health and Gender Justice Network (FHGJN) and The Norwegian Organisation for Sexual and Gender Minorities (FRI), GIN secretariat was invited together with HSoP facilitators from Botswana and Mozambique to kindly offer expertise in providing capacity building to several Christian Council coordinators. The meeting was held in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa in the first week of March.

The engagement was robust and fruitful. A number of the coordinators who attended shared how valuable this process was for each of them and that they believe further gatherings like this should be facilitated more regularly. Due to this Lebohang Matela who is the coordinator for the FHGJN is working with us to set up an online webinar that will provide support for Christian Council Coordinators. If you believe that your organisation or you as as an individual have valuable and helpful resources that will assist with this process, please do reach out to Pierre to find out how you could possibly assist.