In 2019 the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID) territory experienced unprecedented cyclones in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. These natural disasters not only wreaked havoc in the affected areas but also demonstrated that the Adventist leadership in the SID and its sub-organizations are not adequately prepared to mitigate such incidents.
The SID Youth Ministries department and Adventist Development and Relief Agency Africa (ADRA) intentionally collaborated to conduct a disaster management seminar to educate youth about preventing and mitigating disasters. This was an intense but educational and invaluable experience that was facilitated by ADRA Africa. Twenty-one delegates attended this seminar. They were equipped with the theoretical and practical aspects of disaster management. The meeting drew participants from Seychelles, Angola, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
The highlight of this seminar was the visit to the nearest informal settlement (Kameeldrift) by the delegates and the facilitators on 2 March 2020. Delegates were expected to put into practice all the principles that they were taught.
ADRA Africa Emergency Management Director, Hannah Ndungu emphasised on the need for young people in the SID to be proactive considering that the church members are more than the ADRA personnel. She said, “ADRA responded in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe and we realised that our capacity is not enough hence we decided to go into churches to equip the youths.”
Pastor Busi Khumalo (SID Youth Director) thanked ADRA Africa for coming up with such an initiative since we saw the increase of disasters in Southern Africa and the most vulnerable ones are children, women, and youth.
Speaking about the training, Pastor Jumara Netshifulane (ADRA South Africa Director said, “this will help us in terms of timeliness to disaster response since we have been trained to be teachers in our own right.” The participants were grateful to ADRA Africa for rolling out such a program that helps the candidates to be ambassadors of ADRA wherever they go.
By Busi Khumalo and Kudakwashe Chizhanje
Photo courtesy of: ADRA Africa Facebook Page