ZOE is a distinctive three-year program, developed in Africa that empowers orphans and vulnerable children around the world to overcome extreme poverty, become fully self-reliant, and learn of God’s love for them. Active in Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Liberia, Guatemala and India, ZOE has approximately 28,000 children currently enrolled.
The Congregation at Duke Chapel has supported two groups of children through ZOE.
Partnered with Duke University Chapel, 2015-2017:
From 2015 - 2017, the Congregation is committed to supporting the Taguta “We Are Satisfied” Dora Working Group in Zimbabwe. This groups has 25 households and a total of 80 members. One of the biggest disadvantages orphans and vulnerable children face is isolation from peers and the larger community. Struggling on their own, the children lack moral support, access to community resources, and a network of people to help them progress and face challenges. ZOE provides connections, mentors, facilitators, and support.
From 2012-2014 the Congregation partnered with the Urumuri “Light” Working Group in Rwanda. In this group of children, there were 41 households and a total of 62 members. One of those households is headed by Alphonse, who cares for his younger brother and grandfather was well as himself. With ZOE’s help, Alphonse learned how to grow produce to provide a balanced diet and began a banana farm to provide a dependable source of income.
Translation Work in China
Steve and Mary Porter are friends of the congregation who have had meaningful work with SIL for a number of years. SIL has consultative status with the United Nations, and has been recognized by UNESCO for work in Asia. Steve and his colleagues translate the Good Book into minority languages in China and interact with various minority families and village leaders. He has also distributes some small battery-run devices which contain the entire Book in oral Chinese plus some Chinese hymns; this is helpful for those who prefer oral to written communication. Mary supports SIL families with their children’s educational needs and helped each of them write a Family Educational Plan. She trained her colleagues, international school teachers and students, and homeschool parents in different learning strategies. The Porters’ work is supported by the Congregation.