The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

Empowerment Ministry in Action

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Empowerment Ministry in Action - Report of ZOE Trip

presentation at Adult Forum by
Jane Fellows
Congregation member
October 22, 2017

Helping children to
help themselves in

map of southern Africa

Need for the
photo of seated child

  • Orphans are shunned by their community including communities of faith
  • Their parents may be dead or disabled and they are trying to raise younger family members
  • They are hungry and may go without food for 2-3 days
  • They suffer beatings and abuse

photo of group of children

  • Zoe began to employ an empowerment model 10 years ago in Zimbabwe
  • They are now in 5 African countries and India and Guatemala serving 33,000 orphans and their families
  • With more financial support, they could doubel the number served

ZOE Process
photo of smiling child

  • Social workers are employed
  • These are young people from the communities they serve who have college degrees in social work
  • They work in the communities to gain trust of community leaders and try to overcome a natural suspicion of such programs

ZOE staff and
travel group

photo of 15 adults

Barbara - a
woman with a
big heart and
firm hand

photo of Barbara and 3 others

Norene -
for 3 years
before getting
a paid position

photo of Norene with orphan

Chico - goes to
the local pool
hall and school
to engage
members and
earn their trust

photo of Chico with three others

Evans - teaches
and mentors
the younger
staff members

photo of Evans

Dennis - has a
passion for
work with
children, sees
their potential
in the face of
often dire

photo of Dennis with student

Milton - relates
well to the
ZOE kids with
his youthful
fun loving

photo of three others with Milton

First year
photo of corn on drying rack

  • Identification and interview of orphans for the program
  • Groups are formed and issues of health and food insecurity are addressed
  • Community mentor selected
  • Christmas party

Dream chart

  1. What makes me
  2. What makes me
  3. What I don't like.
  4. What I want.
  5. How can I make
    my dreams a reality?
photo of a dream chart

A common
need included
on the dream
charts is to
have a birth

photo of a teenager holding his birth certificate

food insecurity
photo of dried corn

  • Individual and family groups receive corn seed and fertilizer
  • They are taught how to plant and care for their corn crop
  • All reported tripling or quadrupling their previous crops allowing them to begin eating every day

Second year
photo of people working with dried corn stalks

  • Once food insecurity is resolved, instruction in business practices and bookkeeping begins
  • Meticulous record keeping is required
  • $150 grants are given for individual businesses

photo of notes taken

another photo of notes taken


  • Raising chickens
  • Planting a community nutrition garden and selling produce
  • Small community store
  • Sewing and selling garments
  • Raising livestock

Raising goats

photo of teenagers with four goats


photo of teenager in his garden with Jand and Carol

Selling school

photo of teenagers holding new uniforms

Layer or broiler

photo of teenager caring for his chickens


photo of teenager in his store

photo of toodlers with ball

  • Managing money
  • Getting younger children back to school
  • Taking classes in subjects such as child protection
  • Health and Nutrition

Third year
photo of people in front of structure with thatched roof

  • Adding skills to make money, manage businesses
  • Group work to identify and begin a sustainable business
  • $500 grant for these businesses
  • Hiring newly identified orphans and others in the community


  • Large community garden managed by several family groups
  • Selling clothing, grocery items, flea market space
  • Raising goats, cows, chickens


photo of people in garden

Our Taguta
group sells
uniforms to

photo of teenagers holding uniforms

A local
makes them
for $4 and they
are sold for $8

photo of teenagers holding uniforms

Completion of
photo of teenager squatting

  • Completion of progeram with graduation ceremony
  • Continued oversight from social workers
  • Business mentors available for help
  • Help with housing and care of families

Graduates of
ZOE one year
ago selling
goods at
market in

photo of teenagers holding brooms and electronics

Our group -
Taguta Dora

photo of group

Duke Chapelle!

photo of arrival

Home visits

photo of some round huts with thatched roofs

photo of corn drying
photo of a brick residence

photo of leashed goats
photo of chickens

photo of child in entry
photo of two people at entry

Visits from
ZOE Hope
photo of group around a visitor

  • Very important part of the program
  • Increases productivity of the group
  • Effect on the community
  • Consider budgeting for scholarship for Congregation members

In spite of
adversity ...

photo of group around a pile of cornmeal

Need for
in travel

photos of food

La Rochelle

photos of room for rent

Trip cost

  • Trip costs
    • Flights $1,000-$2,200
    • In country costs $1,090
    • Visa $30
    • Vaccinations
    • Tips and Souvenirs

Need for support

  • Infrastructure is in place for twice as many children
  • Support ($$) is all that is needed
photos of another group

Possible ways to increase our support

  • Commitment is $8,000 for three years
  • Gather eight friends and sponsor a group
  • Support Alternative Gift Market

Vacation time -
Africa is an
amazing place
to visit!

photo of sunset along a lakeshore

Victoria Falls

photo of a rainbow in front of Victoria Falls

photo of top of Victoria Falls
photo of a rainbow in front of distant Victoria Falls
photo of Victoria Falls

National Park

photo of a _ grazing

photo of a giraffe
photo of giraffes

photo of a rhino
photo of rhinos

photo of a elephant
photo of elephants

photo of a lion cub
photo of lions

photo of toilet tent
photo of camp


photos of a human silhouette in front of a rainbow, and of swinging on a vine