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Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

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The purpose of this project was to present a wholistic approach that would serve to empower the widows and orphans in the interfaith communities in City United Methodist Church in Harare, the Uniting Presbyterian Churches of Mabvuko and Mbare, and the African Apostolic Church of Johane Maranke in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, who have been impacted by HIV!AIDS. This project, denominated as “Resurrection Ministry” by the writer, focused on iaheritance as recognized under the customary processes in Zimbabwe, as one of the resources that can be utilized to empower the widows and orphans. Forty (40) women comprised Group A and twenty (20) youths, between the ages of twelve (12) and nineteen (19), represented Group B. Group A participated in a tn-dimensional strategy that consisted of questionnaires, group sessions/workshops and experiential activities. The group sessions/workshops operated on the principles of informed pedagogy whose aim is to convey information to the widows that will assist them in knowing how to acquire and manage the estates of their deceased spouses. Retired judiciaries educated the participants on easy-to-understand versions of the inheritance laws as well as the customary processes concerning beneficiaries of estates. The commonality that presented in these endeavors is how to take advantage of the existing customary and judicial resources that would accord the widows and orphans the opportunities to return and re-assert themselves as beloved and contributing members of the community. The youth group was divided into two groups: one group for girls and the other group for boys. Senior women from the interfaith communities trained adolescent girls in the following areas: responsible management of their individual lives, personal hygiene. child development, independence and continuing/completing educational endeavors. These areas of emphasis provided much needed information to adolescent girls who assume the mothering tasks of their younger siblings. In a similar manner, men of integrity in the various churches were appointed as mentors for the young boys. The men encouraged the boys in the Christian faith in weekly sessions. Each session integrated orthodoxy with orthopraxy. The mentors accompanied and transported the young men to sporting events and visitations to needy persons. These opportunities engendered a role-model system for the youth and foster male-to-male relationships of positivism between the senior men and the young men. The project proceeded from a fundamental hypothesis that surmised that the customary inheritance processes in the Zimbabwean culture can be dynamically employed to empower widows and orphans who have been adversely affected by HIV/AIDS in ways that allow them to experience dignity and worth in the community. All of the above-mentioned activities in the Resurrection Ministry project focused on instilling self-worth. confidence and a sense of’ belonging in the participants. The model of ministry documented in the project worked to provide the support. education, inlbrmation and assistance needed to assist widows and orphans in their navigation of their lives after the death of the principal breadwinners in the family.

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