Our losses and gains because of Covid-19. Network Conference Southern Africa - Germany

Datum: 08.05.2021
Uhrzeit: 10:00 - 15:30
Ort: online
ICS/iCal: Event speichern

We are a growing community of persons working in part-nership programs, be it between schools in SADC countries and Germany, universities, NGOs, church-based organiza-tions, municipalities, etc. In one way or another, we have all been active in solidarity work over many years.
The SADC region contains a lot of multifaceted, consequen-tial (colonial) histories that have shaped and are still shaping relations to this very day. In addition, people have experi-enced discrimination and exclusion during times of crisis, before and after national independence or during globaliza-tion. Bearing in mind that for the Germans among us, 8th May is an important date. It marks the end of WWII as sur-render or liberation – depending on the perspective which always has influenced our solidarity work. But the historical links from Germany to Southern Africa have weakened, the Anti-Apartheid movement which united many from East and West has been superseded by subsequent movements aiming to combat other evils in German society and beyond: rightwing nationalism, xenophobia, racism, Semitism, Zion-ism, etc.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of our activities, events and travels were cancelled. We have been forced to think out of the box, to explore new ways of expressing our commitment in order to strengthen and expand our activi-ties. The different ways in which we were affected by the pandemic sensitized us once again for issues which affect our lives economically, socially and politically irrespective of the country we live in.
As Solidarity Network, consisting of members from the SADC region and Germany, we want to hold our first SGSN conference in May - online, due to travel restrictions.
Our losses and gains because of Covid-19
On 8 May we want to create a space for discus-sions and get-together in order to reflect on the losses and the gains which Covid-19 has brought about for us, but above all for our partnerships. The conference offers a (first) possibility of estab-lishing contact and informal networking for indi-viduals and organizations who are involved in var-ious areas or partnerships or who promote the exchange of pupils and students.


Father Michael Lapsley, Anglican and social justice activist.

Ms Colleen Cunningham, Unity Women's Sub Desk Coordinator for the Moravian Women's Association in South Africa

Rev. Heike Bosien, Executive Director of Service for Mission, Ecumenism and Development (DiMOE) in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Württemberg, Germany


1. Healing of memories (Fr. Michael Lapsley, IHOM Institute for Healing of Memories)

This workshop will focus on healing the wounds of history. We will discuss together the relationship between healing and justice, moral and spiritual injuries, and the role of forgiveness and acknowledgment on the journey to healing.

2. Vaccination as a human right (Dieter Müller, Medico)

Solidarity is the magic word in this pandemic. In a never-ending stereotype, politicians, the World Bank, pharmaceutical companies and civil society alike call on, demand and expect it. A look at the global distribution of corona vaccines shows that global health policy is neither fair nor solidary.

Dieter Müller has been working at medico international since 1989, has been in charge of global health since 2019 and also works closely with the health policy networks Equinet and People’s Health Movement in Africa.

3. From food parcels to farming projects. A partnership project (Simone Knapp, KASA Ecumenical Service on Southern Africa, Eva Buckman, Moko-choirs and Thabang Mokoena, Lesedi Show Choir).

 It started as a partnership between choirs and the dream was to open an art centre in Ratanda, the township of Heidelberg/Gauteng. With the pandemic everything changed, and food became an issue. The project developed from donations from the Germans for food parcels to small food gardens in their backyards and ended with a farm which could be bought together. The gains out of pandemic are strength, solidarity and trust.

4. Universities as change makers (Dr. Bettina Schmidt and Dr. Moustafa Selim, WUS World University Service - #Networking@Abroad@atHome)

Scientists and academic institutions contributed in an unprecedented manner in providing vaccine. Unfortunately, students, who could not rely on financial assistance from parents or who lack necessary technical equipment and infrastructure, are the losers. The pandemic deepened the social divide with governments failing to respond adequately.

5. How do the churches operate during the pandemic and the lockdown?  (Rev. Gregson Erasmus, MCSA Moravian Church of Southern Africa)

From March 2020 the congregational life within the Moravian Church in SA, as globally, have changed, in so far that people speaks about a 'new normal'. Through the workshop we want to look at what are the gains and losses for the MCSA and how it lives in the 'new normal'. This will form the basis for our interaction and sharing.

6. Flying high again. Air travel during Covid-19 and beyond (Renate and Georg Meyer, Amakhosi Travel)

International travel has become complicated, if not even impossible, due to the pandemic. What needs to be considered when traveling under numerous restrictions during the pandemic? How could partnership groups, who rely on mutual visits, go about planning to meet again in future? These, and other questions you may have, will be discussed in the workshop

Presented by

Evangelical Mission in Solidarity Evangelische Mission in Solidarität e.V. (EMS) 
Ecumenical Service on Southern Africa Kirchliche Arbeitsstelle Südliches Afrika (KASA)
World University Service e. V. (WUS) 
Service for Mission, Ecumenism and Development Dienste für Mission, Ökumene und Entwicklung (DiMOE)