In Swaziland, the ELCA engages in ministry ecumenically. Lutheran churches have a long tradition of working together in mission. This ecumenical collaboration means:
- less duplication of effort and costs
- more access to operational, on-the-ground expertise
- access to places where there are few or no Lutherans
- stronger, more effective ministry
In Swaziland, the ELCA works with the Lutheran World Federation.The Lutheran World Federation
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), a global communion of 140 churches (including the ELCA) and 68 million people that is grounded in a common Lutheran faith. The LWF provides space for Lutherans from around the world to share joys, challenges, and expertise as they seek the healing of the world. ELCA World Hunger funds help support the Department for World Service (DWS), the LWF's relief and development arm, and the Department for Mission and Development (DMD), which focuses on holistic ministries through which the church participates in God's mission to all creation.
Swaziland is a country where the divide between privileged and poor is large and fortified. Two-thirds of the population, concentrated in rural areas where there is a high exposure to water-borne diseases, lives below the poverty line. About one-third of public health expenditures provide primary and preventative care for the poor, with two-thirds allocated to curative medical services mainly for the privileged. The illiteracy rate is 80 percent, and about 40 percent of the population is HIV infected. Recurrent drought makes the daily struggle for survival even more tenuous. The number of orphans and children-headed households is increasing at an alarming rate.
LDS Swaziland is an LWF/DWS associate program, carrying full responsibility for governance and management.
The program focuses in the following areas:
Capacity Building, training and empowering with self-development skills to promote sustainable development.
Community Development, building awareness of the causes of problems faced by communities, conducting skills workshops, and working with them to find sustainable solutions.
Environmental Awareness, networking with other NGOs, building awareness of environmental degradation, regenerating pastures and planting crops to minimize soil erosion.
Agricultural Production, assisting farmers to maximize productivity of available land with vegetables and small animals for improved yield and surplus for sale, and to use appropriate technology and farming practices, for example, drought-tolerant crops.
Disaster Preparedness, encouraging communities to develop their coping mechanisms in line with improved agricultural production and community development.
Gender, promoting awareness of the rights of women and children, and women's participation in leadership and decision-making in all program activities.
HIV/AIDS, working and networking to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS.
For up-to-date information on Swaziland, type “Swaziland” into an online search engine or visit: