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Welcome to 2022

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2022. The team at ACT Ubumbano is looking forward to journeying with you as we continue to be in solidarity with those who fight to defend their dignity. This year will see a continued focus of support to community action. By bringing together activists from different communities, we hope that the joint reflection on and analysis of our practice will lead to greater solidarity among people, and action that brings change. We will also be connecting with partners in the faith sector and beyond to amplify the voice of those communities we serve. Through our own practice of “action – reflection – action”, ACT Ubumbano hopes to contribute to changing mindsets, to breaking old habits and practices that don’t emancipate people, and to finding new paths to justice and dignity. We will carry on making the path as we walk it, and hope that you can walk with us in what promises to be an eventful year.

Consultation on Social Protection and the Social Contract

Act Church of Sweden and the Lutheran World Federation invite you to an Ecumenical Consultation on Social Contract on February 3, 2022 from 15:00 to 16:30 Geneva time. The consultation will explore the following: Social contract, the link of trust between citizens and government, is fundamental in the development of peaceful and fair societies. What nurtures (or inhibits) the development of social contracts? And how can churches facilitate the growth of these?

Click here to register

Masithethe – Let’s Talk

ACT Ubumbano, in collaboration with the Faith To Action Network and Brot für die Welt, will partner with faith-based and youth organisations to hold inter-generational dialogues on sexual and reproductive health and rights. With financial support from GIZ, this project will bring faith leaders and young people in their communities and congregations together to talk about the issues that affect young people and faith communities, and will challenge behaviours and practices that undermine the dignity and rights of people in Southern Africa. The Masithethe Initiative is a call to dialogue, reflection and action, and will be rolled out in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Meet the Team

The work of ACT Ubumbano is supported on a voluntary basis by dedicated and skilled individuals on our Board. This is the first of the introductions, and will be repeated in our coming newsletters.  

Janet Zhou

Board Secretary

Janet is a human rights defender with a strong commitment to citizen-led initiatives that reclaim community power and agency. As Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development, and as General Secretary of the Southern African Peoples’ Solidarity Network, Janet is deeply involved with social movements and community-driven work on economic justice. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations.

Helga Jansen-Daugbjerg

With a deep connection to and involvement with workers’ struggles, Helga has infused those experiences into her work with young people. Through her work in education, she has developed programmes that promote creative thinking and innovate mindsets to nurture young people’s capability to traverse their complex emotional and psychological landscapes. She holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies, and is a freelance development consultant.

Partner Profile


Nancholi Youth Organisation (NAYO)


Nancholi is a small rural district nestled in the hills surrounding the city of Blantyre, the second-largest city in Malawi. Nancholi is bursting with bustling markets, local schools, and church choirs singing; the rejoicing spirit of the local people is infectious. But dig below the surface and you will find the evidence of the problems challenging this community. Health care, education, and gender equality are huge issues throughout Malawi, particularly in rural areas such as Nancholi.

Having experienced these challenges in their own lives, in 2004 four local youths formed Nancholi Youth Organisation (NAYO), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) whose mission was to help those suffering from HIV/AIDS by providing social, nutritional, and educational support. 14 years on and NAYO’s mission, values and outreach have only grown, thanks to the dedication of their committed staff members, who work alongside overseas short-term volunteers from across the globe. No two days at the office are the same: from youth groups to sports training, to health care clinics to gender empowerment workshops, NAYO’s numerous projects continue to work towards fulfilling the needs of the surrounding community.
Nacholi has 5 pillars that it operates under and these are:
  • Under-five clinic – public health offering for children 5 years and under
  • Community based childcare centre
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Youth activities
  • Resource mobilization
ACT Ubumbano is supporting an initiative empowering girls with menstrual hygiene solutions in Malawi. Click here to watch a short video, and visit NAYO's website here.

Ubumbano Voice

The stories below are written by activists and organisers working in communities across the region. Click on the links to read the stories from the Ubumbano Voice website, or download the Ubumbano Voice App from Google Play store for these stories and more.

A SEJA’s view on the social and economic outlook for 2021

First and foremost the year 2021 has been a pain for the ordinary Zimbabwean with the majority just getting by. The outlook has been a painful year, the economy has been deteriorating... Read more

Water vendors cash in on desperate residents

Water challenges in the Glen View suburb of the capital city Harare has witnessed the emergence of water vendors who are selling water to residents... Read more

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