Off to Zimbabwe

For the next week I will attend a meeting in
Zimbabwe. If possible I will blog from Harare and Old Mutare. If not, I’ll be
back online when I return.

The General Commission on Communication, the board of directors of United Methodist Communications, is meeting in Harare and Old Mutare, Zimbabwe this week. In addition to taking care of policy and planning related to communications, the commissioners will also engage in volunteer experiences in and around Old Mutare, which is home to Africa University southeast of Harare. They will also visit families and individuals affected with AIDS to experience firsthand the influence of the disease on families in the area. Volunteers will work at an orphanage for children left homeless by loss of parents to HIV/AIDS.

Another group will train approximately forty Zimbabweans in communications skills on the campus of Africa University. The lack of communications infrastructure and skilled communicators results in poor communication across the church in Africa. Training people in newsletter preparation, writing and use of computers is necessary, along with providing tools to enable communication. United Methodist Communications has a major initiative to provide technology and training for African communicators. The Commission will be providing volunteer support for this important effort.

On January 4 the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The People of The United Methodist Church, the United Nations Foundation and Sports Illustrated will launch Nothing But Nets at the NBA store on Fifth Ave. in Manhattan. The program to provide bed nets for children in malaria-infected areas was launched in The United Methodist Church before Christmas. The NBA chose the NBA store as the site of the NBA launch in conjunction with a game between the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets the evening of Jan. 4. Look for some new wrinkles to this exciting campaign.

I hope to blog from Zimbabwe, however, in the past it has been difficult due to bandwidth and the limits of time. In the meantime, Happy New Year!

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