Mother's Union

 

The MU emblemIn every diocese one of the most striking features of church life is the Mothers Union.  It is very active, known for its strong ministry of prayer, pastoral visiting and evangelisation. Women have great pride in belonging to it, and encouraging each other in coping with home life and growing in the Christian faith. Mothers’ Union Sudan works with those of all faiths or none, and is committed to developing strong, harmonious communities where individuals and families work together to bring about transformation and positive change. Mothers’ Union members: approximately 2,000.

Mothers’ Union Literacy and Financial Education Programmes are making an enormous difference and have done so for the last 16 years! Where women have had no hope or opportunities to work, they are now starting businesses and sending their children to school. The programme provides an opportunity for thousands of women and men who missed out on an education to learn to read, write and count, save money and to start their own businesses.They have the opportunity to save their small salaries together and be encouraged, even when they can’t get to Church. 

Some typical MU women

Currently supported with a grant from Comic Relief, around 1,700 individuals directly benefited from the programme within Khartoum in the 18 months from August 2010 to the end of 2011. During 2012 many more joined the programme and are now actively taking part in literacy circles and savings group.

The Mothers’ Union Sudan Literacy Trainers note that there have been significant changes in the lives of those who are part of the programme, and also in the lives of their family members and neighbours. For example, they say that their learners are now able to count money with confidence and that many have opened their own bank account for the first time. 

Mothers’ Union Sudan regularly organises training events on topics including peace and reconciliation, leadership, health, and human rights. Members are also active in agricultural projects, animal husbandry, visiting the sick and those in prison. Members are also helping mothers take care of their families by organising education classes on handicrafts and income-generating activities such as making and selling jewellery.

MU women dancing in Sudan

As an example, Samira is the elected Mothers’ Union leader in the Diocese of Khartoum. She became literate in 2003, through a Mothers’ Union literacy circle. Samira shared that before “she felt like she was blind, it’s like my world has opened up”. Since then, she has improved her language skills with her husband’s help and enrolled herself into a local Bible School, where she achieved her diploma. She now volunteers with Mothers’ Union and is an articulate female leader. Alongside this she is running her own small business which supports her family.

Church leaders in the area were able to tell us that, “Since the literacy programme started a lot has been achieved, you can see many literate women in our communities and the Savings and Credits programme has enabled many women to become self-reliant, even contributing at Church. When we hold meetings, the women now participate, they have confidence and they are really becoming strong. When we conduct home visits, their lives look very different, in the past, their homes were sparse, and some even didn’t have a roof and were dilapidated. Now, they have beautiful homes that they have restored and created for themselves.”