Malawi Catholic Church engages development partners to talks

In a bid to strengthen its working relationship with donor partners, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) organized a two-day round table conference at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe where several partners including Trocaire, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Oxfam attended.

Bishop Mtumbuka delivering an opening speech
Bishop Mtumbuka delivering an opening speech
Emmet Bergin: Country Director for Troicaire
Group Photo of Participants
Group Photo of Participants

Opening the conference, Vice Chairman for the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, His Lordship Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese said the round table conference gives an opportunity for both ECM and its partners to discuss issues as partners in development hence an opportunity to share successes, challenges and realizing the country’s vision together.

“This Round Table Conference is a very important forum for us, not only the Catholic Church in Malawi,but as Malawians. It is a rare opportunity for us coming together as stakeholders in development to engage directly in constructive dialogue,policy discussion and consensus building around our development strategies, Modus operandi and way forward,” said Bishop Mtumbuka.

He said the two-day workshop will take stock of interventions being undertaken by various commissions of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, examine tangible and replicable results and also identify promising practices in different development sectors.

“Over the past fifteen years, the Catholic Church in Malawi joined other stakeholders in championing attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It has been a battle well fought but we all know through the MDGs reports that we still have a lot to do. It is for this reason that I find this meeting very important,” he said.

ECM Secretary General Fr. Henry Saindi, said ECM is committed to working with all Partner Organisations and Development Agencies to provide holistic evangelization through the word of God and facilitating development work in the country.

Taking his turn Country Director for Trocaire, Emmet Bergin said he was delighted with the cordial working relationship that exist between his organisation and ECM and that their partnership has been a success so far.

He said for instance Trocaire is supporting at least 33,000 households in Cash transfer programme in Mchinji through ECM’s Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM).

“We are delivering together on shared agendas to address inequality and working with the poorest of the poor and addressing the root causes of poverty and injustice through Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP),” he said.

On his part, Oxfam Country Director John Makina said as ECM Partners, they will strive to collaborate and work for a better Malawi through the Commissions that are available under ECM.

With the new strategic plan that ECM has, there are three Directorates that were instituted and these are the Social Development Directorate, Finance, Administration and Investments Directorate and Pastoral Directorate.

Underthe Social Development Directorate are commissions like CADECOM, CCJP, Health, Education, Social Communications and Research.

Pastoral Commission has the Lay Apostolate, Pontifical Missionary Societies, Catholic Women Organisation and the Youth Apostolate.

ECM organizes a Partners Round Table Conference after every two years as a way of enhancing interaction.

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