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Mothers Union



The Mothers’ Union Overseas Fund

The Mothers’ Union is one of the eight main mission organisations supported by Christ Church, Dore. Our financial support is specifically directed to the Mothers’ Union Overseas Fund. Prayer is an integral part of the work of the MU. In addition, we can support the MU by publicising the work it does, both in the UK and overseas and by praying for all those involved in that work.

The Mothers’ Union is a worldwide Anglican organisation, which is concerned with all aspects of Christian family life and marriage.

The five Objects of the organisation are:

1. To uphold Christ’s teaching on the nature of marriage and to promote its wider understanding.

2. To encourage parents to bring up their children in the faith and life of the Church.

3. To maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service.

4. To promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children.

5. To help those whose family life has met with adversity.

As a voluntary organisation, the Mothers’ Union offers friendship, care and unconditional love to thousands of women and men throughout the world. Members bring a wide variety of practical help and support to the Church and the community.

The Mothers’ Union has one million members, 80% of whom live outside the UK and Ireland, in more than 70 countries. The majority of members live in Africa, Asia and the Far East, where poverty, disease and conflict are commonplace. The women in these areas, often facing particular adversity, maintain lives of prayer and service.

Projects outside the UK are supported by the Overseas Fund in various ways:

1. Self-help and outreach projects

Women generally have few resources to begin projects which need initial funding for materials or equipment.

Small grants from the MU often lead to exciting developments. For example, a few thousand pounds to purchase a machine to press oil from sunflower seeds has many benefits. Pure sunflower oil is a valuable food and also a marketable commodity. The pressed seeds are good cattle food, and the cattle give milk and meat and also manure to grow better sunflowers!

Encouragement is given for self-help initiatives such as small livestock holdings, soap making and other craft co-operatives. Such projects enable the women to earn a living and become less dependent.

2. Family life training and education

When women have the opportunity for training, the benefits are seen in improved health and education of their families and communities. The applicants suggest topics, so key issues affecting their lives and families are tackled. Issues such as parenting, alcohol and drug abuse, marriage and family breakdown are common worldwide. Local problems may include legal issues such as widows’ rights, or peace, justice and reconciliation following major conflicts. All aspects of HIV/AIDS, its prevention and caring for sufferers, are also addressed. Funding is made available for conferences and seminars on such issues. Members and workers who are trained in advocacy and leadership are able to take these skills back to their towns and villages.

The Mothers’ Union Literacy and Development programme has grown out of this work. Many members across the world have expressed their desire to be able to read and write.

3. Mothers’ Union Workers

Their dioceses and provinces employ over 300 women as Mothers’ Union Workers and Trainers. All local women, they speak local languages, understand local customs and culture and are trusted by the women among whom they work. They have an important influence in the communities and their work covers such areas as spiritual growth, healthcare and nutrition. Most have followed careers in health care, teaching, social work and community development and so they bring invaluable experience and skills to their work. A significant proportion of the Overseas Fund supports dioceses with the costs of salary and travel for their workers.

Grants have been made for vehicles such as Land Rovers, motorcycles, bicycles and boats. These are essential in remote areas where most workers live.

The Mothers’ Union is committed to exploring the implications of global issues for its members, their families and communities. These include an understanding of the social and economic effects of international debt. The society is responding through research and practical action such as recent involvement in the Jubilee 2000 campaign.