The Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA) has launched its 2024-2028 strategic plan which integrates key priorities in various regional development frameworks in governance, peace and security as well as Sustainable Development Goals.

“This follows the successful implementation of the FECCLAHA 2019 to 2023 strategy that saw over thousands of people positively impacted across the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa Region through more than 300 initiatives.” said Jeannette Uwizeye, FECCLAHA Executive Director.

In the new 2028 to 2028 strategy, unveiled on 26th October 2023 in Kigali-Rwanda, the Fellowship will integrate early warning and response actions, trauma healing approaches, research and documentation, enhanced/strategic partnerships and economic empowerment major components in the execution and the delivery of impactful project initiatives that addresses urgent needs and concerns arising from the review of the previous strategy.

Through its Regional Peace Village, also unveiled on the eve of the new strategy launch, FECCLAHA  will, in its new strategic plan,  deepen its commitment to provide selfcare and healing among Church Leaders, Women and Youth by providing a safe space for self reflection and self healing against all trauma they encounter as peace builders.

“A peace village is derived from the concept of the traditional African village –meaning a community of people living together. Our new strategy encompassed the Regional Peace Village, a space where Church Leaders, Women and Youth can share on what is disturbing them, listen to their inner voice, heal and move on with the peacebuilding work while putting trauma behind them. As peace builders we first need to be healed ourselves, that is why we have incorporated this as a key delivery component so that through all our interventions, we do not end up with or working with people who need help,” said Fr. James Oyet, Chairman, FECCLAHA.

Under its pillar on Peace, Social Cohesion and Regional Integration, FECCLAHA seeks to integrate approaches that not only contributes to the national peace and social cohesion agenda of her member national councils and churches but also strengthens the capacity of Church Leaders, Women and Youth as well as faith actors or strategic actors for their effective engagements in the implementation of the integration agenda as well as advocacy against proliferation of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) in the region. To further harness the potential of the youth, this pillar will have youth skills development interventions such as youth economic empowerment initiatives and support to youth start up initiatives, potentially leading to job creation.

Under Governance and Accountability, FECCLAHA will enhance capacity and skills of member national councils and churches, Church Leaders, Women and Youth in electoral processes and resource management in the region. This pillar will also enhance FECCLAHA’s role in advancing accountable governance systems and policy influencing.

The third pillar, Gender justice, will enhance the prevention of and response to Sexual and Gender Based Violence as well as women participation in the life of the church and society.This will seek to break the cycle of violence and bridge the gender gap in the society.

Under the fourth pillar, Institutional Strengthening, FECCLAHA seeks to further strengthen the capacity of its different structures and members; develop and implement a resource mobilization strategy as well as undertake research and collaborate with research and learning institutions to improve its adaptive capacity to regional dynamics.

Richard Mutabazi, Mayor of the District of Busegera, launches the FECCLAHA Strategic Plan 2024 – 2028.

Richard Mutabazi, Mayor of the District of Busegera, speaking during the launching ceremony, noted that the agenda of promoting and advancing regional integration cannot be left to the politicians alone. He also commended FECCLAHA and all the Church leaders for their role in advocating for equitable society from the level of the community. He appreciated the dedication to pursue peaceful societies based on African ideologies, likening the Peace Village concept to the local Gacaca system which served to reconcile Rwandan citizens through participatory processes and Rwandan culture-based systems.

“The FECCLAHA Strategic Plan 2024-2028 has a very critical area-regional integration and social cohesion which by itself is a commitment that church leaders will be complementing what is being done by the political leaders thus building synergies for the prosperity of the region and the continent at large”, he said