Jem Hovil and his family lived in Uganda and then South Africa from early 2000 until mid-2013, when they returned to the UK. They are now based in Bath, where Jem continues with Crosslinks, consolidating and supporting BUILD, primarily in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
BUILD (Biblical Understanding for In-service Leadership Development) delivers training to those church leaders who need it the most but can afford it the least. And it does so in a way that mobilises local resources and facilitators using a curriculum designed and developed in context, and with a cascading multiplication of training.
BUILD began in the Church of Uganda where the programme is being mainstreamed, but it is now spreading more widely. It is established in neighbouring Rwanda and is taking off in Tanzania, supported as a Crosslinks Project. BUILD wants to respond to invitations from Sudan, the DRC, Burundi and Kenya. It is being used on a small scale in South Africa and has been taught further afield in occasional gatherings in Cameroon and Malawi for example.
In the UK, BUILD Partners has been registered as a charity to help support this growing work, and Jem is leading that new initiative. Jem trained initially as a science teacher, is ordained in the Church of England, served in two UK churches, and his doctoral research was on the transformation of theological education.