Jem’s main responsibility is to help support and develop the Church of Uganda’s BUILD training initiative, which has now spread to the surrounding countries (South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and DRC). BUILD stands for Biblical Understanding for In-service Leadership Development and the course is designed to equip church leaders who have no access to traditional training.
BUILD uses a multiplication model: the formal training of trainers equips them to train leaders at the grassroots. The trainers are exposed to, and taught to use, a curriculum that is biblical, theological, practical and has been developed in context.
Jem joined Crosslinks in 2000 and lived in Uganda until 2007 before moving to South Africa. He returned to the UK in 2013 and continues to serve BUILD through leading the work of BUILD Partners, which includes regular travel to East Africa. Jem also serves as an Associate Minister (SSM) at St Bartholomew’s Church, Bath.
In October I expressed cautious optimism over the run of the virus in East Africa. That has proved largely true despite a rise in cases – the increase pales in comparison to our own rates (Uganda, for example, has recorded around 40,000 cases compared to the UK’s 4,000,000).
Of course what does not compare well is the economic impact and availability of resources. And the spread of the variant in and from South Africa has led to more suffering, not least with the movement of migrant workers across the region around Christmas and New Year. Fears around that and other variants means that countries like Tanzania are on the red-list when it comes to travel from and to the UK (mandating a stay in a quarantine hotel) – a trip to Dodoma I cancelled a year ago remains on hold.
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