Partners in Faith and Action
The Diakonia Council of Churches is an ecumenical, inter-church agency, working with churches and church organisations in the pursuit of a more just society. By this we mean an improved quality of life for the poor, as well as changes in attitudes and structures which perpetuate injustice.
Where we come from
Diakonia was founded by the churches in 1976, at a time of increasing injustice and oppression in South Africa, to mobilise its member churches and facilitate their work for justice. In 1994, at the dawn of a new era for South Africa, Diakonia merged with the Durban & District Council of Churches. The Diakonia Council of Churches was formed with the aim of developing a more effective inter-church witness.
Where we work
We work in the area covered by the eThekwini Municipality centred around Durban, on the coast of the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. This is a place of great contrasts: city centre, suburbs, townships, informal settlements and rural areas; extreme poverty alongside conspicuous wealth; people of every colour and many languages.While a great deal has been achieved in the first years of freedom and democracy in South Africa, many challenges remain. The churches continue to be a microcosm of the world around us. In our churches we have personal experience of poverty. We know what it is to lose a job, struggle to find food to put on the table each day, suffer the ravages of HIV and AIDS, find ourselves still at the bottom of the housing list, take our kids out of school because we can’t pay the fees. And women in the churches, as elsewhere, continue to bear the brunt of poverty and sickness, as well as of increasing domestic violence.
But the churches are also places of life and creativity, where people are empowered by their faith to overcome the despair and death around them. The churches have a unique contribution to make to the struggle against poverty and injustice. Our task as an organisation is to facilitate, enable and equip the churches for the task of making this unique contribution.