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.
A transformed society actively working for social justice
In partnership with our member churches and organisations we are inspired by our Christian faith to play a transformative role enabling people to take responsibility for their lives and to promote prophetic action on social justice issues.
Our core values
Justice, Truth, Integrity, Transparency, Accountability, Learning
Our core business
The core business of the Diakonia Council of Churches is the pursuit of justice: meaning an improved quality of life for the poor, as well as changes in attitudes and structures which perpetuate injustice. This is fundamental to our identity as an organisation.
The churches have a unique contribution to make to the struggle against injustice and poverty. Our task is to facilitate, enable and equip the churches for the task of making this unique contribution.
Policy of the Diakonia Council of Churches is decided by a Council consisting of nominees of member churches and organisations. The Council elects an Executive which appoints a Finance Committee. The Executive appoints management staff who in turn appoint other staff. Several committees and task groups advise and assist the organisation on aspects of its work.
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 race, language and creed.
While a great deal has been achieved in the first decade of democracy in South Africa, many challenges remain. In spite of the houses built, the water and electricity provided, and the growing black middle class, unemployment, poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, gender-based violence and slow economic growth have made it difficult to make much difference to the situation that existed under apartheid. Illiteracy and insufficient skills development prevent people from finding jobs or starting their own businesses. The HIV and AIDS pandemic is taking a massive toll on our people. These challenges are exacerbated by corruption
Faced with such a situation, we believe that churches are life-affirming communities, where people are empowered by their faith to overcome the despair around them. Churches have a unique contribution to make to the struggle against injustice. Our task is to facilitate a process in and through the churches for the task of making this unique contribution. For it is clearly not God’s will that we should suffer the injustice that is present in much of the country today.
We have been active in the eThekwini Municipality for many years. Our history has given us the knowledge, expertise and skills to achieve our goals. Our particular strengths are:
- Focusing the attention of churches on the root causes of socio-economic injustice
- Equipping churches with a variety of social development skills
- Linking churches with civil society organisations, as well as government
- Building local, national and international church links
- Developing creative liturgies on social justice issues
- Putting faith into action
How we finance our work
Member churches and organisations contribute financially, but at a modest level, given the high demands made on their limited resources. A large proportion of our funding comes from international church agencies. We have steadily increased the proportion of local funding over the past years, partly in response to the growing demand on international funders by other pressing issues elsewhere.
It is important that we continue to increase local support, through business, organisations and individuals who share our vision of a transformed society. Local sources investing in the Diakonia Council of Churches will reap a worthwhile dividend in the future, as our society and nation becomes more just, more peaceful, more equitable and more prosperous for everyone.