Episcopal Relief & Development and the Anglican Alliance Expand Disaster and Resilience Capacities through The Resilience Course

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Course is a year-long cooperative learning exchange to increase the disaster resilience and response capacity of congregations and dioceses around the Anglican Communion.

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“We believe that cultivating our capacity to address disaster resilience and response will equip our churches to do better in accompanying the most vulnerable communities in our midst in times of crisis,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Episcopal Relief & Development.

Episcopal Relief & Development and the Anglican Alliance have created the Resilience Course, a year-long cooperative learning exchange to increase the disaster resilience and response capacity of congregations and dioceses around the Anglican Communion. Since October 2020, over 140 people from 42 countries representing 23 Provinces have enrolled.

“We believe that cultivating our capacity to address disaster resilience and response will equip our churches to do better in accompanying the most vulnerable communities in our midst in times of crisis,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Senior Program Officer, Disaster Resilience, Episcopal Relief & Development.

The number of climate-influenced disasters has doubled in the past 20 years and floods, hurricanes and other events can devastate communities. The Resilience Course shares learning, skills and best practices to build both a church and community’s resilience and their capacity to respond to a disaster. It is the result of three years of collaboration, exploration and sharing between Episcopal Relief & Development, the Anglican Alliance and other Anglican churches and agencies across the Communion.

“I took the Resilience Course because I realized we need to be prepared for, not surprised by, climate-influenced events such as floods and fires… and even the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed our weaknesses and the need for the Church to be an agent of hope,” said Dilce Regina Paiva de Oliveira, Servicio Anglicano de Diacono e Desenvolvimento (SADD), Brazil. “The highlight of the Resilience Course for me was recognizing that, while our cultures and geography may be different, many of the events we face are the same around the world.”

Each two-hour session of the Resilience Course has a particular theme and consists of a Bible reflection and a recorded thought piece followed by live discussion in which participants will reflect together and learn from one another. The goal is to build their capacity to respond and improve their community engagement. Sessions are facilitated by 16 faculty members from around the world. Each month there is one homework assignment (up to one hour per month.) The course is offered in six languages including Arabic, Burmese, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

“Learners have expressed their excitement at the opportunity to engage in Portuguese and to connect with other learners from Angola and Brazil, as well as facilitators from different countries - a celebration of unity in diversity,” said the Rt. Rev. Carlos Simao Matsinhe, Anglican Diocese of Lebombo, Mozambique. “An adventure in the future, perhaps, will be to include resilience content in our Sunday school and catechesis class curriculum, so that we have a generation of young people aware and ready as far as resilience is concerned.”

Learn more about the Resilience Course in this new video which features participants from the pilot of the Course. The course will be offered regularly beginning in 2022. More information is available here.

“Bringing together learners from a wide range of countries from across the Anglican Communion has enabled some fantastic conversations about experience and challenges in developing local resilience and disaster response capacity, and about the underlying structural forces that create or aggravate disaster,” said Dr. Janice Proud, Disaster Resilience and Response Manager, Anglican Alliance. “Much like the disciples at Pentecost, this video celebrates the many voices and languages of our gathered learners and the spirit of the course.”

To express interest in future courses please email: anglicanalliance@anglicancommunion.org

About Episcopal Relief & Development:
For 80 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

About the Anglican Alliance:
The Anglican Alliance serves to connect, equip and inspire the worldwide Anglican family to work for a world free of poverty and injustice and to safeguard creation. The alliance’s five priority areas of work in 2021 are: Covid-19 response and recovery that is just, green and reimagines our world; disaster resilience and response; environment and climate; migrants, refugees and human trafficking; young people – livelihoods and asset development. Across all these priority areas, the Anglican Alliance’s work is grounded in theology, prayer and Bible study; based on leveraging God-given assets for church and community transformation; focused on building community and Communion resilience, resourcing church advocacy to challenge unjust structures, and extending and brokering partnerships.

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