Towards sustainable rural living : a theological critique on periphery-centre relations in Malawi

Katani, Jacob (2012-03)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation presents the conscientization of the people in the rural areas, on how the church in Malawi as a community-based organisation can be an effective vehicle in bringing change in their livelihoods. It is an endeavour to answer the question: How can the Church as a community-based organization respond to community challenges in order to be an effective vehicle for community development and sustainable rural living in the light of the problem of urbanization? The researcher argues that, if the Church can take a deliberate part, in helping people in self-development and bringing a positive impact on their lives in responding to community challenges, livelihoods can be positively changed. Chapter one: The first chapter is an introduction of this dissertation and it presents the goals of undertaking this study. It emphasises the fact that urbanization has become a big challenge in developing countries such as Malawi, leading people to flock to the cities, hoping to find an easy life, where they instead find life very difficult. Many people, who have migrated to the cities, find it difficult to meet their daily basic needs, due to lack of access to income. The church as a community-based organisation has a role to play in helping to bring a positive impact, on the people for the betterment of their own life. If the church can play an active role in unlocking awareness in people in the rural areas to not migrate to squalid urban settings, the desire to move to the cities can be minimized. Chapter two: The second chapter briefly describes the context of this research. It presents a brief discussion of the historical background of the church of Nkhoma Synod CCAP. It also gives a brief explanation of the country of Malawi and its geographical location. Along with this general historical background, the chapter draws an exclusive attention to the major contributions of the church to the community, and the unique role that it played in bringing change in the developing countries like Malawi. Through its holistic approach the church reached many people in the communities, and also its emphasis on community development made a major contribution to civic life in the rural as well as urban areas. Chapter three: The third chapter discusses the poverty situation and the Malawian church existence in this context. It further presents the problems that are caused by poverty in the communities, including the challenges posed by the prevalence of HIV/AIDS which Malawi as one of the developing countries is facing due to urbanisation. The church has a huge role to play to the community in regards to community development. Chapter four: Chapter four deals with the specific role of the Church in sustainable development, and it explores the importance of rural sustainability in sustainable development. The church by nature is missional and has been called to serve the triune God, and it needs to participate in sustainable development which reflects God‟s reign in the world, for it has the nature of serving God. It has been given the task to take care of the community, and its role is to place itself with the poor in taking the responsibility of identifying and dealing with the forces that are destroying the communities, in order to bring change. The chapter also deals with how the church can sensitize people living in rural areas, and the importance of staying in the rural areas rather than migrating to urban areas. The terms like "Sustainable development", "Community development" have been defined in order to appreciate on how the church as a community-based organization can indeed be an effective vehicle in community development, and help to create a sustainable rural living. The church has a unique role to play in community development. Chapter five: This chapter gives a careful contextual analysis of rural-urban areas, the challenges that the people in those communities are facing and what should be done in a sustainable rural living. It also discusses and explores on how the church as a community-based organization can be an effective vehicle to Community Development and sustainable rural living. In order to help raise the level of awareness of rural sustainability in human beings, especially those living in rural areas, this chapter has also carefully investigated the factors which attract people to migrate to urban areas and find out the solutions to these challenges. Lastly in order to understand how the church in Malawi as a community-based organization can be an effective vehicle in community development, the chapter has developed a theory of the four steps. These four steps are: Conscientization, Empowerment, Participation and Sustainability. In this chapter it has been emphasized as to how the church could/should engage with the people in order to be an effective vehicle to a sustainable rural living and help people in self-development and bringing a positive impact on their lives. Chapter six: The final chapter summarizes the whole discussion on this study. The study emphasizes the fact that, if the Church can take a deliberate part, in helping people in self-development and bringing a positive impact on their lives, livelihoods can be positively changed. If the church in Malawi, Nkhoma Synod, can take part in conscientizing the people in the rural areas to the importance and advantages of living in the rural, the number of the people migrating to cities can be reduced.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie skripsie handel oor die bewusmaking van Malawiërs in die landelike gebiede en oor hoe die kerk in Malawi, as 'n gemeenskap-gebaseerde organisasie, 'n effektiewe voertuig van verandering in hulle lewensbestaan kan wees. Dit is 'n poging om die vraag te beantwoord: Hoe kan die kerk, as 'n gemeenskap-gebaseerde organisasie, reageer op die gemeenskapuitdagings om 'n effektiewe voertuig vir die ontwikkeling van die gemeenskap te word en volhoubare landelike voortbestaan bevorder? Die navorser betoog dat indien die kerk doelbewus kan meewerk om mense te help met self-ontwikkeling wat 'n positiewe impak op hul lewens in landelike gebiede sal hê, dan sal lewensbestaan ten goede verander. Hoofstuk een: Die eerste hoofstuk is 'n inleiding tot hierdie betoog en bespreek die doelwitte van hierdie studie. Dit beklemtoon die feit dat verstedeliking 'n groot uitdaging is in die ontwikkelende lande soos Malawi. Mense stroom na die stede met die hoop op 'n makliker lewe, maar vind dan dat hulle nie in hul basiese behoeftes kan voorsien nie by gebrek aan toegang tot inkomste. Die kerk, as 'n gemeenskap-gebaseerde organisasie, kan 'n rol speel om te help om 'n positiewe impak te maak en verandering te bring in hierdie mense se bestaan. As die kerk 'n aktiewe rol kan speel in die bewusmaking en ontwikkeling van mense in die landelike gebiede kan die hunkering van mense om te migreer na die stede beperk word. Hoofstuk Twee: Die tweede hoofstuk beskryf die konteks van hierdie navorsing. Dit behels 'n kort bespreking van die historiese agtergrond van die kerk van Nkhoma Sinode CCAP, ook inligting oor Malawi en sy geografiese ligging. Klem word gelê op die groot invloed van die kerk op die gemeenskap en die unieke rol wat dit in die verlede gespeel het om verandering in die ontwikkelende lande soos Malawi te bring. Deur sy holistiese benadering en klem op ontwikkeling het die kerk baie mense bereik en 'n belangrike bydrae tot die burgerlike lewe in landelike sowel as stedelike gemeenskappe gemaak. Hoofstuk Drie: Die derde hoofstuk bespreek die armoede-situasie waarbinne die Malawiese kerk himself bevind, insluitende die voorkoms van MIV / Vigs wat Malawi in die gesig staar as gevolg van verstedeliking. Die kerk het 'n groot taak met betrekking tot gemeenskapsontwikkeling. Hoofstuk vier: Hoofstuk vier handel oor die spesifieke rol van die Kerk in volhoubare ontwikkeling en ondersoek die belangrikheid van landelike volhoubaarheid in volhoubare ontwikkeling. Die kerk behoort van nature missionêr op te tree, aangesien die kerk geroep is om die Drie-enige God te dien. Volhoubare ontwikkeling moet deel wees hiervan. Dit behoort die versorging van die gemeenskap en identifisering van die probleme van armoede in die gemeenskap in te sluit, ten einde die vernietiging van die gemeenskap teen te werk. Hierdie hoofstuk handel ook oor hoe die kerk mense wat in landelike gebiede woon kan sensitiseer en bewus maak van die belangrikheid daarvan om nie na stedelike gebiede te trek nie. Die terme "volhoubare ontwikkeling" en "gemeenskapsontwikkeling" is omskryf om te bevestig hoe die kerk, as 'n gemeenskap-gebaseerde organisasie, 'n effektiewe instrument in die ontwikkeling van die gemeenskap kan wees om volhoubare landelike bestaan te bevorder. Die kerk het 'n unieke rol te speel in die ontwikkeling van die gemeenskap. Hoofstuk vyf: Hierdie hoofstuk gee 'n versigtige kontekstuele analise van landelik-stedelike gebiede, die uitdagings wat die mense in daardie gemeenskappe in die gesig staar en wat gedoen moet word met die oog op volhoubare landelike lewe. Dit bespreek en ondersoek ook hoe die kerk, as 'n gemeenskap-gebaseerde organisasie, 'n effektiewe voertuig kan wees tot gemeenskapsontwikkeling en volhoubare landelike bestaan. Ten einde te help om die vlak van bewustheid van landelike volhoubaarheid in mense te verhoog, veral dié in landelike gebiede, is in hierdie hoofstuk noukeurig ondersoek gedoen na die faktore wat mense lok om te migreer na stedelike gebiede. So kan die oplossings vir hierdie uitdagings gevind word. Ten slotte, om te verstaan hoe die kerk in Malawi, as 'n gemeenskap-gebaseerde organisasie, kan 'n effektiewe voertuig in die ontwikkeling van die gemeenskap kan wees, word in hierdie hoofstuk 'n teorie van vier stappe ontwikkel, nl. Bewusmaking, Bemagtiging, Deelname en Volhoubaarheid. In hierdie hoofstuk word beklemtoon hoe die kerk kan / moet betrokke raak ten einde 'n effektiewe instrument van volhoubare landelike lewe te wees en mense te help in self-ontwikkeling. Hoofstuk ses: Die laaste hoofstuk bevat 'n opsomming van hierdie studie. Die studie beklemtoon die feit dat, indien die kerk doelbewus kan deelneem om mense te help in selfontwikkeling en 'n positiewe impak op hul lewens bring, lewens positief kan verander. As die kerk in Malawi, Nkhoma Sinode, kan deelneem aan die bewusmaking van mense in die landelike gebiede van die belangrikheid en voordele van die lewe daar, kan die getal mense wat na die stede migreer verminder word.

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