Working together for stronger communities

Shupikai in front of hut in Zimbabwe.

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Priscilla and Aquila played a key role in Paul’s incredible ministry to expand the reach of the Christian Church (Romans 16:3). The pair were tentmakers, like Paul, and went on to plant churches across Corinth and Ephesus.

Priscilla and Aquila are always mentioned together in the Bible. Here we see a wonderful example of a couple working together to further God’s work. Considering the context of when the Bible’s pages were penned, Priscilla’s name mentioned alongside Aquila’s in every instance is making a statement, as is the fact that her name appears before Aquila’s four times. Paul wants us to know that he was working with not just Aquila, but Priscilla too—that the couple was working together to spread the gospel and expand Christianity. Though different for the time, their relationship was an example of how effective it can be when men and women work together for a common cause.

Just like advances in technology, science and medicine, societies shift and evolve too. As such, most Western cultures are striving for gender equality in Parliament, in leadership and in the workforce. According to the UN, “Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world . . . putting women and girls at the centre of economies will fundamentally drive better and more sustainable development outcomes for all.”1

In developing nations, women “having a seat at the table” is even more important. Research indicates that “as a result of seeing female leadership in their village, adolescent girls were more likely to want to wait until after the age of eighteen to marry, and to aim for a job that required an education”.2 Further, “Supporting the health of women in developing nations has a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of children.”3 

At ADRA, we have seen first-hand the impact that including women in conversations about their future can have on whole communities.

Take Shupikai in Zimbabwe, for example. Shupikai and her family were living hand to mouth, barely able to afford money for food and school fees. Her only means of survival was farming, but it wasn’t enough. With ADRA’s help, Shupikai received access to the loan she needed to start a chicken farming project. Together with ADRA’s animal raising and farming training, Shupikai repaid her loan and can now support her family. But Shupikai didn’t stop there.

Shupikai and her family.

“I have now made it part of my job to teach other people about the savings and lending system,” Shupikai says. “I am now so confident to stand in front of communities of men and women to share with them the things I have learnt from ADRA. I am so happy that I can engage in projects to better my life and that of my family.”

This end of financial year, your gift can provide mothers like Shupikai with the skills and resources they need to build a brighter future for themselves, their families and their communities. Visit adra.org.au/build for more information.

1. United Nations Sustainable Development. 2022. United Nations: Gender equality and women’s empowerment. [online] Available at: www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/ [Accessed 25 May 2022].

2. J Gillard and N Okonjo-Iweala, 2020. Women and Leadership. Cambridge (MA): The MIT Press, p36.

3. Paula Y Goodwin; Dean Garrett, Dean; and Osman Galal (2005) “Women and Family Health: The Role of Mothers in Promoting Family and Child Health,” International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities, 4(1), 30-42.

At ADRA, we have seen first-hand the impact that including women in conversations about their future can have on whole communities.

ADRA Australia and New Zealand Media and communications coordinator Ashley Stanton shares how including women in conversations about their future can impact whole communities.

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