The Aberdeen-based Christian charity The Kerusso Trust has raised more than £50,000 over the past year to construct a training and resource centre in Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries.
The centre was formally opened on Saturday, May 28,
The Kerusso Trust was set up in 2011 by former Banchory residents Jonathan and Ruth Groves and a proportion of funding still comes from people in the town. Supporters are now from Aberdeenshire to the south of England.
The Trust works in partnership with local people to train rural church leaders, and to empower some of the most vulnerable and needy in Malawi through community education.
Dr Groves, mission director, said: “For the last few years we have been working with one of our partners, J-Life Malawi, to train church leaders in rural areas.
“We are delighted that we will now be able to go one step further: we can select men and women from those we have been training, bring them to this new centre, and train them so they can go back home and teach others.”
In one of the poorest countries in the world and with little public welfare system, pastors in rural Malawi have a key role helping those who are poor, sick and suffering in their village communities. Yet over 90% have received no formal training in how to teach or give Biblical pastoral care.
The vision for the resource centre was born during the visit of Rev Connex Ijalasi, country director of J-Life Malawi, to the UK in spring 2015.
Dr Groves said: “Over the past year, this vision has become a reality.”
The two-storey centre is on a 10-acre hillside outside Blantyre, in the south of the country.
It is being equipped with training rooms and a library donated by several other Christian charities. The new building will also contain the offices of J-Life Malawi.
It will be a base for community education and development initiatives, providing assistance for child-headed families, orphans, HIV-AIDS sufferers and other vulnerable people, and running feeding programmes in the surrounding villages.
The centre has already been used to train teachers from local primary schools and leaders of newly-launched Community Children’s Bible Clubs.
When combined with an existing kitchen-dining room and dormitories, the site has now become a major resource to bring about change.