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Australia and Southern Pacific
The Anglican Church has been active in Ethiopia since the 1920's and today has churches and social programmes in Addis Ababa and the Gambella region on the border with South Sudan. Gambella is geographically and culturally very different to the Ethiopian highlands. Malaria, TB, water-borne diseases, tribal conflict and flooding are regular features of life there. The work of the Anglican Church in Gambella began in refugee camps in the 1990s. Since then, through building relationships with indigenous peoples, they have established churches amongst the three major tribes, the Nuer, the Annuak and the Opo. There are now 53 churches in the Gambella region.
Mothers' Union began here in May 2004 with 100 women and has flourished since then, growing to over 3,000 women presently. Mothers' Union members meet together regularly for prayer and fellowship and to discuss family life issues. They are also active in outreach activities including visiting those in hospital and in prison, and supporting young mothers. Some of the women have also begun to make HIV awareness badges.
Female literacy levels in Ethiopia are a major concern, with just 35% of women in the country as a whole thought to be literate and in some regions such as Gambella it is estimated that around 98% of women are illiterate. In 2012, the Mothers’ Union started a new literacy programme in Ethiopia. The literacy programme is currently working with the Anuak and Nuer ethnic groups and the progress of the literacy circles has been astounding.
MU members: 3,000