Kerry Povey, chair of the International Development and Partnerships Commission (IDPC), formerly known as UnitingWorld WA, presented the report to the 44th Annual Meeting of the Synod of WA on Saturday, 12 September at Wesley College.
IDPC has active engagement with four key international partners and supports projects in West Papua, Timor Leste, West Timor and Sri Lanka.
The Black Pearl Network is a partnership between with the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua (GKI TP). Members were blessed to conduct a visit to Papua and West Papua regions of Indonesia in February. During COVID-19, all English language classes were suspended, but some teaching continued online where possible. Since late July, in-person classes have resumed. There are now nine active English language centres employing 13 teachers across Papua.
IDPC’s partnership with Fundação Lafaek Diak (FLD) in Timor Leste continues to support their Mobile Health Clinic initiative visiting 16 villages that are spread widely in five sub-districts around the Baucau Municipality. The number of patients attending the mobile clinic in the last half of 2019 averaged 239 per month.
IDPC connects with the local church in West Timor and the Christian University of West Timor (UKAW) through Nedlands Uniting Church. To avoid the spread of COVID-19, UKAW attempted to conduct online classes. They were largely able to avoid an outbreak in West Timor, however there were experiences of food shortages. IPDC supported students in particular need.
At the 2013 Synod, it was agreed that the Synod of WA would support preschools operated by the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka (MCSL). Five preschools across the North and East of Sri Lanka in areas of particular need are supported to provide quality preschool education, including nutritious meals whilst the children are at school.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) External Conduct Standards governs how a registered charity must manage its activities and resources outside Australia. The Standards require charities to take reasonable steps to ensure appropriate standards of behaviour, governance and oversight when undertaking activities or providing funding overseas. All congregations have been requested to report on their donations.
IDPC’s full written report is available https://unitingchurchwa-startdigital.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/International-Partnerships-Development-Commission.pdf.