Photo by Leo Sorel
by Jim Melchiorre
Three members of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe are spending a week in New York City as they complete a year as Trinity Transformational Fellows.
Margaret Chidzonga, Fredy Matonisa, and Martin Nyaundi represent three different dioceses in Zimbabwe. Trinity recognized them for their transformational work and provided funds to each for rest, renewal, and continuing education.
Martin Nyaundi lives in the Diocese of Manicaland and is working to produce revenue for church ministries through agriculture, specifically potato farming.
“We’ve chosen the potato project because we see lots and lots of opportunities in it. There is a ready market. The demand is high. It is promising. We’ve got lots of inquiries. People have said, ‘As soon as you are ready for your crop we are there for you.’”
Fredy Matonisa represents the Diocese of Matabeleland. Like Martin Nyaundi, he shares a passion for agriculture, in his case, dairy farming, which he believes benefits communities in several ways.
“People in the rural areas milk their dairy animals and take that milk for processing into cultured milk and things like yogurts. And this would then be sold into the community, obviously improving nutrition, and also out of the community, raising funds and incomes.”
Margaret Chidzonga of the Diocese of Harare in Zimbabwe’s capital, focuses her work on empowering women, as Director of Zimbabwe National Family Planning and as a board member of Commercial and Industrial Medical Society. Along with Nyaundi and Matonisa, Chidzonga has participated in workshops organized by Trinity Wall Street to develop ways for the Church in Africa to remain financially sustainable.
“I’ve really learnt a new concept. The Church can make money and it should, and it’s not a sin, and they are not profiteering.”
Chidzonga also acknowledged the distinction she felt in being the only woman among the three Transformational Fellows from Zimbabwe.
“That sort of scared me a little, but later on I said to myself, ‘If I was chosen God must want me to do a job.’ So I’m going to work on that.”
During their visit to New York, Chidzonga, Nyaundi, and Matonisa visited Rural Migrant Ministries, a Trinity Wall Street partner agency in Poughkeepsie, New York. They were publicly recognized at the 6:30pm worship service in Trinity Church on Ascension Day, Thursday, May 29.
As part of that service, Trinity introduced the new 2014-2015 class of Transformational Fellows: Susan Mumba Chulu, the Ven. Emmanuel Yona Chikoya, and Evans Mwewa. All three are members of the Anglican Church in Zambia and will visit Trinity Church and New York City on Ascension Day in 2015.