Women in Action
Women in Action (WiA) is a group of pastors’ wives whose husbands are in full-time ministry with the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) in South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho. The women formed the organisation in May 2009 with a vision of making a difference within communities where the UCKG operates, to help uplift and empower women and to influence their lives positively.
They are involved in various ongoing campaigns to highlight social issues and educate people so that they can make informed choices about their lives. By touching one life at a time, they aim to transform families, communities and society, and contribute towards a brighter future for all in South Africa’s rainbow nation.
Cancer Awareness Campaigns
One of their primary concerns is cancer awareness, and they run regular campaigns to help communities understand the importance of early detection in diagnosing the disease, to help reduce the incidence of late-stage diagnosis when treatment outcomes are not always positive.
Pastors’ wives who have been trained by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), visit patients in oncology wards in South Africa’s major hospitals and primary health care clinics, including the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, the Tygervalley Hospital in Cape Town, Frere Hospital in East London, Addington Hospital in Durban and Livingston Hospital in Port Elizabeth on a weekly basis. Besides offering emotional support, they distribute information leaflets which help newly diagnosed patients prepare for the challenges of their illness.
In order to offer additional support, Women in Action established a cancer support group in 2012 called “It’s all about you”. This group offers a forum for education, discussion and a space to share experiences. The group meets once a month in Johannesburg and Soweto for eight weeks where a specialist guest speaker presents information to patients. The group then breaks up into smaller groups which are led by a trained facilitator. In this safe space, they are able to share experiences and support each other. These forums help dispel the myths around cancer, including the belief that the disease is contagious which results in many being isolated during treatment. Women in Action has also partnered with CHOC where they visit the children’s wards at Baragwanath Hospital and CHOC house in Soweto and in Pretoria.
Women in Action is honoured to be a member of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), an organisation committed to eliminating cancer as a life-threatening disease through education, awareness, influence and action. Membership of the UICC enables WiA to align itself with international best practices, benefit from the most recent research and treatment options, and network with other organisations committed to accelerating the fight against cancer.
Women in Action is a member of the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), an organisation formed in 1983 by expatriate African cancer care workers, scientists and their friends, which is dedicated to the promotion of cancer control in Africa. The organisation’s key objectives are to further the research relating to cancers prevalent in Africa, support the management of training programmes in oncology for health care workers, deal with the challenges of creating cancer control and prevention programmes and raise public awareness of cancer in Africa. WiA’s membership of AORTIC provides networking opportunities to learn from those who share the commitment to provide information which helps to promote cancer control in Africa.
Besides its work with cancer patients, Women in Action is involved in on-going projects to highlight the prevalence of abuse and to educate people on their options and rights.
Amongst other campaigns, trained trauma counsellors, trained by WMACA (Women and Men Against Child Abuse) and the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust, run a regular support group called Project Rahab, which encourages victims to break the silence of abuse and helps them begin the journey of acceptance, forgiveness, freedom and transformation. Through this counselling, many women have made the decision to live a new life and have changed from being victims of their traumatic past, to living a life of freedom and hope.
Women in Action and IntelliMen participate in the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children (25 November – 10 December) taking a stand against all forms of abuse whether it be physical, emotional or psychological. During this week they hold outreach programmes nationally and offer free, confidential counselling.
Godllywood was born from righteous anger towards the negative values which society has acquired from Hollywood. The group’s main objective is to help women become exemplary in all aspects of their lives. It was created for those who want to be a different kind of daughter, businesswoman, single lady, girlfriend, fiancée, mother, niece, friend or cousin by upholding godly values.
Godllywood Self-help programme
Godllywood Self-help meets regularly offering women the opportunity to learn from guest speakers who help them identify areas for personal growth. Many women have made life-changing decisions and implemented actions to equip them to embrace a spirit of excellence and live fulfilling lives while being role models for others to emulate.
The first Godllywood School opened in Johannesburg at the end of 2016 to equip young girls to think about the future and develop into virtuous women. They learn practical home-making skills as well as social skills relevant to their ages.
The IntelliMen Project
The ongoing IntelliMen Project offers men the opportunity to change themselves and help transform society by being responsible heads of their households and good role models for their families. IntelliMen are different – they stand up against accepted societal pressures and behave in morally correct and honourable ways.
As heads of the home, they protect their families, respect their wives and teach their children self-respect and good manners. Peer pressure plays a destructive role in shaping men’s choices, but IntelliMen learn to evaluate their decisions and respond from a position of inner-strength and self-respect, rather than be dictated to by irresponsible and ill-considered actions which are often governed by emotions.
IntelliMen commit to make intelligent choices and not to indulge in any form of anti-social behaviour. IntelliMen are not addicted to substances and do not drink. They do not engage in any form of violence. They stand against abuse. They are leaders for others to emulate.
Youth Power Group
The Youth Power Group offers opportunities for young people to socialise, evangelise and most importantly, to develop a solid Christian faith. One of the group’s key objectives is to give young people a sound spiritual foundation, good life skills and a sense of responsibility and accountability which helps prepare them for the challenges of life.
Ongoing programmes are offered to help young people make positive life choices, stand against abuse and bullying and develop self-confidence. Meetings provide a safe haven for young people to discuss issues and explore solutions to their life situations. The impact of developing young people into responsible and productive members of society has important long-term consequences for the future of any nation. The Youth Power Group plays an important role in the overall social reform and moral regeneration of the nation.
Groups for church members include:
- Biblical School for Children (BSC): Sunday school and fellowship for children
- Mamas Group: offering support and fellowship for mature women
- The Caleb Group: assisting the elderly with spiritual and emotional support
- Hospital Group: visiting patients in hospitals nationally every week
- Soulwinners: evangelism to the general public, street people and those who are destitute and hopeless