Forum: Shoe-Strings for Abundant Life–Voices from Congo Speak Out for their Voiceless Sisters

10/26/2016

This weekly Forum will be a dialogue presentation of the leaders of FEBA/Woman Cradle of Abundance. Sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Student Coordinating Council. Our weekly Forum will be held in the Ellis Room, Wednesday, October 26 at 11:00 am-12:30 pm. For current information on FEBA, see http://www.womancradleofabundance.org/.

SPEAKERS:

Misenga Monique Ngoie Mukuna is one of the founders and current president of the non-profit Femme Berceau de l’Abondance (FEBA or Woman, Cradle of Abundance). FEBA was established by an ecumenical group of Christian women in Kinshasa, DRC, in 1999 to respond to issues of violence against women and female poverty. Inspired by the World Council of Churches’ “Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women (1988-98),” FEBA has worked primarily to educate girls and women, both consciousness raising about cultural patriarchy, and in practical ways such as income generating projects. Some key projects are a sewing school which provides destitute young women with training in reading, writing, math, and life skills as well as professional tailoring; refuge and counseling for battered women or girls forced into prostitution; assistance with school fees for poor orphans; a micro-savings and micro-credit program for women; HIV/AIDS education and help for those living with the disease; training in best practices for agriculture and animal husbandry. In 2013 a partner non-profit, Woman, Cradle of Abundance, Inc./ FEBA, Inc. was established in the USA to receive tax-deductible gifts for FEBA in Congo.

In addition, Mrs. Mukuna is a leader in women’s work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who has served the church at the local, regional, and international levels. She served the Department of Women and Families for the Presbyterian Church of Kinshasa first as Associate Director (1995-2000) and then Director (2000-2010). She also served as secretary of National Federation of Protestant Women, DRC between 1998 and 2016. Beginning in1997 she actively participated in the General Council of Reformed Churches particularly in their work of education and peace-making work for the World Communion of Reformed Churches until 2003, and continued her work for the Alliance of Reformed Churches in Africa until 2010. During this time, she served as a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, particularly in her work in Rwanda and Ivory Coast between 1998 and 2005. Through these she has led the work of All Africa Council of Churches. Furthermore, she has been president of   Tumekutana (“We have come together”), a conference of African women, supported by  PC(USA) from its inception of 2007-2015, and successfully carried out their meetings in Nairobi in 2007, Kigali in 2011 and Accra in 2015. Above all, her ministry is best described in her work of FEBA, and she is visiting Decatur, GA for this work.

Dr. Elsie Anne McKee is the founding president of Woman Cradle of Abundance/FEBA USA.  Dr. McKee is Archibald Alexander Professor of Reformation Studies and the History of Worship at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is a world-known Reformations’ scholar with at least five major publications on John Calvin’s writings and ministerial leadership in Geneva and the Reformed traditions. She gave splendid Smyth Lectures at Columbia Theological Seminary in 2009, on the occasion of the international commemoration of 450th anniversary of Calvin’s death. She is also a pioneering scholar on Katharina Schütz Zell, woman reformer in 16th Century Strasbourg, and has introduced her voice to English speaking world for the first time in history.  Most excitingly, she is currently writing a biography of Mrs. Mukuna, or Maman Monique, with a great passion. Dr. McKee is an ordained elder at Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church, where Paul Robson’s father was once a pastor. She was raised in Congo as the daughter and granddaughter of Presbyterian missionaries. Her father, Charles, was a graduate of Davidson College and Columbia Theological Seminary and her mother, Anne, was alumna of Agnes Scott College. Presbyterian Church U.S.A.) just celebrated the 125 years legacy of Presbyterian mission in Congo at Montreat Conference Center. Besides the work of FEBA, Dr. McKee actively participates in the United Front Against Riverblindness.

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