The Fellowship, through the Secretariat, with support from National Executive Committee and Members, have been able to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In seeking first the Kingdom of God, EFZ organised a Prayer and Fasting Week that ran from the 30th March to the 5th of April 2020. The week began with a time of reflection and repentance and then the church prayed for God's intervention.
- The fellowship has been raising awareness to the communities and also mobilizing churches to follow Government announcements such as staying at home, suspension of worship gatherings. An awareness workshop was held in partnership with Econet and this was targeting Pastors and Churches in Harare. This equipped them with official guidelines and verified information about the pandemic.
- In a partnership with Higherlife Foundation, online training has been facilitated for church leaders on COVID-19. Discussions on what churches can do in response are being encouraged on this platform.
- EFZ has developed communication materials that were distributed via social media platforms. Statements to our constituency were also published, encouraging them to adhere to Government Regulations regarding ban of public gatherings and lockdown measures.
- In an effort to come up with effective strategies and action plans, it is essential to meet people in positions of authority. The EFZ President and General Secretary managed to have a meeting with Minister July Moyo of the Local Government and Public Works. In addition, the Fellowship was represented by our Bishops (members) during the Interface Engagement with the Head of State and Government, President E. D. Mnangagwa.
- A Response Strategy has now been developed, with assistance from partners, to help guide our responses and those of members.
- In mediations representing our members, EFZ made an appeal for Government to consider pastoral service as an essential service to empower churches to help actively in the fight against COVID-19.
- The fellowship facilitated that Church Leaders access National Television and Radio so as to share the Gospel of Hope and Victory to the nation of Zimbabwe. The EFZ President had an interview with Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) regarding Church Responses to Government calls and measures to prevent the spread of the virus. This interview was broadcasted on national television.
- Clearance has been given for staff working on WaSH in Murehwa and Epworth through the relevant district authorities. Activities in various WaSH cluster coordination platforms have not ceased to share information and also learn from others.
- Help was received to educate communities, distribute soaps, construct hand-washing facilities and procure personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff in the 3 GFAs. Some members of EFZ were consulted and have made commitments for their Church premises to be availed as useful facilities for isolation and testing. Other members are coordinating various efforts to have professional medical teams ready to assist communities.
- Churches have availed their facilities to be turned into isolation centres and this comes amid revelations that in Bulawayo work is underway to also have Hillside Teachers’ College and Elangeni Training Centre turned into isolation centres if the need arises. Speaking during the launch of the “I am for Bulawayo fighting Covid-19” initiative on Friday, vice-president of EFZ, Pastor Trevor Masuku, who is also the Bulawayo provincial chairperson, said they had already pledged their facilities as part of their contribution to the fight against the spread of the pandemic. The “I am for Bulawayo fighting COVID-19” initiative, which is registered as a Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO), is working with the Government to spearhead the establishment of Ekusileni Medical Centre as a national COVID-19 isolation centre.
- The organisation is also working on equipping other COVID-19 related facilities in Bulawayo including Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital and Mater Dei Hospital. In some cases it would be impossible for people to self-isolate due to their living conditions hence the need to identify other facilities for them to move into. Churches have huge auditoriums and buildings all over the country which are not being utilised during this period and have been availed for use as isolation centres. In addition, these church buildings could also be used as feeding zones for the less privileged.
During the Easter (Passover) Season, we all looked unto God who is able to save us and deliver us from this pandemic declaring Psalm 121.