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A Local Initiative

CALLED TO CARE workbooks reprinted in the Congo.

Dr Christian Weber had a problem.  He wanted to give copies of the French editions of CALLED TO CARE book no. 3, Time to Talk, to all the Lutheran pastors working in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  “Having worked at the Lutheran theological seminary near Lubumbashi for six years,” he says, “I knew this book would be very useful.”

The World Council of Churches’ HIV & AIDS programme, EHAIA, had sent Dr Weber 70 copies of the book , but he needed 40 more copies for all 110 Lutheran pastors in the country.  He also wanted to print 30 copies each of Called to Care books 1-3 for students at the theological seminary.  The postal service couldn’t be relied on to deliver the books to Lubumbashi.  But the seminary had an inkjet printer and a copying machine.  Could they be used to reprint the books?  He contacted the STRATEGIES FOR HOPE Trust, who quickly gave permission and sent the files for the books by email, and the work began. Just one week later, a total of 130 books had been produced.

The first recipients included a group of pastors who had just completed their training as chaplains with the Congolese Army at the seminary.

Dr Weber believes that many other theological institutions in the DRC - and in other African countries - have the technical capacity to reprint the CALLED TO CARE workbooks, using simple, low-cost printing equipment.  “My best experience,” he says, “was with normal, cheap, inkjet printers, which have separate colour tanks that can easily be refilled from one-litre bottles.  If we wanted more than 20 copies of, say, a 50-page book, we would use the inkjet machine for the coloured covers and a small Duplex laser printer machine for the inside pages.”

The STRATEGIES FOR HOPE Trust would welcome requests from any other church institution or NGO wishing to reprint and distribute workbooks in the CALLED TO CARE toolkit in all African countries, with the exception of South Africa and Nigeria, where we already have co-publishing and distribution partners.

For further information, please contact the Series Editor, STRATEGIES FOR HOPE Trust by clicking here.