Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Busambwa Kanunu, a clergy member of the North Alabama Annual Conference, was the keynote speaker at the annual Indiana Friends of Africa University breakfast. The gathering is an opportunity for those who are either interested in the work and progression of Africa University and have supported the work of Zimbabwe’s first private university and would like to continue strengthening that connection to do so in a gathering predominately made up of friends and colleagues from around Indiana.
An Africa University Alum, Dr. Kanunu, who is currently serving at St. Paul-Triana United Methodist Church in Madison, Ala., was excited to share a diverse portfolio of projects that the AU is currently balancing, and how, with the help of supporters like IFOAU, AU continues to pave new avenues in its mission to transform Africa by empowering leaders. Dr. Kanunu uses the story of “The Good Samaritan” from the Gospel of Luke to help illustrate the mission of AU and how it’s lived out in AU’s focus to not just teach but to transform lives through education, active community engagement, and social action.
“The priest and the temple worker passed and did not help the man. They were more concerned about themselves. They were afraid and questioned, ‘What will happen to me if I stop to help the man?’ But the good Samaritan reversed the question — ‘What will happen to this fellow if I don’t stop to help him? What this man did (the good Samaritan) is an act we like to call social ministry.”
He continued. “But there is something this man did not do. He did not work hard to change the Jericho road.” There’s a difference between Christian social ministry and Christian social action.”
Dr. Kanunu elaborated his rationale further, delving into the reasons why the University has gained worldwide attention and momentum in recent years. He credits the Africa University’s commitment to being socially active and relevant, as well as consistent in its mission to nourish the mind, body, and spirit of students from 31 African nations.
As a reflection of its social action, AU strives to remain in-tune with its surroundings and the needs of those who are most vulnerable in the midst of an ever-changing and fragile farming landscape. AU’s Department of Agricultural Sciences began in 1992 and has expanded tremendously since, broadening its curriculum from agricultural and natural resources to include specifications like crop production, horticulture, animal production, and irrigation and water management. With help of Indiana United Methodists AU seeks to develop its first Small Farm Resource Center which will provide opportunities to “strengthen its (AU) link with the smallholder farmers in the area with the objective of helping improve productivity and incomes” as stated in an announcement AU put out earlier this year. The Resource Center will serve as a place of innovation, where AU and small plot farmers can engage in extensive learning programs.
“At Africa University, we don’t simply feed. But we teach people how to fish. It makes a difference. If I teach you how to fish then I am empowering you so that you can take control of your own destiny,” said Dr. Kanunu. “That’s what Africa University does — continuing the work that the good Samaritan did not finish, to improve the Jericho road.”
To learn more about the Africa University Small Farm Resource Center and how you can support, contact Ruth Ellen Stone, at firstname.lastname@example.org.