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Our Work

SOUTH AFRICA: Transforming Lives Through the Word of God

Project Overview

Church-based development initiative addresses social justice and inequality issues 

Timeline: 1 year

Anticipated Lives Impacted: 450

Total Amount Requested: $67,720 


In their own words:

“I was part of a very cultural and traditional church when I met some people from The Warehouse. When I first met Craig I said, ‘No, this church is from the Bible and we cannot change.’ But then I grew and was challenged about how I ran the church, and changed. … They helped me in my vision.” — The Rev, Aaron, church leader


Post-apartheid South Africa is now facing a unique and complex set of challenges, including deep divisions and inequalities throughout society. Local communities are experiencing severe economic inequality, unemployment, inadequate housing, lack of healthcare and education, and extensive alcohol and drug abuse.


While church leaders are in a unique position to provide more extensive support to communities, very few have the knowledge and resources to understand how to do this effectively. This limits the impact that the church is able to have within a community and region.


The Warehouse Trust, established in 2003 by the Anglican Parish of St. John’s Parish Wynberg in Cape Town, South Africa, seeks to inspire, equip and connect local churches to promote church-based development initiatives. It has adopted a vision of just and transformed communities, where the vulnerable are supported and cared for by the local church. With the proper training and support systems, church leaders can address spiritual and physical needs. The Warehouse Trust will engage church leaders by providing the training to address social justice and inequality issues.

Life Impact

This project benefits 450 people: 


450 people demonstrate increased spiritual engagement, including 300 church members who attend church events on transformational development; 50 people who increase in their understanding of God’s Word, including 25 church leaders who attend small-group coaching and mentoring sessions focused on how to help churches address poverty and injustice in their communities; 20 church leaders who attend retreats to reflect and engage with other leaders for peer support, and five church leaders who attend sessions focused on the role of the church; and 100 people who take action inspired by God’s Word, including 60 lay and ordained leaders who network through quarterly forums on improving their communities and 40 people who attend monthly sessions where they actively address community transformation.

Project Design

The Warehouse Trust works with 20 to 25 churches and church leaders who are engaged in transformational development in their communities. Its church-leader engagement strategy, which includes ordained and lay leaders, takes a three-tiered approach. The first tier includes small-group coaching and bi-monthly men- toring sessions; ongoing process facilitation to help churches address poverty, injustice and division in their congregations and communities; and bi-annual retreats. The second tier includes quarterly forums that focus on issues faced by churches in Cape Town, annual clergy classes, training workshops and monthly “Justice Saturdays” that address poverty, injustice and division. The third tier involves church leaders engaging further through various communication platforms with various virtual, physical and organizational resources.

Measuring impact: Staff at the Warehouse Trust has monitoring mechanisms to record and analyze the success of the project, including a database and feedback surveys. Staff track participation and report back to church leaders.

Track Record

Since its founding in 2003, The Warehouse Trust has engaged in capacity-building for local churches, organizations and individuals. The Warehouse Trust previous- ly initiated a project, funded by the Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF), that provided psychosocial interventions to children and families. It impacted 20 church communities caring for 2,070 people in 1,055 households across Cape Town. The Warehouse Trust also provided “Christian Social Transformation” training and mentoring to church members and Christian nonprofits in the same region, reaching 500 church and commu- nity leaders. The Warehouse Trust also implemented a project that reached out to high-risk youth by equip- ping church leaders to work with former gang members and drug addicts and restore them to the community.

ARDF has funded other projects in the region, including Fikelela AIDS Project, which helped youth fight HIV/AIDS. These projects reinforce the resilience of churches and communities when facing challenges using the transforming power of God’s Word.

Project Budget

Staff: $56,000 (Additional funding provided locally: $53,403)

Training, workshops and forums: (Funding provided locally: $10,670*)

Property and equipment (Funding provided locally: $8,676)

Research and evaluation: $6,720

Transportation and travel: (Funding provided locally: $4,695)

Information and communication: (Funding provided locally: $3,597)

Governance and legal compliance: (Funding provided locally: $2,940)

Marketing, fund development: (Funding provided locally: $2,606)

Administrative support: (Funding provided locally: $837)

TOTAL: $62,720 (Including additional funding provided locally: $87,424 )

* Covers the services of a qualified church leader team to provide training, workshops and forums for church leaders and members, which is at the core of this project. 

Risk Analysis

Low: 1, Low/Medium: 2, Medium: 3, Medium/High: 4, High: 5

Concept: Risk Level 1

The local church is in a unique position to impact communities by engaging in more holistic development approaches. This project provides the training and resources to church leaders who will focus on church-based development.

Program Design and Experience: Risk Level 1

The Warehouse Trust has worked extensively in church capacity building over the past decade in the dioceses of Cape Town, False Bay and Saldanha. Its programming has evolved to reflect a more impactful and sustainable focus. The church-based development initiative has potential to change the ways that Christian leaders view their role and the churches’ role in overall development of a community and a nation.

Leadership: Risk Level 1

The Warehouse Trust is a stable organization with strong leaders. It has a proven 10-year track record, and has implemented similar projects in other communities in the country.

Financial Control: Risk Level 1

The Warehouse Trust has stable management, independent governance, externally audited financial statements and secure transfer methods.

Sustainability: Risk Level 2

The Warehouse Trust relies heavily on the financial commitment of local churches and members of those churches. Over the past 10 years, more than 80 percent of funding has come from local churches. More than 65 percent of the budget is allocated toward salaries.

External: Risk Level 2

The success of this project relies primarily on the engagement of church leadership and members. To create greater impact, The Warehouse Trust must influence the attitudes of local churches to begin considering the greater role of church bodies in the overall development of their communities.

Read Final Research Report as a PDF

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