January can be a gloomy time of year. The days are short, dark and cold, a lot of us are feeling sluggish and short of cash after our seasonal indulgence, and thereâ€™s no shortage of reasons to be miserable in the news. But there are also reasons to be excited, if you look in the right places. BCT are looking forward to a brilliant year. Hereâ€™s why:
- Things are changing â€“ Last year, UNAIDS announced that HIV infections amongst children have halved since 2010. 2016 saw 0.3 million fewer HIV infections than 2015. And infant mortality in DR Congo has halved since 1990. Until recently, these problems looked insurmountable, but thereâ€™s been massive progress. Weâ€™ve striven for years as part of SCWA to raise the profile of child witch accusations and to bring an end to the abuse related to the issue. And weâ€™re now beginning to see dramatic changes in attitudes amongst the communities weâ€™re engaging. Child witch accusations might seem as intractable as HIV or child mortality but, as with those other problems, the tide is turning.
- Our supporters are fantastic â€“ We never cease to be amazed by the dedication, determination and creativity of BCTâ€™s supporters. From the band of heroes who completed the Walk for Wukwashi to Maureen, who raises vital funds for us by making and selling cards, we have some incredible people behind us. Weâ€™re so thankful for their efforts and with this kind of support, 2018 is sure to be a great year for BCT.
- New projects, greater impact â€“ Itâ€™s so exciting to see our first Transformation Resources nearing their launch. â€˜The Heart of the Matterâ€™ is going through its final edits and â€˜Transform Disabilityâ€™ is being piloted by our friends in Zambia, UgandaÂ and Malawi. These resources have the potential to transform harmful beliefs about witchcraft and common negative attitudes towards children with disabilities. The impact could be huge.
- Existing projects growing â€“ New projects are always exciting, but weâ€™re also delighted by how our existing project partners are growing and developing. LVLE, our newest partner, is reaching out to street-living children in Goma, and learning from other organisations who are more experienced in this kind of work. APRECOM is becoming more involved in a school for disabled children, which adds an entire new dimension to their work. And weâ€™re helping Wukwashi to develop relationships with new potential collaborators. So the future is bright for our partners, whether theyâ€™ve been with us for a year or for 15 years.
- God is faithful â€“ Time and time again throughout BCTâ€™s history, weâ€™ve been reminded that our God is good, gracious and faithful. Weâ€™ve seen his provision, guidance and inspiration in even the hardest times in our journey and, as we begin 2018, we know weâ€™re walking with the God who can do â€˜immeasurably more than all we ask or imagineâ€™ (Ephesians 3:20).