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Patricia Ali

ID: 01166, Region: Africa
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Many rural women in northeastern Nigeria are living in oppression and extreme poverty. My research has revealed some of the consequences of these challenges, such as stunted perspectives of themselves, their roles, and their future. These challenges have conditioned them to a state of learned helplessness. The purpose of engaging with women in rural areas is to help them develop the capacity for grassroots leadership work that can lead to individual and community development.

In addition to coming alongside the rural women in sub-Saharan Africa, I am passionate about working with younger African women to help them to become aware of the complexity of the systemic problems that the rural women face. These young women can become catalysts for engaging with the women in their home countries in sustainable processes that can lead to liberation and empowerment of rural communities.

I engage with African women in ways that are not superficial, creating authentic relationships with ourselves and with God through the power of the Holy Spirit. In describing my calling, Luke 4:18-19 captures it:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

I am driven toward people who are oppressed. The oppressor and the oppressed are both bound by the very act of oppression. I believe in the power of the Gospel for liberation. Therefore, pursuing justice and freedom gives me the opportunity and privilege to be part of God’s plan for humanity.

My work with rural women and the Living Learning Community are endeavors to encourage the development of communities of support among women in Africa. I anticipate that these projects can create a safe place where women, in spite of the challenges confronting us, can seek out ways to support each other and grow holistically as they experience the fullness of God’s Kingdom together.

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