PRESSURES ON THE FAMILY

This edition of Footsteps is a challenging one. It shows some of the issues facing families today and in the future. It could make us feel quite depressed. Is there anything we can do? It raises many difficult issues that are easier to ignore. However, like the recent issue on women’s health (which has been much appreciated by readers) we hope that this issue, too, will help in raising awareness and discussion of sensitive issues. Families are the building bricks of societies. When they start to crumble, so too may society. We need family units – of whatever size – that provide a secure and loving base for children to grow and where people can share their needs, problems and joys openly. As part of the final stage of developing their population policy, Tearfund have included discussion of population issues in all their publications. They would be particularly pleased to have the response of Footsteps readers.

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 27 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 27 click here (660K).


  • Bible study: Families

    Families.  God intends the family as a place of refuge and security, standing strong under pressures. It should be a place where members can grow to maturity, sharing good things and fun! There are many examples of this in the Bible – for example, Psalm 128.

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  • Drama from EcoLink

    It is very important to encourage people to talk openly about sensitive issues. Drama – using people or puppets – can be a good way of encouraging such discussion. Here is an idea for a drama written by EcoLink in South Africa. You can add your own ideas, adapt the content and change the names to make it relevant for your own community.

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  • Editorial

    This edition of Footsteps is a challenging one. It shows some of the issues facing families today and in the future. It could make us feel quite depressed. Is there anything we can do? It raises many difficult issues that are easier to ignore. However, like the recent issue on women’s health (which has been much appreciated by readers) we hope that this issue, too, will help in raising awareness and discussion of sensitive issues. Families are the building bricks of societies. When they ...

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  • Erosion control

    Many years ago I worked with a group to control very large erosion ditches – sometimes 10 metres across. We used hardwood posts which we sank 1 metre deep into the ground, with the tops level with the original ground level. We planted them in two rows across the ditches and tied wire diagonally between them. We filled the ditch with straw or grass and planted cuttings of willows. As the level of straw and grass fell, we filled it up again.

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  • Healing for our communities and families

    by Gladys Mwiti. The Oasis Centre is based in Nairobi, Kenya, and believes that the importance of Christian counselling in the church cannot be over-emphasised. They prepare training materials and run workshops and seminars throughout Africa to prepare Christian counsellors.

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  • Letters

    Testing water purity. We appreciate Footsteps which provides much useful information for us. We work in providing water supplies in rural areas. We have a problem in testing water before proceeding with the building of wells and do not have access to large and expensive machines. Will the water be clean enough for drinking? Do any Footsteps readers have any ideas for simple methods of testing water easily and cheaply in the field?

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  • Practical methods for spacing families

    Compiled by Isabel Carter. There are many ways of helping couples to space their families. The most suitable method depends on what is available, the needs of the couple and their beliefs about which methods are appropriate.

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  • Resources

    EcoLink Ecolink is a group in the Eastern Transvaal of South Africa, providing a variety of training courses and booklets. The workshops include literacy, environmental issues, bookkeeping and budgeting and solar cooking. Their resource centre produces environmental education resources for communities, schools and field workers. They are useful not just in South Africa but elsewhere.

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  • The changing role of the family

    by Dr Apolos Landa. As we approach the third millennium, people all around the world show signs of being scared. They may be fearful about their safety, worried about their families or full of uncertainty about the future.

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  • The Population Debate

    Children are a blessing.  The Bible teaches that children are a blessing. Children are to be welcomed into the world and celebrated. People are made in the image of God and are to be given respect and dignity. However, many people today do not experience life as a blessing but as a tragedy. They may live in extreme poverty or as one of millions of ‘street kids’ who are unwanted. They may die from illnesses which are preventable.

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  • The return of sleeping sickness

    Sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis) is a disease carried by tsetse flies which affects an estimated 55 million people in 36 African countries. It causes severe pain, suffering and death in mainly rural communities. A WHO specialist has described the situation in many parts of Africa as a ‘time bomb’ under constant threat of exploding. Here is recent information from a Footsteps reader, Dr Paul Fountain…

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  • The world’s missing women

    Kala Devi lives with her husband and seven daughters in the slums of Delhi. When I met her, she was pregnant again. Despite the expense, she had been for a scan. Finding it was a boy, the family had brought sweets for everyone to celebrate. If it had been a girl, she might well have had an abortion.

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  • Visual Aids for Development

    by Petra Röhr-Rouendaal. ‘ I feel like a bird who can fly for the first time!’ This is what Brenda told me after she had produced her first visual aids. She is a nurse working in the north of Kenya with the nomadic Samburu and Turkana people. She has travelled with the nomads over the last few years, living in a simple grass-mat hut. Brenda’s work is to teach people about primary health care. This proved difficult as few people could read or write and she had no visual aids. Visual ...

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