Katie Kraft, Advocacy Coordinator for the Healthy Families Health Planet (HFHP) initiative of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society explains how denominations can become advocates for change in global health.
Transforming the Church:
How Denominations Can Become Agents of
Change for Global Health
FBOs: Key Providers & Funders
of Global Health
• Faith-based organizations (FBOs)
provide 30-70% of health services in
many African countries.
• UMC example: Imagine No Malaria
– Raised $61 Million for Malaria prevention,
treatment, and education around the world.
How can FBOs/people of faith be
key advocates for global health?
Healthy Families, Healthy Planet
Started in 2010, the Healthy Families,
Healthy Planet project, an initiative of The
United Methodist General Board of Church
& Society, works to mobilize U.S. United
Methodists on the importance of maternal
health and international family planning.
The Healthy Families, Healthy Planet
project strives for a world in which every
woman can plan her children and every
family experiences God’s promise of
Building a Successful, Faith-Based
• Denominational Support
• Sharing our successes
Biblical Basis for Advocacy
• Jesus is a manifestation of God’s desire to
reconcile our brokenness.
• Luke 4:18
• To be a follower of Christ is to serve the
world in a way that brings about
wholeness for all people.
• Bringing wholeness to all people
includes using our voices to proclaim
Christ’s promise of freedom.
Advocacy for Women and Girls
• Why does God care about maternal
– Women & girls are made in the image of
– Women and girls are children of God with
– Lack of access to family planning keeps
women and girls from experiencing health
– As people of faith we’re called to take action
Building a Network of Advocates
• Identifying leaders:Who in our churches is
already passionate about global health?
• Training leaders:What do they need to
build a movement for FP/MH?
• Sustaining leaders: How can we support and
sustain their efforts?
• Recognizing our leaders: How can we lift up
our leaders and recognize their good work?
HFHP Ambassador Program
• 100 Faith leaders in the U.S.
• Ambassador training program
• Regular Ambassador calls & emails
• Advocacy-focused resources
• Community moments
• Ambassador Leadership Opportunities
• What work is our church/denomination
already doing that relates to family
planning and maternal health?
• Where are church communities already
organizing around social justice issues?
• What statements/language does our
church have about FP/MH?
UMC Partners in Maternal Health
• UMCOR- providing MNCH programs on
• United Methodist Women (UMW)-
organized circles of women learning and
taking action for social justice.
• UMC language- supportive language on
RH. No language specifically on global
Working with Outside Partners
• Who are the faith-based partners
working on FP/maternal health?
• Who are the secular organizations?
• Sharing best practices
• Identifying opportunities for
• HFHP Ambassador Program
– More than 200 events on FP/MH
– 75 articles and op-eds about our work
– Reached over 40,000 people of faith
– Successful network of advocates
• HFHP Bishop Sign-On Letter
– Signed by 18 UMC Bishops
United Methodist Resolution
Maternal Health:The Church’s Role
(2012 General Conference)
• Calls upon all local congregations to:
– Support United Methodist projects around the world
working on maternal health and family planning.
– Advocate with policy makers at all levels to improve
maternal health through increased access to
maternal health and family planning services.
– Support local health initiatives that expand access to
information and services for women
Faith Communities Moving
• Rep. Kay Granger
– Partners (CARE)
• For advocacy-focused resources on
FP/MH check out: