KASA perceives itself as a service and information centre for Southern Africa and a lobby and campaign agency, working on selected issues of social and economic justice in the context of globalization and climate change.
KASA was founded in 1996 on the initiative of Werkstatt Ökonomie as a cooperative project of ecumenical groups and organisations and since then is located in Heidelberg, Germany.
As defined by the Christian option for the poor, KASA commits itself to the consolidation of civil society and churches, in order to theologically reflect on social and economic human rights and work for their political implementation.
KASA is ecumenical
It is sponsored by 15 church organisations and ecumenical groups:
• Covenant and Land Program • Misereor e.V. German Bishops' Organisation for Dev. Coop. • Diocese of Limburg • Bread for the World – Protestant Development Service • Blumhardt Congregation Heidelberg • Evangelical Lutheran Mission in Lower Saxony (ELM) • Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) • Protestant Church in Baden • Protestant Church District of Dortmund • MAKSA (Mainz Working Group on Southern Africa) • Missio Aachen Pontifical Mission Society • Missionszentrale der Franziskaner (Franciscan Mission Centre) • Netzwerk Afrika Deutschland e.V. (Network Africa - Germany) • Department of World Mission, Justice and Peace of the Diocese of Mainz • Werkstatt Ökonomie (Ecumenical Service for economic justice) • Centre for Ecumenical Work of the Protestant Church of Hesse and Nassau
KASA shows solidarity KASA perceives itself as an interface between groups and organisations in Southern Africa and Europe advocating social and economic justice. KASA opens up space to discuss alternatives and makes voices heard that are normally silenced by the powers that be (“Voice & Space”). Our basic principle is to be at eye level with our partners. Initiatives from Southern Africa are collected by KASA and brought into the political debate in Germany.
KASA is cross-linked
During our annual visits to Southern Africa we engage in intensive exchange with our local partner organisations, civil society groups and social movements. Speaker Tours with our southern partners in Germany intensify the relationship and furthermore offer a vivid change of perspective.
Searching for Alternatives: An integrated approach
Our model of economic activity and consumption has reached its limits: Food crisis, financial and economic crisis as well as climate change show the dimensions of overuse. These crises call for global answers and a fundamental reorientation of our life and social interaction. Theological reflection can instigate projects striving for justice, a decent life for all and environmental responsibility with our earth and with its resources.
Alternative models are often developed and tested on a local level - also in Southern Africa. To strengthen and connect actors and projects and to take up their initiatives is one of the basic concerns of KASA and its partners. This also includes reflecting on the role of theology and the church in this process of realignment.
KASA is process-oriented
Economic and social justice is a crucial requirement for the realization of a well-balanced and sustainable process of redistribution- and transformation in Southern Africa. Our interest focuses on the relationship between Southern Africa and Germany, respectively Europe:
• How does Germany and the European Union influence economic structures in Southern Africa? • How do German companies exploit resources in Southern Africa and who benefits from that? • Which German banks and companies participate on large-scale land acquisitions (“Land Grabbing”) and speculations on food prices? • To what extent do German companies meet their responsibility towards victims of Apartheid and how do they react on the matter of reparations? • What is the position of the German government concerning debts and debt cancellation of Southern countries? • How coherent is our development cooperation with Southern African states?
Lobbying and advocacy
Political advocacy work is based on vivid relationships with partner organisations and grass-root movements in Southern Africa. KASA takes up their concerns and translates them into demands on decision-makers in politics and the business sector. This lobby work is boosted by a network of partner organisations and supported through target-oriented campaigns. We thus seek for effective means of action without disregarding the complexity of the political context.
By means of concrete challenges KASA publicly points out negative effects on people in Southern Africa caused by political or business developments.
With the German “Stop-EPA” campaign we critically follow the negotiations on trade agreements between the European Union and African countries. KASA is also part of the “International Apartheid debt and reparations campaign” which calls for a cancellation of Apartheid caused debts and for reparations for the victims and survivors of Apartheid.
Education and awareness raising
KASA supports German church groups and organisations working on Southern Africa by providing information, pointing out background and establishing contacts between partners. This also includes consultative work with community partnerships, schools and confirmation programmes as well as a wide variety of presentations, seminar activities.
KASA introduces socio-economic issues into church and community related structures and therefore attract allies on the national and international level in order to pool our strengths. KASA is a member of the Ecumenical Network in Germany (ÖNiD), the Co-ordination for Southern Africa (KOSA), Jubilee Germany (erlassjahr.de) and attac.
Research and information
Through our periodical Newsletter, our website that provides background material and articles in professional journals, KASA attempts to sensitize the general public for related issues and thus wants to initiate well-founded discussions.
Along with the educational and campaign work, this provides the basis for our advocacy and lobby work.
“We address our demands to key persons in politics, economics and
church. Nevertheless, we believe that fundamental changes can only be
set in motion by powerful incentives from the grass roots level.”
Dr. Boniface Mabanza, KASA Coordinator
“We stick to issues, even if they are not a runaway success anymore and
we pick up new topics that do not promise to gain medial attention