Building vibrant and tolerant democracies
Founded in 1996, ESSET is registered as a Section 21 company. At the time of founding, the mandate was to build the capacity of churches to work for socio-economic justice. There were several ecumenical organisations instrumental in its establishment. These include; the South African Council of Churches (SACC), the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), Institute for Contextual Theology (ICT), Ecumenical Foundation of Southern Africa (EFSA), Ecumenical Advice Bureau (EAB), Christian Citizenship Department of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and the Interdenominational Committee for Industrial Mission (ICIM).
While it remains programmatically rooted within the broad ecumenical movement from where it derives its mandate and locates its praxis, ESSET is structurally autonomous. The imperative to work for socio-economic justice is understood as working for the transformation of socio-economic processes, systems and structures so that the quality of life of the poor is enhanced in a sustainable manner.
Inherent in this mandate is the challenge to work beyond usual relief (poverty alleviation) and development (poverty reduction) programmes. For ESSET, this means continually identifying, and combating, factors that cause and perpetuate poverty by proposing alternatives towards poverty eradication and the promotion of the well- being of all.ShareThis