Religion and development: the contribution made by the United church of Zambia to social and economic development in Lusaka district.

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Fellows, Nelly M.
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The University of Zambia
The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution made by the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) to Social and Economic Development in Lusaka District. The study was motivated by the fact that the UCZ had made enormous developmental contributions to other parts of Zambia but little was known or documented on what it had done in Lusaka District. In order to understand this, the study employed a qualitative inquiry as regards the collection of data and used a descriptive survey design. It employed purposeful sampling (typical) which was used to come up with the desired sample size of 25 participants. The desired data were collected by the use of in-depth interview guide, observation checklist and focus group discussion guide. The data was analysed thematically. The findings were categorised in line with the objectives which were : to ascertain the participation of the UCZ in the economic development of Lusaka District, to establish the involvement of the UCZ in the provision of health services in Lusaka District and to investigate the involvement of the UCZ in education provision in Lusaka District. The study established that the UCZ contributed to the economic and social development by offering employment, engaging in community development, advocating for women’s economic rights and providing education facilities from preschool to secondary schools among others. Further, the church provided healthcare services even though they did not run any hospitals and clinics. Additionally, the UCZ in Lusaka District was involved in sensitisation programmes addressing the problem of non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer. The health concerns of the youth were also addressed. The study concluded that the church was a valuable partner in the social and economic development of the citizenry. It promoted the holistic development of the citizens and this had a ripple effect on the Social and economic development of a country. The study recommended that the UCZ should partner with the government in the provision of education and healthcare in Lusaka District as it had done in other Districts. Future research could be carried out to establish how other faith based organisations contributed to national other faith based organisations contributed to national development.
Master of education in education and development
Churches in national development.