Kenneth Kaunda visiting Gossner Mission, 1970 ©Archive

Gossner Mission in Zambia

At a glance

Zambia has risen into the group of African countries with "medium human development," according to United Nations data. However, the latest 2020 Human Development Index (HDI), a "well-being indicator," lists Zambia 147th out of 189 countries.

The work of the Gossner Mission in Zambia began with the construction of the Kariba Dam and thus the largest reservoir in Africa, the resettlement of tens of thousands of people, the independence of a country and the call of a president. This is what happened in 1969 on the fringes of a conference of the World Council of Churches in Uppsala, Sweden. Kenneth Kaunda (1924-2021), then president of the Republic of Zambia, which had been founded shortly before, asked Christian Berg, the director of the mission at the time, for help for the resettled Tonga population in southern Zambia.

The first contacts with the Zambian government resulted in the Gwembe South Development Project (GSDP), to which the Gossner Mission sent dedicated experts for many years. The focus of the work was primarily in the area of agriculture for food security. The project was handed over to Zambian hands in 1998. Under the name Kaluli Development Foundation (KDF), it has evolved into an independent organization with which the Gossner Mission today maintains a close partnership.

In addition, another focus of Zambia's work was established in the 1980s in Naluyanda, a region not far from the capital Lusaka. Close ties also exist with this area, especially with the local education authority and the four elementary schools founded by the Gossner Mission.

Another cooperation arose in 2005 with the largest Protestant church in the country, the United Church of Zambia (UCZ), and its commitment in the area of community and social diakonia. This cooperation is constantly being intensified and represents a strategic church partnership.

The work in the country is coordinated and supervised by a liaison office in Ibex Hill, a district of Lusaka. The responsibility also includes the management of the guest houses on the property, which are an attractive point of contact for visitors to Zambia, as well as for many locals.