The UMC Liberia and The UMC Sierra Leone signed a partnership agreement with the United Methodist Church of Norway on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at The United Methodist Church Central Office in Monrovia, Liberia. The intent of the partnership is to establish a United Methodist Church Regional Center (UMCRCC) in West Africa (now known as The West Africa Regional Center (WARC) for Partnership in Development). The three institutions were represented by Bishop John G. Innis, UMC Liberia; Bishop John K. Yambasu, UMC Sierra Leone; and Rev. Tove Odland, UMC Norway and General Secretary of the Board of Global Ministry in Norway (Metodistkirkens Misjonsselskap). The three church leaders are charged with the responsibility to provide steering leadership for the center.
This Regional Center (WARC) serves as the core entity which connects the parties and provides practical diaconal assistance to needy communities. It also engages in academic research, training, and the promotion of best practices among partners, as well as others who are interested in the services provided by the West Africa Regional Center (WARC) for Partnership in Development). As part of its mandate, the West Africa Regional Center for Partnership in Development shall also establish relationships with academic institutions such as the United Methodist University in Monrovia, The United Methodist University in Freetown, and with relevant academic institutions in Norway as well as institutions in other parts of the world.
The United Methodist Church in Norway has been in partnership with The United Methodist Church in Africa through several Annual Conferences since 2004. Through its mission program called “Partnership in Development,” UMC Norway’s cooperation with LAC/UMC started in 2006, and the progress of the work has been successful with the construction of several schools, clinics, latrines, teachers’ housings, and hand pumps, among others.
A joint discussion among LAC/UMC, SLAC/UMC, and MM dates back to 2011 to look into the possibility of expanding the work to include SLAC/UMC. A successful feasibility study in Sierra Leone took place early 2012, followed by training both in Norway and Liberia.
The purpose of the agreement is to emphasize the mutual cooperation among the three parties and to jointly create a regional center in order to strengthen the commitment to the continuous development and improvement of the Partnership in Development program.
To monitor & evaluate, document and present, on demand, critical reports and other materials when requested;
To ensure an up – to – date filing system of all office files in soft and hard versions as well as maintain the security of those documents.
ROLE OF THE REGIONAL CENTER
The Regional Center exists as a brain child of UMC Liberia, Sierra Leone and UMC Norway.
The Center has its head offices located in the Central office of the LAC/UMC on 12th Street, Tubman Boulevard, Sinkor. The leadership structure of the Regional Center consists of: The UMC Liberia, The UMC Norway, The UMC Sierra Leone, Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary of the Task Force, Two Directors of CELAD and CODEVPRO, Three Academic Coordinators and a Regional Research Coordinator.
To identify and work with other agencies and institutions both public and private entities that are involved with research and obtain concept documents that will serve as important to the Center;
To transform all experiences into opportunities for academics from both the student, intellectual and professional communities to learn and do research utilizing the information provided by the Regional Center.
To collect all necessary documentations for the Center from participating countries (Liberia and Sierra Leone, especially those involving the success stories of the
Partnership in Development (PID) in relation to success, challenges and/or lessons learned;