Date of Meeting: 12 March 2019

Meeting Organizer: Lutheran World Federation

ISJC Staff Present: Major Victoria Edmonds, Stephanie Marinelli

Reporter: Stephanie Marinelli

Which SDG does this topic cover? SDGs 3, 4, 5, 10, 16

Type of meeting: CSW Side Event - Panel Presentation

Brief summary of presentation of information made

The meeting began with an introduction of the programme being implemented by the Lutheran World Federation, Waking the Giant, and an introduction of the panellists.


Julia Brummer, Global Coordinator, Waking the Giant

  • Waking the Giant is an initiative for churches to participate in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Many churches have been working on achieving the SDGs for years, before the United Nations existed
  • Many times, the UN does not notice the work that churches and other faith-based organisations are doing
  • Many times, churches and faith-based organisations don’t see how the UN applies to their day-to-day work
  • Waking the Giant is an attempt to bridge the gap between the work happening in the UN and the work being done by faith-based organisations
  • The initiative will first focus on these 5 SDGs as a priority:
    • Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing
    • Goal 4: Quality Education
    • Goal 5: Gender Equality
    • Goal 10: Reducing Inequalities
    • Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • The Lutheran World Federation is creating a methodology for churches to measure how they’re contributing to the SDGs
    • Can be used online and offline
    • Is friendly to those who are not familiar to the SDGs
    • Will be ready by June 2019
  • This methodology will also allow the Lutheran church to collect data on how all churches are contributing to the SDGs
  • The initiative is currently in the pilot stage and is focused on 4 countries: Tanzania, Liberia, Colombia, and The United States


Pastor Eduardo Martinez, National Coordinator for Colombia, Waking the Giant

  • Focus on training church leaders
  • Making a plan to support economic empowerment for women
  • This will allow religious leaders to have the opportunity to measure how their contributing to the SDGs

Rev. St John York, National Coordinator for Liberia, Waking the Giant

  • Consulate of Churches never received a grant from the UN but now, it seems more possible that they will receive a grant
  • Waking the Giant aims to connect the church with the UN
  • In Liberia, sectoral meetings happen in counties and recently, churches have been attending the government sectoral meetings

Dr. John Hillary, National Coordinator for Tanzania, Waking the Giant

  • Tanzania is one of the bigger countries in Africa, 56 million people live there
    • 60% Christian
    • 40% Muslim
  • Typically, men do not take care of children
  • Men do not talk about menstruation hygiene, there is a mission to break the taboo and make more men comfortable with talking about these things
  • He created a document about the role that faith-based organisations helped with support
  • The organisation submitted a proposal to UNWomen about female genital mutilation
  • Tanzania organised into task groups for each SDG

Head of Gender Equality Tanzania, Waking the Giant

  • 27% of women deliver babies in the hospital
  • Reproductive health is a priority
  • Focus on men in Africa and the church
  • Organised a gender justice run
  • Focus on stopping female genital mutilation and child marriage

Mikka McCracken, Evangelical Church of America (ELCA), Waking the Giant

  • Coming from the global north, it is important to take the time to educate ourselves about topics like why hunger happens
  • The United States is adding a focus of SDG 2: Zero Hunger
  • Focus needs to switch from “what can the global north teach” to “what can the global north learn” in this context
  • Specifically in the United States, there is a need to begin with explaining what the SDGs are and the function of the UN
  • “Leave no one behind but also don’t do it alone”
  • We are more powerful to do this work with our neighbour

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

The Salvation Army is in a unique position because we are a global church. The ISJC plays a critical role in educating The Salvation Army at large about the link between faith-based organisations and the United Nations. The tool produced by the Waking the Giant initiative will be a useful way for individual Salvation Army corps (churches), community centers, and institutions to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals and measure how they are already working towards the SDGs.

Web links for more information – For more information about the Waking the Giant initiative - For more information about the Sustainable Development Goals

Tags: SDG10: Reduced Inequalities, SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, SDG4: Quality Education, SDG5: Gender Equality, SDG3: Good Health and Well-Being