MEF was founded in 1958 and formally established in 1959 at a time when Africa was in turmoil; rapid industrialization and urbanization was emerging as a social concern in the Copperbelt of Zambia and in other parts of Africa, there was political tension due to the struggle for independence in many countries in Africa and for Northern Rhodesia as Zambia was then known.
From its very beginning MEF was established as an ecumenical institution with the aim of serving the Church and community at large in deepening their understanding of the crucial issues facing them and affecting the unity and renewal of the Church. In practical terms, MEF sought to prepare Africans from the Copperbelt province of Zambia and other countries in trade unionism, community development, modern farming, Christian ethics, and political science and many more, all within the Christian re-conciliatory approach. Over time, MEF sought to prepare Christians to participate in Industry and Commerce as an added priority through provision of education that encourages development of life skills that would get the graduates out of the poverty trap. However, training in various fields was and remains the main business of MEF.
The burning issues started to change in the 1990’s and the 2000’s when the priorities had to include responding to the reality of HIV and AIDS, quest for multi-party politics, gender based violence and other challenges affecting the society. Questions were raised as to whether the original mandate of MEF was still relevant at the beginning of the 21st century. However, a number of new courses and programs were introduced to respond to changing society needs. These include specialized care for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), social work, community development and women training programs.
“To be a leading ecumenical institution that meets the holistic training needs of Zambia, Africa and the world for sustainable human development”.
“A church based pan-African training institution; MEF seeks to realize its vision by contributing to sustainable human development through reflection, worship and training that embraces an ecumenical perspective”
The theme of this Strategic Plan is ‘moving MEF to greater heights by transforming and making it sustainable’
In all our work we commit ourselves to be participatory, democratic, honest and trustworthy and we will be in the fore-front to uphold Christian values in the areas of our work and beyond. We also uphold self-criticism and monitoring and evaluation as methods to revitalize ourselves.
The core values of MEF include the following:
- Commitment to justice/fairness
- Hard work
- Faith in God
In addition to the core values, all departments, sections and units shall aim to address the following cross-cutting issues:
- Gender equality
- Environmental sustainability
- Multi-disciplinary collaboration
- Cost saving measures
- Income generating measures