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Support team

The WCC COVID-19 support team offered to member churches

WCC staff available for consultation with member churches

The support team is here for you!
Contact them by email:

Rev. Dr Nyambura J. Njoroge – Health-competent faith communities, experiences from HIV and AIDS epidemic


Rev. Dr Nyambura Njoroge can advise on lessons and experiences from work in the area of HIV and AIDS, and how these can inform faith-based efforts in view of the new Coronavirus.

Whereas the HIV and AIDS epidemic is different in many ways from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are important lessons and experiences to share with faith communities and affected families from sub-Saharan Africa as we promote unwavering leadership, pastoral accompaniment and solidarity with hope, life-affirming and life-giving messages and actions in the midst of scarcity of resources, despair, trauma, stigma, discrimination, misinformation, insecurity, and displacement.

Rev. Dr Njoroge is the programme executive for Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy at the World Council of Churches since 2007. She previously coordinated Ecumenical Theological Education at the World Council of Churches. Nyambura is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Kenya. She received her ministerial formation and theological education from St. Paul’s University in Kenya, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Ky, in the USA and her doctoral studies in African Christian Theology and Ethics from Princeton Theological Seminary, NJ, USA. She is currently a member of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). She is also co-editor of Treatment Adherence and Faith Healing in the Context of HIV and AIDS in Africa, WCC Publications 2019.

Rev. Dr Njoroge can be contacted via email or skype ID


Dr Manoj Kurian Medical and Public Health issues, health and healing from the context of faith


Dr Manoj Kurian can advise on medical and Public Health issues, and on how to see and interpret issues of health and healing from the context of faith, religion and spiritual practice.

Dr Kurian is a medical doctor from Malaysia and the coordinator of the WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance. Following his postgraduate training in Community Health in India, he worked for seven years in church related institutions in different parts of India. From 1999, he guided the 'Health and Healing' programme at the World Council of Churches in Geneva until 2012. Following this, he managed the Policy and Advocacy work of the International AIDS Society. From 2015 apart from coordinating WCC-EAA, he also coordinates the WCC’s Section on ‘Ecological & Economic Justice’ and is the focal person responsible for Asia. He is also an adjunct professor at the College of Public Health, Kent State University.

Dr Kurian can be contacted at, or mobile +41 793781690 (also WhatsApp or WeChat on the same number). Skype- manojkurian.


Rev. Nicole Ashwood – sexual and gender-based violence, women’s networks


Rev. Nicole Ashwood can advise on how to address issues related to sexual and gender based violence and for interconnecting women and men’s networks, including updates from the UN Women.

As a young adult, Rev. Ashwood worked with victims and perpetrators in an unofficial capacity, and this influenced her work at the Caribbean and North America Council for Mission (CANACOM). She is an ordained minister with the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, a member of the Caribbean Women Theologians for Transformation and a former member of the WCC’s Movers for Gender Justice. Rev. Ashwood has contributed to liturgical and theoretic collaborative work with the WCC, CWM and WCRC on transformative masculinities and femininities.  She currently serves as the programme executive for Just Community of Women and Men and is co-regional contact for the Caribbean.

Rev. Ashwood is available via email at


Dr Mwai Makoka Medical and Public Health issues, Christian health networks, linkage with WHO


Dr Mwai Makoka can advise on medical and Public Health issues, Christian health networks, and linkages with the World Health Organization.

Dr Makoka is Programme Executive for Health and Healing at the World Council of Churches. He received medical training from the University of Malawi and post-doctoral training in medical and public health microbiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, USA. Besides clinical work, he has worked in academia and in health programmes in the public sector, and he previously headed the Christian Health Association of Malawi. He currently serves on several boards of ecumenical health organisations and also on a number of World Health Organization technical working groups. He has authored Health-Promoting Churches: reflections for churches on commemorative health days, WCC Publications 2020.

Dr Makoka can be contacted at or via skype: mwaimh


Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon – Churches and COVID-19, pastoral care


Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon can advise on questions of how different churches are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, how to make connections between and among churches, as well as for general counselling or pastoral care.

Rev. Dr Simon is the programme executive for Church Relations at the World Council of Churches. Previously he was a faculty member of the Ecumenical Institute Bossey, teaching Missiology and intercultural Theology. He is the managing editor of the International Review of Mission and contact person of World Council of Churches to the „German Protestant Kirchentag“. He is an ordained pastor from the Church of Baden (member church of Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, EKD) where he served as parish pastor as well as ecumenical officer in its headquarter in Karlsruhe, Germany. He spent some eight years of his life in different African countries (RSA, DRC, Tanzania) – in his childhood, during his theological studies, and working and teaching at the Makumira University College/TZ.

Rev. Dr Simon can be contacted via email: or via skype: benjamin.simon_10


Joy Eva Bohol – Accompaniment of young people, self-care and safe space conversations


Joy Eva Bohol can advise on accompaniment of young people in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, on self-care and mental health in dealing with isolation, especially for young people living alone, and facilitate safe space conversations among young people to address issues of isolation, anxiety for the future, or being away from family.

Bohol is program executive for youth engagement at the World Council of Churches, where she serves through her capacity as missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Her primary role is to ensure youth active involvement and participation all throughout the World Council of Churches’ work. She has served as a missionary for eight years, during which she has been placed in Colombia, USA, South Korea, and now in Switzerland.

One of her major roles was accompaniment to young adult missionaries across Asia and Latin America, supporting them in their adjustments to a new culture, living alone and far from home, spiritual practices, and struggles they encounter as young missionaries. She is also trained in facilitating safe space conversations among young people in addressing pressing issues. She also facilitates difficult conversations and dialogues.

A young person herself, Bohol is originally from the Philippines.

She can be contacted via e-mail at or Facebook: Joy Eva Bohol


Rev. Dr Mikie Roberts – Ecumenical prayer and spirituality


Rev. Dr Mikie Roberts can advise on questions of ecumenical prayer and ecumenical spirituality, the sourcing and sharing of songs and prayers that encompass the spiritual expressions found within and among churches around the world.

Rev. Dr Roberts is the programme executive for Spiritual Life and Faith and Order at the World Council of Churches. He is an ordained Antiguan Moravian pastor from the Eastern West Indies Province where he last served as the Provincial Director of Music. Before joining the World Council of Churches staff in February 2019, he ministered within Moravian congregations in Trinidad, Barbados and St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands). As the programme executive for Spiritual Life he coordinates the daily prayers in the chapel at the Ecumenical Centre and also gives leadership to the musical and spiritual life initiatives for the World Council of Churches.

Rev. Dr Roberts can be contacted via email: or via skype: mikieroberts.


Frederique Seidel – Challenges faced by children, youth, educators and teachers


Frederique Seidel can advise on resources and experiences related to the challenges faced by children, youth, educators and teachers in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seidel is the World Council of Churches senior advisor on child rights and manager of the global WCC-UNICEF partnership, and specializes in peacebuilding through child rights implementation. A French and German national, Seidel holds a Master’s degree in Sociology and Educational Science from the Sorbonne and Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, and Freie Universität in Berlin.

Seidel coordinates the Churches' Commitments to Children initiative and represents the WCC in various fora of the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and the INSPIRE Advisory Team.

Before joining the WCC Seidel served UNICEF for 13 years as head of sub-office in Kosovo, communication officer, Child Rights Education Programme manager, and UNICEF deputy representative in Algeria. She also served as a spokesperson for the UN and the OSCE in post-war Balkans (1996- 2001) and was a journalist for Deutsche Welle TV’s children and youth programmes in Berlin, Germany. Her research includes strategies of support to children’s resilience and churches’ capacity building for young actors of change.

Seidel can be reached via e-mail at or Skype at: Frederike.Seidel


Rev. Matthew Ross (diakonia, or church-related social care)

Matthew Ross photo

Rev. Matthew Ross can advise on diaconal (church-related social care) resources, networks and contacts, including with ACT Alliance and the network of church-related development and disaster-relief agencies.

The immediate response to COVID-19 is a medical one, but the long-term response will include diaconal care and support. Many countries have very limited capacities in health and social care; the work and support of churches and church-related agencies will be crucial in supporting people in the coming years. The WCC can support this work through networking, capacity building and encouraging the study of best practices – recognising that financial and physical resources may be very limited. A faith-based response to the crisis must include accurate information and professional support for churches and diaconal organisations.

Ross is the programme executive for Diakonia and Capacity Building at the World Council of Churches (WCC). He is a graduate in both law and theology. He is a minister of the Church of Scotland (a Presbyterian/Reformed church). He has organised training in diaconal planning, management and development in Africa and Asia. Before moving to work with the WCC in 2018 he served as a minister in congregations in Scotland, as general secretary of Action of Churches Together in Scotland and worked for six years with the Conference of European Churches based in Brussels, Belgium.

Rev. Ross can be reached via e-mail at Matthew DOT Ross (at) or phone at: +41 22 791 63 22