Strength and Shine

4:15 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

Great to have new chairs for our training room. First outing for the chairs is a strength course aimed at instilling self worth into teens and young men.

Greg.

Community development experience.

6:09 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

I read a blog recently written from a guy working with the Peace Corps in Mozambique. What he wrote was well articulated and the truth of his experience. He was asking the question of how can we do any development with people who won't help themselves. His experience is that the people he works with make excuses and false promises to get things done. They then sit back and wait for a foreigner to save the day, both with resources and funds. His question is "how can I promote behaviour change when the people are unwilling to make the change themselves?" Great question!

A sense of hopelessness will drive people to give up. It sounds to me the community the Peace Corps worker is in has given up.

My experience of community led development is different to his. Yesterday I turned up in a remote community unannounced, to gather people together for a public meeting next week. I was met by the community leader who invited us to get involved with his community with training and advice. He said he could speak for the whole community because they have been told by a top Government official they need someone from the outside to help them and as a community they have discussed this.

The community leader said they need transport. This will take upgrading of bridges and better agricultural methods but we will meet next week with the whole community for better ideas. I was reassured they don't want finance but want help to get the job done.

What is the cause of the difference in experience between the peace corps worker and myself? He confesses to having no religion. I went into the community several years ago and taught bible college. The community leader I met with was in the bible course. He knows and trusts me. The result is a sense of hope and a desire to self develop. This community leader has moved out of a mud house with a grass roof into a brick house with a tin roof. This shows a desire to help himself.

All this because of a sense of hope being restored and the rise of moral values in the community. If you are doing community development without first sharing the good news and teaching the Word of God, you are fighting a loosing battle. First we must address the root causes of poverty, then we can give people a hand to get out of it.

Greg