Development Not Dependency
Our aim is holistic community development and self sustainability; not dependency
After meeting my friend, Lufafa Emmanuel, a Ugandan, I realized I wanted to partner with him and the work he is doing in Uganda because “Love Does.” The issue was I wasn’t sure how to best approach this new partnership. Me being the white American, I didn’t want to come off as superior. I wanted to learn from Lufafa. I had no idea he would become a mentor to me, moving me closer to Jesus. He is my brother.
So I decided to earn my Masters in global development and Justice. I spent two years learning about global development and justice at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon from some wonderful professors and I want to share with you…
Key Points to Creating Community Development and not Dependency…
Avoid Paternalism. Do not do for others what they can do for themselves. People are capable with talents and skills. Encourage people and let them know, they can! Treat each person with dignity and treat others the way you would want to be treated.
According to Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert in their book When Helping Hurts, we can “help people understand their identity as image bearers, to love their neighbors as themselves, to be stewards over God’s creation, and to bring glory to God in all things” (p 136).
Acknowledge World views. We each hold one. It’s how we make sense of our world. It’s our assumptions on how the world works. Though modernity tells us we should separate the spiritual from the physical, as followers of Jesus, we should know the Gospel says the two are inseparable. We have to seek holistic development, which requires us to focus on the spiritual aspect of life. We have to share Jesus with others. Talk about how He has changed our life. We have to provide prayers and material resources; not just one or the other.
Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
According to Corbett and Fikkert in their book When Helping Hurts, development is the “process of ongoing change that moves all the people involved closer to being in right relationship with god, self, others and the rest of creation.”
Help people seek Solutions. In a research class I learned about all these neat tools to use to bring a community together and allow them to work as a team to figure out how to overcome their challenges, identify their resources and strengths. The tools (mapping, focus groups, interviews, problem/solution tree, different games, etc.) require limited resources and encourage all members of the community, not just the “leaders”, to contribute. That should include: children, youth, women, widows, and all in between.
Allow local people take Ownership. Dr. Metzger would always say, “They need to own the pond.” This is truly the key to development. I know I wouldn’t appreciate someone from some other country telling me what is wrong in my neighborhood or family and how I should fix it. Allow the people to develop the engagement. Sure, we can teach the tools to use, but the locals are the people executing the tools and leading, and ultimately working towards development. They know their community; they know their history, context, and challenges. Let them take charge!
Build Relationships. Relationships are vitally important to development. A relationship would NOT be me telling Lufafa what to do. That would be horrible. We have to get rid of the “savior complex.” We should treat all people as our neighbor, not helpless poor people who need others to do things for them. We want to provide a hand up not a hand out.
How is the children’s home development? Many people use the word orphanage; Lord’s Compassion Ministry has a children’s home. Whether a home is needed in a community requires understanding the culture, context, and history of the community and country as a whole. We know that children thrive better in a family environment, however depending on the context of the culture and community, a children’s home can be very beneficial for the children and their future success.
In Uganda for example, with a country with a younger population, those children need adults to care for them and teach them about Jesus. Due to the history of the country, many children have been orphaned from HIV/AIDS and wars, including the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army). 48.47 % of their current population (42,951,530) is 0-14 years old. 28.34 % are 25-64 years old and 21.16 % are 15-24 years old and 2.04 % are 65 and older.
Our hope is that the children will become self-sustaining responsible adults that want to help propel their community toward development.
Why donations? We need to support children, especially those who are without a family to care for them. Lord’s Compassion uses donations to help community leaders grow their community to a place where they can sustain themselves.
The goal of LCM is to nurture and partner with others to create development and avoid dependency. Partner with us “to move all the people involved closer to being in right relationship with god, self, others and the rest of creation.”