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Over the years, we have had the opportunity to collaborate with various ministries across different African countries. Through our experiences, we have observed that much of the well-intended development aid fails to address the underlying root causes..

 

 

We want to tell a new story

 

A story that is not about the needs of African people but of their knowledge and their ability to steward their own communities.

 

The old and single story about Africa communicates the devastating message that only the economically wealthy can save the poor. But in this story both parties become poorer: the economically poor become more and more paralyzed from taking initiative to steward their own communities, and the economically wealthy are further confirmed in the erroneous claim of having all the answers.

This is a story that creates stereotypes and truncated worldviews.

 

Redefining poverty

The people we work with are affected by chronic poverty. In addition to complex economic and political causes, we have learned that poverty-promoting beliefs have a crucial impact. Because our beliefs influence how we behave. Our program begins by identifying the beliefs that keep communities in poverty ...The greatest poverty we face is humanity's inability, despite all our accomplishments, to transform our societal structure, where material abundance is enjoyed by a few while far too many are left without a solid foundation for life. By this definition, we are all impoverished- the global humanity. Consequently, we cannot find the solution within ourselves.

What is poverty?

How we define poverty shapes our approach to finding solutions.

If we expand our understanding of poverty beyond financial and material deficiencies to include the complex web of social and emotional hardships resulting from pro-poor worldviews - regarding ourselves, our neighbors, our environment, and our perception of God - then we are all affected by poverty.

Our daily experiences are influenced by these underlying worldviews and assumptions. Every new piece of information we encounter is filtered through these beliefs, influencing our behavior and its consequences. In every society, there are ideas that perpetuate poverty through laws and institutions, such as the caste system in India or the inhumane ideologies of Germany's Nazi era.

The economically impoverished also suffer from feelings of shame, inferiority, and hopelessness, which hinder their ability to actively change their living conditions. Among the economically privileged, this poverty often manifests as a sense of superiority and a disruption of social paradigms that fuel materialism and lead to compensatory behaviors such as workaholism, eating disorders, and greed that contribute to modern slavery.

Therefore, it is crucial for both sides to recognize their own poverty in order to avoid causing harm and to work together towards its eradication.

The notion of economically rich individuals compensating for the deficiencies of economically poor societies sends a detrimental message that only the former possess the ability to do so. This mindset further impoverishes both sides: the recipients become disempowered in their efforts to improve their living conditions, while the givers maintain the belief that they hold all the solutions. Moreover, this approach fails to consider cultural differences and denies true recognition of equality, keeping both sides confined within their limited perspectives.

In contrast, an alternative approach involves supporting economically disadvantaged individuals in harnessing their existing capacities to pursue their own interests, which may not necessarily align with the ideas of the economically privileged. This enables all participants to experience sustainable developmental changes. The economically poor individuals take responsibility for designing, implementing, and evaluating the respective projects, avoiding the role of passive recipients and utilizing their knowledge and abilities to drive change. In this highly participatory approach, the accompanying partner acts as a catalyst and facilitator, fostering connections and networks.

Poverty reduction begins in the minds and hearts of all involved people

The battle against poverty commences within the hearts and minds of all those involved.

We firmly believe in transitioning from mere acts of charity to authentic solidarity with individuals living in poverty, while also being inspired and empowered by them to challenge unjust societal norms.

In collaboration with our African partners, we have developed a shared vision that embraces existing structures rooted in principles of human rights, restoration of broken relationships, dignity, and unlocking human potential for a life of freedom.

This vision includes local churches actively practicing sacrificial compassion to address the physical, spiritual, and social needs of individuals.

Our project approach intentionally focuses on strengthening the agency and existing capacities of the people directly affected. This empowers them to achieve sustainable development independently, free from excessive reliance on external aid, and enables them to identify and resolve challenges that may go unnoticed by external observers. Ultimately, this reinstates the responsibility for development into the capable hands of individuals within the communities experiencing growth.

Our guiding principles and values

We embrace the Christian faith and uphold the belief that every human being is created in the image of God, deserving the right to live a life characterized by justice, freedom, and dignity. Consequently, we firmly reject any conditions, structures, or systems that perpetuate poverty, injustice, human rights violations, and environmental degradation.

We recognize that sustainable development necessitates the participation and transformation of all stakeholders, including those who possess power, wealth, and influence, and exhibit patterns of excessive consumption, as well as those affected by oppressive structures and systems.

We champion human rights, cultural and spiritual sensitivity, and gender justice. We vehemently oppose all forms of discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, culture, political affiliation, religion, age, and sexual identity.

Our relationships with the individuals we work alongside are founded on mutual respect. We renounce any mindset driven by competition for power, position, status, or control.

We are committed to maintaining a spirit of learning, humility, and patience in our interactions with one another. Love serves as the guiding force in our dealings.

We hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and morality. We acknowledge our responsibility and accountability to those we work with, our supporters, each other, and ultimately to God.

 

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