Kanomrani's family lives in a coastal village in Bangladesh that is in the direct path of cyclones. You can help protect a family like hers from the storms ahead.

Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction Saves Lives

My dad used to always say, “It’s better to build a guardrail on a curve than a hospital at the bottom of the hill.” As an adult, I’ve come to understand that wisdom of his words. We all want to rescue someone after they’re hurt. But isn’t it better to protect them from harm in the first place?

Today, as the president of World Concern, I have an opportunity to put my dad’s wisdom into practice. Our focus is on disaster risk reduction: equipping vulnerable communities for a disaster before it happens, and taking practical steps to minimize its destructive impact.

We work to provide infrastructure within and around a community to protect its residents from disaster. This is far better than repeatedly helping them rebuild… and grieving with families who have lost loved ones in a devastating earthquake or hurricane.

Mercila no longer fears disaster in her village along Haiti's northern coast. She is helping her community prepare for future disasters.

Mercila no longer fears disaster in her village along Haiti’s northern coast. She is helping her community prepare for future disasters.

Mercila’s story is a great example of how communities can protect themselves.

“When there is flooding, the houses fill with water and people lose many things. When there is a hurricane… houses are destroyed,” said Mercila, a young mom who lives in Haiti. Hurricane season comes every year, and her village’s precarious location along Haiti’s northern coast leaves the entire community vulnerable to frequent natural disasters.

Her one-year-old son’s safety weighs heavily on her mind. “My dream for my son is to let him grow up in Anse-á-Foleur where disaster will not impact our town again.”

Mercila's village of Anse-a-Foleur has a new storm shelter where families can go to stay safe when the next hurricane comes.

Mercila’s village has a new storm shelter where families can stay safe during a hurricane.

World Concern is taking action to keep everyone in Anse-á-Foleur safe. We’ve trained Mercila as an emergency responder for her village. Now, she is teaching her entire community, passing along all the disaster preparedness training she’s received.

The community was equipped to establish an early warning system to alert villagers of coming danger, and built rock walls along the river to prevent flooding. They also constructed a storm shelter, so families will have a safe place to go when a hurricane is near.

“Because of the activities of World Concern, Anse-á-Foleur has become a new town,” Mercila proclaimed. “We are not afraid about anything.”

Mercila no longer fears disaster,

but many others in vulnerable communities are living in the path of destruction. Families in Bangladesh, for example, know that the month of May brings another cyclone season… and certain destruction. Together, we can help them prepare and survive.

Kanomrani's family lives in a coastal village in Bangladesh that is in the direct path of cyclones. You can help protect a family like hers from the storms ahead.

Kanomrani’s family lives in a coastal village in Bangladesh that is in the direct path of cyclones. You can help protect a family like hers from the storms ahead.

World Concern will always be there for those who are suffering after disaster. But it’s a wise and critical investment to protect vulnerable moms, dads, and little ones from future disasters.

You can help protect them. Give online at www.worldconcern.org/savelives  

 

Free Them 5k Fundraiser’s Tool Kit

If you’re signed up for the Free Them 5k, thank you! Thank you for being an advocate for those who are at risk for or caught up in the clutches of human trafficking. You’re making a huge difference by participating. Whether you run, walk, fundraise – or all three – you’re doing something amazing.

Remember, every $40 you raise helps protect one vulnerable child or woman from becoming a victim of exploitation and abuse.

Here's me after last year's Free Them 5k, with my husband, my daughter, and her friend. I used this photo on my fundraising page this year to personalize it.

Here’s me after last year’s Free Them 5k, with my husband, my daughter, and her friend. I used this photo on my fundraising page this year to personalize it.

Every year, I’m amazed by the generosity of my friends. I’ve been surprised at how many people have donated to my fundraising page. Within a few days of sharing it, I was almost at my goal!

Fundraising is easier than you’d think, and you might be surprised who will donate to your page, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Here are some tools to make it easier:

  1. Email or personal contact works best. A series of three emails has been shown to be most effective, so over the next few weeks, consider sending several emails to each person who hasn’t yet donated. People appreciate the reminder! Here are some sample emails you could copy, personalize, and use:

Email #1

Dear Sarah,

Worldwide, 29 million people are trapped in modern-day slavery. Innocent children and adults are forced into labor, prostitution, and worse. Human trafficking is a major crime in Southeast Asia, where poverty and high demand make people vulnerable.

This breaks my heart, and that’s why I’m participating in World Concern’s Free Them 5k on May 10. I’m writing today to ask if you would support me in taking a stand to stop human trafficking by making a donation to my fundraising page. (* Copy and paste the link to your personal fundraising page here)

Every $40 that’s donated helps World Concern protect one child or woman from being trafficked. But a donation of any amount helps!

Thank you for your support! It will be a huge encouragement to me as I run on May 10 for this great cause!

P.S. Here’s the link to my fundraising page: (* Copy and paste the link to your personal fundraising page again here)

Email #2

Dear Sarah,

On May 10 I’ll be participating in World Concern’s Free Them 5k to help stop human trafficking. I wanted to remind you that if you haven’t had a chance to donate to my personal fundraising page, now is the time! The event is coming up quickly, and with your support, I’m striving to make the biggest impact possible by raising funds for this great cause.

Here’s the link to my donation page: (* Copy and paste the link to your personal fundraising page here)

Thank you for your support!

Email #3

Dear Sarah,

The Free Them 5k to help stop human trafficking is just a few days away! I’ve been preparing for this event for weeks, and I’m so excited to make a difference in the lives of those at risk for becoming victims of trafficking.

Would you help me further this important cause by making a donation to my personal fundraising page today? There’s only a few days before the event, so if you wanted to help, now is the time!

Thank you for helping me make an even bigger impact and help others!

2. Share through social media.

Facebook: Copy and paste the link to your personal fundraising page into the status window on Facebook, then write a few words about why you’re doing this and ask friends to click and donate to your page.  (Here’s an example of mine below)

Facebook sample post

Twitter: Tweet the link to your fundraising page with a comment or question to get people to click on it. For example, “Want to help stop #humantrafficking? Make a donation to my #FreeThem5k fundraising page! (* Copy and paste the link to your personal fundraising page here. Twitter will automatically shorten the link.)”

3. Don’t forget to ask for support in person. You never know who might be willing to donate! Your boss, grocery clerk, or neighbor will be grateful for the opportunity to do something to help.

Thank you for being an advocate and standing up for those who don’t have a voice. You’re doing a great thing!

Happy fundraising!

World Concern disaster response expert doubles as Red Cross volunteer for Oso landslide

On March 22, 30 seconds altered the lives of residents of Oso forever. That night, I received an urgent email from the American Red Cross chapter of Snohomish County. They needed volunteers to staff the evacuation shelter which they were providing for families affected by the slide. While I couldn’t help during the day, I was able to volunteer for the night shift, providing support in the shelter from 8 pm to 8 am.

Chris Sheach uses his disaster experience with World Concern in places like Haiti, and closer to home as a Red Cross volunteer. He recently served at a Red Cross shelter for victims of the tragic Oso landslide.

Chris Sheach uses his disaster experience with World Concern in places like Haiti, and closer to home as a Red Cross volunteer. He recently served at a Red Cross shelter for victims of the tragic Oso landslide.

Driving up to Arlington, passing very familiar landmarks, it was a bit discomforting to see the elementary school with Red Cross signs posted on it, and to see people who last week may have stood behind me in the grocery store checkout were now sleeping on a cot with only the clothes on their back, waiting anxiously to hear word of their missing loved ones. It’s a very different thing to respond so close to home, but wearing a Red Cross vest, I was instantly recognized as someone trustworthy, and there to help. During a time when many families were beset by national and international media, they were very grateful for the safe place we offered, the hot food, showers and listening ear.

I’ve been a volunteer for a year and am now a certified Red Cross disaster instructor. In some ways it’s a natural fit, since my role at World Concern means I respond to disasters like the Haiti earthquake, and am familiar with these kinds of crises. I do this work because I have a heart for those whose lives have been devastated by disaster. Now, as a registered Disaster Team Specialist, as well as a member of my Community Emergency Response Team, I know that I will be able to fulfill my calling at home, and not just overseas.

Mary fled violence in her home town in South Sudan. Three days after arriving in a camp, she gave birth to her son Amel.

Mary’s Story: “My heart is beating in fear…”

Nine months pregnant and carrying her 2-year-old in her arms, Mary ran from her home in Unity State, South Sudan, where widespread violence has killed and injured thousands of people since December.

Mary holds the hand of her toddler as she walks toward the makeshift camp they now call home.

Mary holds the hand of her toddler as she walks toward the makeshift camp they now call home.

“Both of my neighbors were killed when we were running. My uncle was also killed,” said Mary. “When we were fleeing, my husband’s brother was shot. So my husband carried him to hospital. They are now in another IDP camp. There is also a woman I know who has lost her son. When we were being collected in the truck, the boy was left behind…”

Driving up a long, dusty dirt road, haphazardly created structures line the road as far as the eye can see. This is Mary’s temporary “home,” a camp for families displaced by the violence in South Sudan. Tents made of the only available materials – sticks, women’s clothing, old plastic bags, sheets, and pieces of canvas are scattered everywhere. Some people sleep under branches, without any covering at all.

Mary fled violence in her home town in South Sudan. Three days after arriving in a camp, she gave birth to her son Amel.

Mary fled violence in her home town in South Sudan. Three days after arriving in a camp, she gave birth to her son Amel.

Mary arrived at the camp just three days before giving birth to her second son. She named him Amel. She delivered Amel outdoors, with no help.

Can you imagine?

“At the time I delivered I was alone. I was feeling bad. My body was in pain and it was not well,” she said. Fortunately, someone felt compassion for her and allowed her to take shelter in a school building nearby.

Like thousands of others who fled for their lives, Mary doesn’t have food or even a pot to cook food, if she had any. She was given some beans and flour, but sold some for oil and salt to cook with. “We fear now that if we eat twice a day the food will be gone and we don’t know when we’ll get more,” she said.

Tiny Amel was born homeless. Now, he's sick. His family has no place to go after fleeing their home in South Sudan.

Tiny Amel was born homeless. Now, he’s sick. His family has no place to go after fleeing their home.

And they’re sick. Amel has diarrhea – very dangerous for a newborn. Mary has stomach pains whenever she eats, too.

The rains have arrived early in South Sudan … not good news for families like Mary’s who are living in makeshift tents. Flooding and poor sanitation make diarrhea and sickness an even greater threat.

World Concern is responding in this area, providing shelter materials, emergency supplies, and food to displaced families. We’re also providing long-term support, so families like Mary’s can resettle, earn income, and begin to rebuild their lives. Click here to help.

“My heart is beating in fear for two reasons,” said Mary. “One, I don’t have a house. I just sleep in the open or in the school. Secondly, I don’t have my husband. Sometimes I spend many days without good food because we have no income.”

You and I can’t change the political situation in South Sudan, but we can do something to help

Mary and other moms whose “hearts are beating in fear” tonight.

Donate to help families in South Sudan survive this crisis.

 

Eye Contact: Seeing a woman’s story in her eyes

A young girl in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

A young girl in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

As I walked through a village ravaged by drought and famine, I saw women scavenging for scraps of firewood that they could barter for food to feed their families. I met a young mother who couldn’t have been more than 14 years old. She had two small children to feed and care for, and barely enough food to give them. She went hungry that day so that they could eat. Our eyes met and I reached out to squeeze her hand. In that moment I knew what sacrifice looks like.

In rural Kenya, I met a little girl named Zincia who was in sixth grade and was the only girl left in her class. All the other girls had dropped out of school by her age—some forced into early marriages. Others dropped out simply because there was no water source in their village. Their families needed them to fetch water. This duty consumed six hours of their day, round trip. It is a hard and dangerous chore that leaves no time to even consider school. But one brave little girl managed to grab onto a hope that education would provide for her a better life. I met her eyes and I was humbled by her dedication.

A mom in Haiti.

A mom in Haiti.

In Haiti, I had to force myself to look into the eyes of a mother who lost a child in the earthquake. The same day she buried her child she was out looking for work. She had three other children who needed her. There was no time for self-pity or even for grieving. Her children depended on her and so she got up and did what she needed to do so that they would eat that day. As our eyes met, I was no longer a humanitarian; I was just a mom who saw my sister’s suffering.

Through my work with World Concern, I have walked in some of the neediest places in the world. It’s hard to see some of the things I see … until I remember that God sees each of those that suffer and He knows them by name. Sometimes what I see makes my cry. Sometimes I want to look away… But I am always amazed by the resilience and strength I see too in the women I meet. And they—my sisters—are worthy of respect and dignity, not pity.

A woman in South Sudan.

A woman in South Sudan.

March 8 is International Women’s Day. The first International Women’s Day was observed in 1911. Now, more than 100 years later, the need to see, recognize, and respond to the issues women face in developing nations remains great. They each have a story of sacrifice, resilience, hard work, and determination. And, I am committed to maintaining “eye contact” with them until they and their daughters are truly seen.

Water gushes from the newly drilled well in Maramara, a village of about 200 families in Eastern Chad.

The Joy of Clean Water in One Village

For the first time ever in its 40-year existence, the village of Maramara has clean water.

Life in Eastern Chad has been a constant struggle. Water is scarce in the parched Sahel desert. Most of the region was destroyed during the Darfur conflict, causing communities like Maramara to have to fight even harder to survive.

Up until last month, the nearest source of clean water is a three-hour walk—each way. Mothers often abandoned this burden and gathered dirty, contaminated water from a closer source. As a result, children were sick with diarrhea and diseases like dysentery.

Water gushes from the newly drilled well in Maramara, a village of about 200 families in Eastern Chad.

Water gushes from the newly drilled well in Maramara, a village of about 200 families in Eastern Chad.

With the support of World Concern through a One Village Transformed partnership with Northridge Church, the community was empowered to contribute to the construction of their new well. Village members provided 500 bricks, sand, gravel and their own human resources. A drilling rig was brought in, and the result is fresh, safe drinking water, better health … and joy in the hearts of Maramara residents.

We invite you to share in the excitement of what clean water means to this community through their own words:

“To God who exposed water to dust! Now, I make as many trips as needed and plenty of water. Enough time to look for food for my children. Children take a bath every day. I now can make supplies of hay in good quantity for my cattle. May God reward love towards us.” – Amkhallah Souleymane

Ahmat Abbo Dahab

Ahmat Abbo Dahab

“Since I started drinking clean water from the pump, I wake up each morning energized. Kids have shining faces and clean clothes. There are no more worries about women delaying when fetching water. Thank you very much and may God bless you.” – Ahmat Abbo Dahab

 

Mustapha Mahamat

Mustapha Mahamat

“The taste makes me want to drink without stopping! Pains that I often used to feel at certain times of the day have begun to disappear. The water well we use to drink from is now used by many to make bricks for housing. From the bottom of your heart you decided that we get water and I see the commitment you have to help us. May the Almighty bless you.” – Mustapha Mahamat

 

Hassani Moussa

Hassani Moussa

“When I see how clean the water is in a container, I laugh. My body and clothes are clean since I started using this water. The millet I wash is clean. The food is well prepared because I have water and time. I am grateful to God and ask Him to protect and bless you in your activities.” – Hassani Moussa

 

Fatimé Zakaria

Fatimé Zakaria

“I follow my mom with a small container. It makes me happy to see mom jump when pumping water. Thank you.” – Fatimé Zakaria

 

“I feel less pain in my body.  I don’t have to borrow a donkey to fetch water. Invitations to fetch water are over.  I’m thankful for the rest you allow me to have.” – Achta bireme

Learn more about how you can partner with a village like Maramara and help transform lives.

 

Introducing The New Africa Area Director, Peter Macharia.

[The following is a conversation with World Concern's new Africa Area Director, Peter Macharia.]

Peter Macharia, new World Concern Africa Area Director, at opening of a new World Concern saving's group building in Embu, Kenya.

Peter Macharia, the new World Concern Africa Area Director, at the opening of a World Concern supported building in Embu, Kenya.

Good morning! Let’s start this off by having you tell me, who is Peter?

Well, my full name is Peter Macharia and I’ve just been appointed as the new Africa Area Director, a position I’m very excited about. I’m looking forward to what God is going to do through me and the other staff who work for World Concern Africa.

I’ve been working for World Concern for the last 10 years. It has been a very exciting time. Every day when I wake up in the morning I always look forward to what God is going to accomplish through us as a team.

Before I joined World Concern it was my prayer that I find a Christian organization that was committed to reaching out to the poorest people, the marginalized that are often forgotten; people that I know are in need of an organization whose mandate spans through both the physical and spiritual.

If you could have any super power, what would it be and how would you use it?

If I had magical powers I would extinguish all evils in the world!

I don’t understand why terrorists do what they do. If I had these powers, I would make bad people know that what they are doing is not good. I would work to change people’s minds so that they care about each other and the environment. But I know I’m limited.

Also, if I had all the powers and money in the world I’d fly to space and travel everywhere. It would be interesting, probably, to feel like I’m on top of the world.

One of the things Peter does best, laugh.

One of the things Peter does best, laugh.

Tell me more about your history working with World Concern Africa.

I originally joined World Concern as a grant writer for Somalia projects. After less than a year I came to the Africa office in the same role but covering all of the countries where we work. Worked in that position for four years until I was promoted to be the Sudan Country Director. I served in this role for another four years. During my time in this role we saw great growth in staff, funding, and projects.

I then moved back to Kenya to be the World Concern Director of Disaster Response. Later I was asked to take on the role of Kenya Country Director, where I have been until being appointed to this position.

How do you feel taking on this new, very important role?

When I received the news that I’d been appointed I had a mixed reaction. For one, I was very excited, but I also knew that there was a huge challenge ahead of me. This is a sacred calling. I know God will be with me in the rough roads ahead and within the new expectations of this role.

What are two facts people may not know about you?

  1. When I was young I almost drowned in the local river. From that day on I’ve never swam and now I don’t know how to swim at all. For the last five years I’ve been telling myself that I will teach myself to swim again. We will see.
  2. I love birds. I love birds. I like sitting down under a tree and watching birds come. I especially like the small ones with very funny colors. I like to look at the way they were created, how they are walking. It makes me think, ‘This is so good. This is how nature should be.’

    Peter shows off his dance moves at his initiation party in Nairobi, Kenya.

    Peter shows off his dance moves at his initiation party in Nairobi, Kenya.

What do you think makes World Concern stand out from other organizations?

I would say that what makes World Concern different are our values – we are a Christian organization and we are serious about it.

We tend to go where other NGOs don’t go and reach very marginalized people groups, “the last, the lost, and the least.” Having worked for other NGOs in the past, I can say that World Concern really represents Christ. Every staff member that joins us joins a culture with Christ at the center, and this is what we take to the field with us.

We don’t just take food to people; we also take the love of God.  Our desire is that we reach the people God has called us to reach, not who we believe should come first. And we do as much as possible to reach these people.

Another thing that makes us different is the passion with which we do our work. Every staff feels very called to work here.

Lastly, our projects are holistic – they take care of the entire community and ensure that the future is taken care of. We are careful about the environment and natural resources.

Peter looks at fertilizer during a World Concern farming training.

Peter looks at fertilizer during a World Concern farming training.

What are your hopes and vision for the future of World Concern Africa?

As I take over I really want to see our programs growing in two ways. One, I want to see us reaching to more people who are in need, that aren’t receiving benefits from other organizations like us.

Secondly, I want to see growth in terms of funding. Being in a sector that is nonprofit, we require others to come and support what we do. I want to champion the needs of Africa and establish a bridge between the needs and our partners. I want our partners to see themselves as a part of the work we do.

I also want us to continue to be smarter in the way we operate. In an ever-growing industry, I want our team to create solid standards for ourselves.

As we reach our beneficiaries we want to do it with dignity. We want them to feel like they are valued and that they have gotten more than they expected.  I want us to improve on the quality of the work we do so that the impact that we cause is long-lasting.

I desire for every staff that works for World Concern to feel like he or she is a co-worker in Christ. My hope is that our staff feel like they are doing what they are called to do – that every day when he or she wakes up to come to work they think ‘This is the best thing I can be doing in this season.’

All of us enjoy what we do. We don’t do it because we are paid, but because this is what God has called us to do. Part of my work is to help the staff feel cared for and that they are serving Christ.

Peter walks with a World Concern beneficiary in Embu, Kenya.

Peter walks with a World Concern beneficiary in Embu, Kenya.

Any words you would like to share with World Concern donors?

To all World Concern supporters, donors, and partners, I’d say a big thank you. We are where we are because of you. We know you give sacrificially – you give because you trust us and identify us as someone you want to work with. We want to ensure you that your support will reach the people we are called to reach. We want you to know you are part of the transformation of people’s lives.

When you support World Concern you are a part of transforming people’s lives – one village at a time, one family at a time, one individual at a time.

We urge you to continue to support us. We know this is a gift you have given us, thank you very much for your sacrifice.

For a video excerpt of this interview click here.

 

 

 

 

Remembering January 12, 2010

Four years ago today the ground in and around Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti, shook powerfully.  Lasting approximately 30 seconds, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake would take the lives of approximately 220,000 people and change the lives of those who survived forever.

January 12, 2010 is a day that remains etched in the minds of many Haitians.  It is hard to find someone who was not affected by the goudou goudou—the colloquial name for the earthquake in Haitian Creole, which refers to the sound the tremors made.  As a colleague of mine in Haiti once said, “We were all victims of the earthquake.”

30 seconds of trembling was enough to pancake this school building

30 seconds of trembling was enough to pancake this school building

While this tragedy has obviously caused immense pain and suffering there are stories of fortitude, sacrifice and healing from the past four years.  Although we cannot mention every one, here are three from the World Concern family that remind us that all is not lost.

Elias and Louis in the doorway of their house

Elias and Louis in the doorway of their house

Elias and Louis
Elias and Louis are a couple in their late fifties who are both retired teachers and have a large family of twelve.  Following the earthquake World Concern helped them rebuild their home.  “It is a gift from God,” said Elias. “After the earthquake, first God saved us, then World Concern helped us. God bless you.”  Read full story here.

Jonathan handing over the check to Dave Eller, World Concern President at the time

Jonathan handing over the check to Dave Eller, World Concern President at the time

Jonathan’s compassion

After seeing the devastation caused by the earthquake on television, Jonathan, then a six year old in kindergarten, wanted to help.  When his mom suggested donating money, he dumped out all $6.37 from his piggy bank to contribute to the relief effort.  Then he and hundreds of classmates from school went on to raise an additional $3,641.  “I hope this money goes to replace stuff to make new homes,” said Jonathan.  Read full story here.

 

 

Berlin Smile

Jean Berlin and his contagious smile

Saved to serve people
Former World Concern staff member Jean Berlin narrowly escaped the earthquake as the school building he was teaching in collapsed soon after he walked outside.  He is convinced that he was spared for a reason.  “Jesus saved me to serve people,” he said.  Read full story here.

God has showed us that he is faithful and continues to heal and transform amidst an awful and incomprehensible disaster.  Today we remember and honor the lives that were lost and those who survived and continue to move forward one day at a time.

The road ahead for Haiti is long and challenges remain.  However Haiti has brighter days to come and World Concern is committed to walking on this road as long as it takes.  Please continue to pray for Haiti in this new year and thank you for your partnership.

5 Key Principles for Working with the Poor: # 5 Transformation through Relationships

This is the last of five posts covering key principles in ministry with the poor intended to help churches move from transactional to transformational ministry.  In the previous post, we discussed the fact that we are all created to be creative.

5. Transformation through Relationships

“The tasks we think are so critical are not more important than the people God has entrusted to us.” – Sherwood Lingenfelter

Are you like me at work and keep your “To-Do” list within arm’s reach? I’m probably a little weird, but I find it cathartic to scratch stuff off that list. Sometimes I keep scratching through it a little longer than I need to.

Unfortunately, I think we often treat ministry with the poor like a “To-Do” list. We make it more about crossing things off our list than we do about the people themselves. In your church, is it more common to see drives for shoeboxes and back packs full of schools supplies, or mentor programs that focus on being with people? Ask most outreach pastors and they’ll tell you that close to 100 people will sign up to provide a shoebox for every one person who agrees to volunteer for a weekly mentor program.

We forget that poverty is ultimately about people, and ministry is relational. We tend to focus on the material problems rather than the people themselves. “See a problem, Fix a problem.”  If ministry with the poor is relational in nature like other types of ministry, shouldn’t it look more like small groups at our churches?

Community members and leaders in the village of Harako, Chad, meet with World Concern staff to share their needs and their goals for transforming their own village.

Community members and leaders in the village of Harako, Chad, meet with World Concern staff to share their needs and their goals for transforming their own village.

At World Concern, our community development process starts, in most cases, with several months of meeting with the community and its leaders. We want to hear the story of their village, ask them about their vision for the future and their struggles that keep them being where they want to be.

Then, we begin to work with them on the goals they’ve set by building on what they already do well. Seeing lives transformed in this way takes time and requires walking with people patiently through the ups and downs of life. It’s not a quick fix, but it is lasting.

In my next post, I’ll tell you about how World Concern pulls these five principles together in our community development process by telling you the story of one village.