How do you help villagers practically in Africa without making things worse? It’s an important question and one that we in Dignity and many more have struggled with over the years. Billions of pounds of aid has been poured into Africa and to what effect?
One lesson we have learned is that to help someone means to give them the means to help themselves or to help others. It is not to solve their problem for them. We’ve also learned that people are very important. It is their character, their decisions and ultimately their life that will affect the lives of those less fortunate than themselves.
Dignity’s ‘Love Your Village’ teaches villagers about the Christian necessity of loving those around us. We’ve seen many people helped and cared for simply by the action of Gods love working through the everyday lives of villagers all over Southern Africa.
The beginning of September saw us begin to add what we call LifeSkills! to the Love Your Village programme. Foundations for Farming train rural Africans in Christian Conservation Farming. They have an approach that utilises a Christian Foundation and a solid and reliable farming method that works for the poor. We asked Foundations to come and train some of our Impact Team missionaries and invited friends, on how to put into practice some of their farming principles. Our vision is ultimately to release that knowledge into our wider networks of Life! Groups and Impact Teams throughout Zambia and beyond. It’s a long term task, first those attending must put some of the skills into practice themselves and only then share them wider in their local area. The principles of faithfulness and faith in God match with Dignity’s Life! Groups programme and provide one particular way for people to Love their Village.
We are looking forward to a time when those people called to serve their communities in Africa are full of faith and wisdom to know how to change their lives and the lives of those around them.
We believe that Africa’s people working with God are the future of Africa.