CREATIVITY AT WORK
Sustainability and self-reliance are buzz words amongst practitioners of development and social projects. Participative models that invite the voice and opinions and contributions of local communities raises the prospects that projects are able to thrive. Engaging local communities in the maintenance of community water facilities boosts local ownership and prolongs the durability of community water facilities.
Helping communities to generate their own income so that they can move from dependency to independence and interdependency is one of the most valuable impacts that any missionary or development worker can have in the communities where they serve. It is a hallmark of the Redemptorist mission and development approach that Redemptorists act as catalysts to help local communities and groups generate income from land, skills, produce etc.
An example of a micro-project that generates income is the following one from Iruma parish in Meru in Kenya. The Redemptorists are responsible for the local Iruma parish. The parishioners live simple lives and face daily challenges to provide meals and education for their families. Homes are simple without water or electricity. Close to the parish there are several schools, the parish compound is central to an education hub, where school are built to serve the educational needs of rural communities. The areas is thronging with young people. The Redemptorist community in Iruma, gathered young people and completed a needs assessment and opened a computer centre for young people. They also gathered young people to start a small business, whereby they charge people’s mobile phones and other energy appliances from large batteries for a fee. The young people have started a business from a simple hut that acts as the hub for providing energy for phones and other appliances. The profits from the project are invested in community projects such as the building of houses for widows etc.
See below images from Redemptorist inspired income generation projects:
The Redemptorists are driving income generation projects in Madagascar, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burkina-Niger, Niger, Nigeria, Congo, Angola, Ghana.