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People are the solution!

I love the new 50 second video from Oxfam America. It’s message is clear and to-the-point, “Aid is not the solution to poverty, people are.”

It’s not the big structures that help people out of poverty. Or the governments talking to governments….

Rather, we know that it’s the dedicated people, passionate for change, that make a difference. It’s the people, working with their families and organizing with others in their communities, that move step by step towards something better. It’s people supporting each other that bring hope.

If you need any convincing, consider these people who are solutions in their communities:

Women’s Self-Help Group with CIFORD Kenya: Women in groups of 10-25 encouraging others; sharing their challenges and solutions; combining savings to help pay for school uniforms for their children and grandchildren.

Kenya Part 1 468

Leaders of one of the self-help groups in rural Meru, Kenya

Nalu Prossy, SIA Small Business Fund Coordinator, Uganda: Nalu works all day at a tailor’s shop; after work and on weekends she trains and mentors new business groups to help them succeed. She’s a good employee, so her boss sometimes lets her leave early to do this work for SIA.


Nalu and Tanya

Canaan Gondwe, Manyamula Village Savings and Loans, Malawi: Canaan is the tireless leader of the successful savings and loans group MAVISALO, which helps community members access low-interest loans; he has been elected to the national board of cooperative groups in Malawi; in June he’ll travel to Zambia to train another community to start their own local savings and loans cooperative.

Canaan (in blue) with members of the MAVISALO executive committee.

Canaan (in blue) with members of the MAVISALO executive committee

Oxfam calls for us to “Support citizens’ efforts to determine and lead their own development.” And that’s just what Spirit in Action is going to continue doing!

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