We are so excited about today’s blog post we didn’t even include a greeting! Helping Children Worldwide, the Child Rescue Center, and Mercy Hospital are proud to announce the launch a new joint endeavor called the Village Partnership Initiative. The initiative occurs in two phases. Phase one involves accomplishing a series of humanitarian projects in a single village. Over the last several months 13 villages across the Bo District have participated in a mapping inventory in which the residents identified and ranked their greatest needs. This means that the projects undertaken in Phase 1 are entirely selected by the community.
But, the second phase is where the project becomes very exciting. In addition to meeting humanitarian needs, this initiative also includes a joint economic enterprise. HCW, Mercy and CRC will work with the village over the course of three years to help the community develop a functioning economy. The economic enterprise can involve agriculture, manufacturing, mining or any prospective business the village selects.
Once the village settles on an enterprise, HCW, Mercy and CRC will provide training, logistical support and counsel. In the first year, HCW will provide a grant to the village as it launches the enterprise. If more funds are needed in the second year, a low-interest loan will be issued. Should additional funding be required the third year another loan will be issued. All along the path, the project is managed by a team of seven leaders: one from the CRC, one from Mercy and five from the village itself.
In short, this initiative is designed not only to fight the symptoms of poverty but to cut it off at its roots by helping the community develop its own robust economy. And, it does so while making the village residents themselves central to the effort.
Today, members of our team met with the women and men of Fengehun Village, the first community to benefit from the Village Partnership.
Fengehun identified several major relief initiatives including sanitation, clean water, and the expansion of their medical facility. We spent time brain storming ideas for the economic enterprise, and the village elected five representatives to sit on the partnership committee. In the picture you see the members of the partnership committee along with team members Melody and Rob.
Please join us in prayer for the people of Fengehun and the work to be done there. As Bogie said, “This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”