Saving the children… You’ve seen it before: the pictures of hungry children living in squalor. The stories of poverty and malnutrition. Horrible pictures of ugly situations. And then comes the kicker: for only (insert dollar amount), you can “save” the children. We can easily fall victim to the misconception that we Westerners can “save Africa” with our donations.
But the people of Zambia don’t need another savior.
The reality is, Zambia doesn’t need “saving.” The people often need opportunities, but this isn’t “saving” them. Love to Zambia is about empowering Zambian people. So, for example, we will not just teach English classes, but we will also teach locals to teach the course. A perfect example of our approach is the organization Paradigm Shift. This program empowers churches to meet the spiritual and economic needs of the poor in their communities.
They teach business training courses specifically designed in/for a Southern African context. Alongside the business training, they teach Christian discipleship and stewardship. We do not teach these concepts in a vacuum, but rather, with a successful Christian mentor. This mentorship role also provides graduates of the program a place to “give back.” Through the program, entrepreneurs will be able to obtain small microcredit loans, which restore dignity and worth.
So we are not saving Zambia; we are empowering Zambia.
The difference between “saving” and “empowering” is huge. “Saving” suggests that they are somehow deficient and that we are not. It even suggests that we are better than them. This is not the case. Zambia is a beautiful nation, and the people here are the friendliest people I’ve ever met. They are warm and loving and generous. They have struggled with poverty and colonialism, but they have so much to share, not only in Zambia, but around the world
This is why we are so excited about the chance to build resource centers in the compounds of Lusaka. These resource centers will help to restore the dignity of a wonderful people in a beautiful country.
Remember: You can click here and find out more about our Church and Community Resource Centers, including how you can give to the ministry!
Thank you for your interest and for joining us in loving Zambia!