Recently, we hired a new Community Outreach Manager to begin working in the community of Kamdini. But what exactly is Community Outreach?
Community Outreach is our main activity where we work alongside families to help them develop life and business skills to be able to provide for their families. At Ignite Change, we value self-sustainability and want to work WITH the families instead of giving them a handout. This was the first focus of Ignite Change back in 2016 with the goal of helping these families send their kids to school to be able to feed them and get proper healthcare when needed.
Once we enter a new community, we go to a few churches to identify vulnerable families. These include widows, orphans, and disabled persons. We then visit their homes and conduct a survey to determine what assets they have, how large their family is, are their children in school, how many meals they eat in a day, etc. From this, we choose those with the most immediate needs and form groups.
In Kamdini, 70 families were identified and surveys conducted at their homes. A chart representing the sizes of the families is found below. [There is a large population of (18) elderly individuals living by themselves who are disabled or widowed. Their needs are different since most cannot do physical labor. We are going to work with the churches or another nonprofit in order for them to get the tangible resources they need.]
Out of the 70, we made two groups of 12 people to begin conducting classes. The first classes are to encourage the participants by learning about our identities in Christ, that we have been given gifts and talents from our Creator, and sharing dreams for the future. The next sections of classes are on basic life skills that many people may have never received. These include family and community, hygiene and healthcare, nutrition, infant care, importance of education, and budgeting.
After about two months of weekly classes, the participants now have a more open mind on how they can identify work to make an income. We work with them to see their natural talents, passions, and assets then see if these choices can actually make money. The profitable choice that most aligns with each individual is then created into a business plan. We help them launch their new activity (or a better version of something they had been doing previously) by giving them goods (seeds, cloth, etc). After the activity is launched, we continue classes with the groups, monitor and get feedback for the various activities.
We are exciting to begin sharing stories with you! Classes will continue over a span of approximately four months before businesses are launched. It is a slow process, but changing the mindset of people can be the most difficult task. Helping them look at themselves not as poor, but as capable, hard-working individuals with plans to change their lives.
If you have not joined our monthly giving team to become a Change Maker, this is a great time to do so! Families are working hard to make a better life for their children – making a bright future.