Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pastors Workshop in Takora

Twenty some pastors and community leaders gathered in the tiny church room. So many familiar faces returned from our last workshop together in May. What a joy to see them all doing relatively well in this seemingly hopeless place. The content of our workshop was not unlike that from the Watamu, Kenya event but the setting is exceedingly different. I couldn’t help but acknowledge that the principles will absolutely work in this dusty region, but there has to be something to start with in the first place.

For example, we used five common household items to illustrate asset-based development: Omo soap for laundry, a toothbrush, a plastic cup, a box of matches, and a booklet of paper. The props cost less than $2.00 in all. Even as I shopped for these goods, I realized that the average household in most parts of Karamoja would not have even one of these items. And if they did, and if they were able to make some small business from what they have in their homes, who would have the money to buy the product or service?

Although the workshop was excellent and absolutely addressed the needs for those attending – a somewhat higher functioning group of non-Karamajong – the people of Takora would only benefit of these students intentionally engage them and if they have some way of starting a project. I’d like to propose this as our next 100 Christmas Dollies project for the purpose of starting something like a poultry project.

UPDATE: The last time we were together, Surprised by Hope sewed the equivalent of $50 into a land purchase for the church. We visited a beautiful site of more than an acre not far from the main road. Pastor Martin eagerly showed me the purchase agreement as a means of accountability for the money he received and invited me to review the agreement should there be any concerns. What I learned is that this land cost less than $250. Can you imagine? More than an acre for less than $200 and it took the group 2 years to raise the money…2 YEARS.