We hear a lot about World Renew's approach to fighting poverty, and how a "hand up" is better than a "hand out." But what does that actually look like? This recent example from Kenya shows how communities can work together to achieve great things.
World Renew Kenya and its partner, Anglican Development Services (ADS), first came to Malindi, Kenya in response to flood disaster. Then came two food assistance programs, the first supported by Foods Resource Bank and the most recent one in partnership with the Canadian Food Grains Bank, in response to prolonged drought.
These interactions led to something called a comprehensive participatory rural appraisal, in which World Renew and ADS helped the community articulate their needs and develop an action plan. During this process, relief food distribution assistant Mr. Julius Kimundi was selected chairman of the Community Development Committee. He was tasked with mobilizing and providing leadership to the community so they could accomplish their goals.
During the flood disaster, even accessing the community was a challenge as there were no access roads. So the community prioritized access roads in their plan. During the dry season, community members had to walk long distances for water, so they also prioritized a community “water pan” so that they would have access to clean water for household use and their animals.
As they began panning for water, the community, under Julius’s leadership, selected the most deserving members of the community via a community poverty-ranking process. They agreed that that these individuals and families — mostly female-headed households, the elderly, and the sick — would work for food instead of getting it for free. The food is distributed to community members who can dig so they will have energy to work and to weaker members of the community who do the work of minding the babies of the mothers who do the digging. Everyone receives equal portions. Julius hopes that they will harvest a lot of water, leading to better health and sanitation for his whole community.