“If you can give me skills, you can empower me to use those resources and change my behavior to really create opportunities around me.”
Our Seed Effect Uganda Country Director, James Lomude, said those words at our Spring Luncheon in Dallas a few months ago. He was speaking as someone who grew up in poverty in the same circumstances that our members are living in.
I recently returned from Uganda where God reminded me that though Seed Effect he is changing the future for our members as they are more empowered and equipped today than they were yesterday.
On my trip, I got to meet our staff in our newest branch in Arua who are working hard to reach 3,000 new members in the refugee settlements and neighboring villages in the first year. They are awesome and it was an absolute joy to meet them, pray with them, and encourage them as they get going!
While I was there, we also we hosted a 3-day staff training on a Chalmer’s Center curriculum called Plan For A Better Business.
Our members are so resourceful, resilient, and hard working. They are creative, intelligent, and enterprising. But applying for a job and receiving a regular paycheck is simply not an option for the vast majority of people in the areas we work. They have to generate their own income and we want to support that however we can.
The Plan For A Better Business curriculum is a 6 lesson Entrepreneurship 101 course that will help our members:
- Think through their business ideas and test those ideas
- Plan their production
- Track profitability
- And protect their income stream from unexpected events
We trained our staff how to lead this course and we will now run a pilot to incorporate it into our program and study the results. Our hope is that our members who do not yet have stable businesses will be better equipped and that our members who are already business owners will find ways to improve or expand, or to put it in James’ words, that with these skills, they will be empowered to use the resources around them, change behavior, and really create opportunities around them.
AND every lesson is tied back to Scripture, giving our team another opportunity to share the Gospel and the love of Jesus who alone can bring true transformation to the lives of our members and their families!
“The best way to eradicate the poverty is to look for a sustainable solution. And the sustainable solution to me is creating knowledge, changing attitudes, and giving tools of empowerment…
But also… we must look into emotional healing and the spiritual connection we lack when we are not connected to God. Fighting and alleviating poverty goes really beyond just a mere handout.” -James Lomude, Seed Effect Uganda Country Director