Poverty is not a lack of stuff, you’ll hear me say that a lot. If it isn’t a lack of stuff, but we are called to help, what can we do? The answer cannot be to try and make other people’s lives look like ours. We need to empower them to make something of their own lives. They need to own their own development and futures. This builds dignity which empowers communities, over the long term, to solve their own problems and not be dependent on outsiders. Nothing stifles dignity faster than dependencies.
Dependencies kill community development. If you haven’t read the book, When Helping Hurts, now is the time.