29 February 2012

In Like a Flood

It's time for a passion injection -- roll up your sleeve. 

We had a meeting this morning with the committees of Megaladi. Right now, their main focus is water. Clean water. Enough water. They are not currently growing any crops, but are very willing to get started. They just need irrigation water. There are a few children in school {about 50%} but the others have too far to walk without water. The mothers need to drink adequate water in order to breastfeed their babies. They need water for hand-washing and cooking. Each of the other four areas of TCD {food, education, wellness, and income} depend upon this liquid gold. We can help them solve their problem. But it will take great creativity and ingenuity. A network of people who care.
This morning, we broke bread together. Jonathan and Ahamud Nur, a village leader, each cut through the loaves as a symbol of partnership. GHNE {Global Hope Network Ethiopia} and Megaladi. Together. In partnership.

We listened as Zerihun spoke Amharic to a translator who spoke in the language of the people. He listened, then translated into Amharic and then Zerihun translated into English. Heather said it sounded like a racquetball game. We waited patiently {!} for Zerihun to tell us what they were all saying. And it was worth the wait.

One leader shared with us the analogy of a body of water...stagnant, not going anywhere. But when the flood comes, it carries that water along with it. What this village needs is that burst of water to get their river of hope flowing.
The committee leaders understand that community development doesn't happen overnight. They understand that they need to become self-sustaining, not depending on government or NGO aid for relief. They are ready to partner with us, to get up off their beds and begin to work hard for their future and the future of their families.

Zerihun, Alex and Lemi, the GHNI local staff are ready to speak the language of hope to this village. They will visit regularly to see what the committees are accomplishing. They will provide support, give ideas, encourage. These men are dedicated to this purpose. We have spent the last five days with them, laughing, shopping at markets, eating together and talking about our passion for community development. These guys are the real deal. They know how to best work with these villages.

Not many organizations that I know of have staff that are local -- staff with huge hearts, staff that are working hand in hand on a regular basis with the village people. This is ground-breaking. This stuff works.

GHNI doesn't just throw money at problems. They might agree with the village leaders to match an amount of money {50% match} in order to jump start progress. But they are making a great effort to change the mentality of these villagers. "Small money" from donors like you, plus a huge amount of effort from local staff.

The money is used as efficiently as possible to do the most good. To empower the people to reach success by their own efforts. To mentor them until they eventually graduate from TCD {transformational community development} -- a successful, flourishing village. An example to others. And they will gleam with pride as they say -- we did this ourselves. And say to neighboring villages -- "you can too!"

GHNI is looking for individual sponsors {like myself} to pledge "small money" {$12/month}. They are also looking for group sponsors -- a classroom, small group, community center, Boy Scout club -- to connect with villages in a real and powerful way. It's your small group adopting an entire {or portion of a} village. It's building relationships across the world and watching together as your village is transformed.
This is Megaladi. They need our help.
We can be the flood that sends them on their way to health and vitality.

Would you consider it? Would you tell your networks about the work GHNI is doing here in Ethiopia and how you can be very involved, on a personal level?

Visit the Megaladi Village blog and see the pictures Alex has posted. Read their story.

Then click "Join Megaladi Village" and partner with us to spend the next 3-5 years getting this village on their feet.

Amesegenallo. {thank you} :)