Breaking the Chains of Generational Poverty: Project Kenya

One thing I am learning is that kids tend to think about their own little “world,” whether they live in Greenville or in Allendale or wherever.  That is why I am really excited about Project Kenya, being sponsored by Grace Church Children’s Ministry
 

Generational Poverty
We will be working with our church’s partner in Kenya, Bernard Kabaru, in a ministry that he and his church are already doing. In a country where the average laborer earns about $2 per day, the concept of saving or investing for the future is nearly unfathomable.  Families struggle to just make it week-to-week, instead of being able to figure out a way to break the generational cycle of poverty.  Whereas immediately help in the form of food and supplies can provide a temporary relief, it does not lead to sustainable and long-term change.
Enter Project Kenya
The goal of Project Kenya is to raise money not just for immediate supplies, but for resources that will provide for sustainability.  We don’t want to just help families in the short-term, but to provide a means where their futures can be radically different.  Here are some things that can be provided for families:
  • A chicken, whose eggs will provide nourishment for the family, or can be sold for extra income.
  • A dairy goat, who produces milk for the family’s nutrition.
  • A vegetable garden, which again produces much-needed nutrition, and whose surplus can be sold in the market.
For sustainability, we cannot just provide resources that are consumed immediately.  We must provide the opportunity for people to generate their own resources.  See this video:
Enter Allendale
How does this fit in Allendale?  At the Boys & Girls Club (or follow us on Facebook), the children can earn points or tickets for things like doing homework, winning competitions (individual and team), being helpers, etc.  These tickets can be saved in order to buy fun prizes from our club “store.”  
But starting last week, and until the first week in March, they can choose to donate their tickets to Project Kenya.  Staff from Grace Church said that they would take these donated tickets and give money to this project.   Our goal is to have the Club’s members raise $400-worth of tickets and points. 
My goal is to help these children in Allendale think beyond their own needs and wants, to expand their worldview, and to have a chance to change a family’s future.  We will give weekly updates to the members, and continue to encourage them to be a part of this project.  And when we are done, we will celebrate how many families we have touched, thousands of miles away. 
Thoughts or questions?  Leave it in the comments.
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2 responses to “Breaking the Chains of Generational Poverty: Project Kenya”

  1. Lindsey says :

    Agree. I just read: Children tend to be egocentric in their prayers, but not selfish. Egocentric means their world is small. Their prayers are limited to pets, family, and friends. It is our job to enlarge their world and also mentor children how to pray. Without this coaching, the prayers of children remain the typical bedtime prayers that never change until eventually, the desire itself to pray is lost” (Hohman, Kids Making a Difference). We've partnered with Samaritan's Purse for the same purpose. Hope it goes well for you guys!

  2. Anonymous says :

    Wow Joey! This is wonderful to read. You are just where you are meant to be. Julie E.

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