The Ndoto Journal

1

Aug

Reaching Out


by George Odhoji

On July 21st, around 50 women from the community of Obunga gathered in the sanctuary of Ndoto Community Church. They took time to share their challenges and successes in providing for their families and how Ndoto can best empower and enhance their ability to create wealth and support themselves.

It has always been my desire to see the community I live in change. When Ndoto: For Africa’s Future offered me the opportunities to finally return to high school in my twenties, go on to university, and ultimately work with them, I knew God was working something great. In Matt. 9:37-38, Jesus is telling his disciples how the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. It is true that there is much work to be done to change the lives of others, but those who are willing to do the work are few.

Ndoto is a unique place to work, considering its vision to transform the communities from inside out using its three pillars: educate, disciple, and develop. As my work with the students has reduced, I have started focusing on community development. We have had a series of brainstorming meetings to discern where to start. We are in agreement that when women are empowered, the community is empowered as well because of the nature and spirit of motherhood.

Many African women undertake income-generating activities in order to sustain their families and have some livelihood. Some women prefer running their economic activities as individuals, while others have formed groups. However, many of these informal projects generate little profit and can’t grow. Meanwhile, the need for cash becomes more demanding day by day. Even in areas where schools and health services are available, people are not making use of these facilities because they lack the money.

We have realized that illiteracy and lack of basic business management skills are two of the reasons why many economic initiatives fail. Therefore we are focused on rolling out a program that will help these women be better equipped. We are also working on sustainable projects that will offer them job opportunities. We will also be sending some of the women to vocational centers to be trained with technical skills, such as tailoring. These women are hard workers by nature and therefore, offering them these opportunities will have a great impact in this community. Their determination and interest really touches our hearts!