Uganda (MNN) — Fundraising: it’s a challenge for any and every group building God’s Kingdom around the world.
Every Child Ministries (ECM) is no exception.
“There will always be vulnerable kids,” observes ECM’s Mark Luckey.
“How are we going to continue bringing the love of Jesus to these kids if there’s no funding to do it?”
Luckey doesn’t ask the question to imply ECM has no funding. He’s reflecting on a paradigm shift agencies worldwide are either adapting to, or resisting to their demise.
“It used to be we would send a missionary, and they had a Bible in their hands. But, now we send them with a very large checkbook, and we want them to go help people. And we, on this end, are also wanting to be part of that,” Luckey explains.
“Of course, what we’ve learned over the years is that sometimes we’ve hurt those we’ve tried to help, often creating a dependency on what we can provide.”
Helping instead of hurting: a case study
Through nationals, ECM empowers and equips more than 70 kids orphaned or displaced by war with the Tegot Atoo Project.
Sponsorship funding from believers outside Uganda helps nationals care for vulnerable children affected by war. These are “orphaned kids: they lost their parents in the war–or at least one of their parents, and [there is] a lot of [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder],” says Luckey.
The Tegot Atoo Project is going well, helping kids in Uganda’s Gulu District overcome the trauma of their past and thrive through the hope of Christ, Luckey says.
“We want to encourage kids and caregivers, make sure they get an education [and] have food and clothing. [We want to] teach them about Jesus and His love for them.”
But, as in any situation, it’s always good to have a back-up plan.
What if circumstances changed and ECM could no longer be involved? Or, what if there were no funding for the Tegot Atoo Project?
Luckey says ECM’s leadership team wanted to ensure the ministry would keep going.
They asked themselves, “How can we help them find a way to earn some money that will help run the program [so] that will keep the work going even if we have to pull back?” Luckey says.
After discussing sustainability, ECM’s national partners came up with an idea based on their own observations and experiences.
“This would be a good business venture that we can use to support the project: by raising and selling chickens,” they told Luckey.
It’s going to cost about $10,500 to jump-start the project and keep it going for the first year.
“That’s a lot of chickens, yes it is. That’s thousands of chickens!” Luckey shares.
But, those chickens and the initial large investment will mean less dependency on donations in the long-run. Can you help? Click here to connect with ECM.
“The bottom-line is sustainability for these programs,” Luckey concludes.
ECM doesn’t want to create dependency by providing 100% of resources needed for the Tegot Atoo Project.
“We want to lower that percentage so that some of the money is being earned, some of the money is coming directly from the national staff themselves.”
What do you think? Are sustainability programs like this one a better way to “do missions?” Share your thoughts in the Comment section below!