KatieLeadershipClassRootofPovertyBlog

One of Know Think Act’s core beliefs is that a community rises and falls based on leadership. With that belief in mind we have been strategic in investing in our partners’ staff members. In years past we have help leadership courses with multiple Bringing Hope staff members. We have also been holding classes with our partner Action Ministry over the last year and a half.

Being back in Kaihura for an extended amount of time we didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to further invest in the leaders who are doing such great work here in Uganda. The desire to learn, grow and better serve their community is evident in many of Bringing Hope to the Family’s staff members and we want to continue to foster those desires.

Katie is currently leading a group, which is discussing principles from the book When Helping Hurts. Though this book is geared towards the western culture there is much that our partners can glean from these concepts as well that will enable them to better serve their community.

It has been interesting teaching this class, because the majority of the students are those who have grown up in poverty and by God’s help, have come out of it. During the lessons, we discussed what poverty is. To the western mind, we see poverty as a lack of money and material things. So, we tend to believe that if we just give money and material things, this would solve the problem.

But as we have dug deeper in the study, we have discovered that the real root of poverty is the lack of self worth, feelings of hopelessness, voicelessness, and feeling suffocated.   When this was discussed, it was like a light bulb was turned on. This was something they knew in their hearts to be true, but this reality had not come to the surface.

This was a great revelation to start with. As we continue these teachings, we are together learning many ways we can be effective together to really help transform lives from the inside out. We are also learning how we, the “helper”, are also in continual need of transformation and that poverty alleviation truly happens in relationships.


happy-thanksgiving-pics

We would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to all of you who have stood beside us here at Know Think Act and joined in our efforts to rally behind Action Ministry and Bringing Hope to the Family as they courageously spend their lives to help their communities.  As we think about how far we’ve come and how much we been able to accomplish over the years we can’t help but be thankful for everyone who has donated, volunteered, shared the vision or simply encouraged us along the way.  Every act of generosity has played a part in helping us get to where we are today.  And, for that we can only say, “thank you.”

*As I was searching the internet earlier for a wonderful and possibly inspiring Thanksgiving quote to end this post with I found this instead…

“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.” ~ Irv Kupcinet

Optimism is a great attribute, but be sure to enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Chris

Oct
2014


This past Saturday we had all of Action Ministry’s staff and their families over to the house for a staff beach day.  The day couldn’t have been any more perfect.  We had blue skies, no sea weed in the water and smiles all around.  It was a great opportunity to get the staff together for a non-work related event and strengthen relationships.  We swam, played games and enjoyed a nice meal.  The staff ended the day with “thank you’s” and an encouraging question of “when can we do this again?”  I foresee this being an annual event! Here are some photos from the day…

IMG_2238Peter running with a coconut seed on a spoon.  (This idea saved us plenty of eggs!)

IMG_2249Limbo! Because, who doesn’t love a rousing game of Limbo? (This game was a home run.)

IMG_2256Water ballon toss!

IMG_2259Don’t drop it!

IMG_2267Lunch time at our friend Ben’s beach restaurant.

IMG_2270Tug-o-war!

IMG_2279Three-legged race’s are always entertaining for the spectators!

IMG_2281The look of three-legged race defeat.

IMG_2282 copyGreat group of individuals and a great time had by all!

Sep
2014


Today we had a great reminder that not everything on the internet is correct. Now, of course, we all know that much, but today we were tipped off to the fact that our internet “Swahili” lessons were way off. Edward, who is the groundskeeper for our landlord, was at our house today and he noticed our Swahili lesson on the refrigerator.

He asked me what the third line meant. I told him I wasn’t sure, but that I would ask Katie. That shows you how bad my Swahili is right now. Katie came in told Edward and he shared the fact that that statement did not mean anything close to what we thought it did.

The kind lady on youtube told us that this phrase was a formal greeting for an older person. More or less, “Sir or Ma’am, how are you today?” Edward assured us that what it in fact means is more along the lines of, “Sir or Ma’am, you are stupid.”

How about that! Thankfully, we hadn’t tried out our new found Swahili on any elderly people yet. Hilarious. That “translation” wasn’t even close!

Good times. We just had to laugh. I hope you communicate with your community better this week than we will with ours. (Just so you know, everyone we work with on a daily basis speaks english fluently.)

IMG_2196Our helpful “Swahili” phrases on the fridge.

Jul
2014


IMG_0523

One week from today I will be flying out of Uganda and back to the United States. While I am very much looking forward to seeing all of my friends and family back in America, it is biter-sweet to be leaving the place I have called home for a year, and the people I have grown to love. This has been such an amazing year, full of ups and downs, crazy adventures, and so many experiences that brought growth.

I have so many great memories to take back with me: movie night at Hope Academy, where we huddled around a computer balanced on top of three stacked desks, seeing the transformation that has occurred in Everest’s life, riding on a boda for what felt like a million miles to a community that had just been given a new water well, trekking up the hill to Hope Academy in the mud and the rain to see an amazing/hilarious parade of skits and song and dance numbers at their graduation, sitting a the Village Art café on so many afternoons enjoying a soda.

I am truly grateful to have been able to have lived and worked in Kaihura with Bringing Hope to the Family. Even though I’m leaving for right now, instead of “goodbye”, I’ll just say “see you later Kaihura”.