Have you seen this map? It shows just how BIG Africa is. It’s easy to lump a lot all together under the label of “Africa.”
And yet, Africa is an entire continent – one that could fit the United States, India, China, Eastern Europe, and a number of western European countries, all within it’s borders! Africa is 20% of the world’s landmass and has 54 separate countries.
Traveling in Malawi, just a tiny sliver on most maps of Africa, I was in awe of the vast countryside to see, so many different languages to hear, and all the people to meet within Malawi.
Besides providing good party trivia, what is the point of thinking about the enormity of Africa? It can be overwhelming to think the really big problems such as pollution and political instability in so many African countries.
A ripple of goodness
Spirit in Action is working in Africa to start small ripples of change, which can reach much further than what we can do alone, reaching to those big challenges. I may not be able to influence the government in the Central African Republic but I can start to poke small ripples of goodness in the pool.
When things seem so great, I look around to see what I can do, what small thing I can give, to make an impact in just one other person’s life. And it turns out, that making this small impact can start to make larger inroads.
Here’s what we’re doing:
1 Individual = receives a letter with encouragement and self-help materials (gardening, composting, starting savings groups) from Spirit in Action; (Read example)
1 Family = receives a $150 grant from Spirit in Action to start a business and improve their house and send their children to school; (Read example)
1 Community = receives a Community Grant from Spirit in Action to start a chicken-rearing process and a local village savings and low-interest loans group. (Read example)
Sharing the Gift
Then, 1+1+1 = Once people receive, they are encouraged to give forward to someone else who they see is in need; Sharing the Gift, we call it. (Read example)
That gift is shared over and over again. Then, this is my prayer, the gift ripples all the way to the country and regional level. Maybe that person who convinced the Malawian President Joyce Banda to sell the $13.3 million presidential jet and rebuild international relationships to help Malawi’s poorest was touched by part of the Spirit in Action ripple.
Or maybe, someone who realized that they were feeling small in the midst of the great world took a step to help someone by putting a Spirit-filled ripple into action and helped you.
Thank you for making our ripple big enough to reach more individuals, families, and communities than we can know or count.