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3 Ways Seven Saves Helps to Develop Self-Sustaining Communities

At Food For The Poor (FFTP), an important part of our community development work is to equip people and leaders to be self-sufficient. Seven Saves, powered by FFTP, is about so much more than providing meals. It’s about sharing knowledge and helping to set up infrastructure and income streams that raise communities out of poverty in a sustainable and long-term way.

The benefits are numerous, particularly when it comes to education, according to a paper published by Liberty University: “Teaching the community how to improve itself will increase its ability to deal with future problems, and positively impact women, children, and the environment in developing countries.”

Here are 3 ways Seven Saves helps develop self-sustaining communities:

1. We partner with local churches in the Caribbean and Latin America 

The local church is at the center of the Seven Saves initiative. Community engagement is key for several reasons. Church leaders who are on the ground in the communities they serve have a pulse on the challenges and the needs that are unique to their area. We listen to their needs and work with them to come up with solutions for their community. 

While tackling long-term poverty is complex and nuanced, we focus on incremental, crucial improvements such as water filtration systems and school supplies. These small changes can have a huge effect by improving the well-being of individual families and allowing them to turn their attention to the next most pressing concern.

2. We focus on both relief and development

Seven Saves has a two-pronged approach. We’re working on both short-term and long-term goals. Our donors and their $7 monthly gifts provide much-needed relief to the hunger that so many are experiencing. Each $7 donation helps feed and support hungry children, plus it helps to fund a community-improvement project for your child’s village. 

Our strategy is about getting those life-saving meals to people who need them, while addressing the larger structural issues that make food insecurity so prevalent. Your donations help us keep our commitment to do both.

3. We train regularly to make sure we’re up to date on the current best practices

While Food For The Poor has a history of success, dating back to the early 1980s, our leaders are constantly learning about the best ways to work with communities to raise their quality of life.

One of our partners, Community Health Evangelism, focuses on Christ-centered community development. The organization has worked with 75 communities, and some villages have seen dramatic, transformational change, in just seven years. Those case studies have been models for us. We learn from those best practices and implement them where it makes sense. I’m 

About 125 of our In-Country Partners participated in 50 hours of this training last year. We call it sustainability training or holistic community development training, and it’s the basis for lifting communities out of poverty. A smaller group of 12 recently completed 100 hours of training, which included seeing communities firsthand as guiding inspiration.

Your church can tap into our knowledge, connections, and resources to launch your next international missions project successfully. You can help make a real difference in the lives of people living in poverty. Sign up here, and we’ll send you everything you need to know about getting Seven Saves started in your church.

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