Written by Clayten Gouws.
With this being my last article for Arise as the Operation Blessing Manager for Southern Africa, the idea of impact and sustainability has been on my mind quite a bit lately as I look at how to best pass on this role and position to my successor.
As I ponder more on the idea of sustained impact, two ideas come to my mind. The first being – what is the impact we are trying to make and is it the right impact? We recently did a trip to Blantyre, Malawi where thousands of families have been displaced from their homes due to Cyclone Ana (read the update here.) As we were making plans to bring aid to them, our local partner on the ground visited with the affected communities to hear from them what their needs were. As much as we wanted to bring as much food as our funding would let us, the real felt need on the ground was so much more than just food. Plastic sheets to waterproof their thatched roofs, soap to wash themselves, blankets so they didn’t have to sleep on the dirt anymore, and book and pens so that the children could continue with school, even in the middle of the chaos.
Understanding the real need is the best way to create real impact!
The second idea is that sustainability is deeply entrenched in empowerment. A bag of maize meal to a family will be empty at some point, it won’t last forever.
But giving someone the opportunity and knowledge to plant and grow their own maize not only provides food long term, but it also provides hope and gives the power back to change their circumstances.
A question I often ask myself when assessing one of our OB projects, “What would happen if I/we left this project?” Would it be able to continue without us? I sometimes think Jesus probably had a similar thought as He planned to leave earth to return to heaven. Thankfully He left us the Holy Spirit that is always with us – guiding, leading, and empowering us!
I wonder, when we think of the spheres around us, what will we be leaving behind us? Are we engaging the real needs? Are we empowering those around us?
What is the legacy you are leaving?
If you would like to leave a part of your legacy through CBN South Africa, please consider donating towards our CBN Operation Blessing ministry. Our goal is to achieve sustainable impact, as well as disaster relief when needed, through our food security and fresh water projects. In 2021 we started assisting food security projects in Malawi as well as in Nyanga, Cape Town. Your once-off and monthly donations allow us to continue empowering these communities, as well as start new projects in Southern Africa.
Please us the reference “OB+YourEmail” when donating. Example: “OBinfo@cbnsa.org.