For over a 100 years St John's has supported the work of USPG - one of the main Anglican mission agencies based in the UK.
‘USPG’ have been looking at how they do their work and are moving towards locally led development by putting communities themselves at the heart of the process rather than being dependent on outside help to bring about change ie bottom up rather than top down.
In practice this means:-
The church brings the community together for a self evaluation or discovery process in which they identify local problems and local resources.
The people are encouraged to dream dreams - imagining the changes they would like to see.
Bible passages are looked at such as ‘you are salt and light’. For many the spiritual message is revolutionary and inspirational.
Working together, communities apply Biblical principles of caring and sharing to local problems making use of local resources.
So in Kenya, a community identified the river as its only resource and within a year had saved enough to buy a generator to pump water from the water to irrigate dry land. Now they always have food and are not dependent on food aid.
In future, funding will be targeted towards finding local facilitators and giving them the skills to manage the above process in professional way.