Joel also serves on a number of faith, government, and public agency advisory groups and regularly broadcasts in the UK and internationally. As part of his commitment to long-term change for the world's poor, Joel chairs the Micah Challenge International Council. He has an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews, and resides in London. Joel Edwards. This is a compelling tract for our times manifesto addressed to evangelicals around the English-speaking world from the general director of the Evangelical Alliance.
This umbrella group represents evangelical Christians in the United Kingdom and is part of the larger World Evangelical Alliance of national and seven regional alliances including the National Association of Evangelicals in the USA.
As the church faces challenges and opportunities, this book can serve as a catalyst to move the evangelical church forward to make a difference in the world by fostering spiritual and social transformation. Ugandan roadtrip. They have now been back in their villages for a few weeks to study their issue in more depth, so we visited each of them, went over their proposals, and gave them a small amount of money to implement their venture ideas.
It was an incredible joy to see where each girl comes from and I swelled with pride at the difference they are already making in their villages. The power of seeing our girls gain the confidence to lead in their communities and work with others to find local solutions to local problems nearly brought me to tears with each visit.
Comfort is working on the issue of school dropouts among girls. Zoe is training women in financial literacy and is starting savings circles among women in her community Harriet wants to reduce the amount of girls who drop out of primary school. Gloria is concerned about high unemployment among women and wants to train women in entrepreneurship. Winnie is concerned about the high level of early pregnancies among girls. Josephine is sensitizing her community on the causes and effects of school dropouts among girls.
Rose wants to prevent early marriages and school dropouts for girls in her village. Polline is working with a group of mothers and daughters to prevent school dropouts in secondary school. Kellen wants to stop domestic violence in her community. Brenda is worried about the high level of school dropouts and wants to start an income generating activity for families to keep their children in school.
Granted, more female leadership at the highest echelons of the private sector would go a long way to transform the institutions that drive our economy. In fact, women can and do lead in whatever endeavor they have chosen. There is no better example than that of a disadvantaged woman rebuilding her country after war. We operate a social venture incubator in Rwanda and Northern Uganda that provides mindfulness-based leadership practices and social entrepreneurship skills to help these women develop sustainable micro-non-profits to advance their own ideas for social change.
Some of the most extraordinary leaders I have ever met, I have found among the ranks of undereducated subsistence farmers, war widows, the rural poor and survivors of horrific violence. Second, once women have a successful experience leading change, they are likely to continue solving problems especially benefiting the most vulnerable.
Finally, true gender-equality will be built on women achieving parity at all levels of society, especially among the most marginalized, because that is where women are most deeply affected by inequality. Collecting water at remote access frequently points puts women at risk of sexual assault.
Further, many of those who were left physically disabled by the war and those who were elderly, blind, pregnant or HIV positive were too weak to make this journey.
Some would send their daughters to collect water instead of school. Others would hire men to deliver water on a bicycle. But for those too poor to pay for help, many ended up being pressured to exchange sex for water delivery daily, just to provide for their children.
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They installed a water tank next to a church within close walking distance to collect and purify rainwater from the roof. Hard Workers launched their operations in August to serve households totaling between — people with fresh clean water daily. The revenue generated from those who can afford to pay ensures the most vulnerable always have water for free.
Further, the team uses any profits to pay orphan school fees and provide annual health insurance for women and their families. Given women were now freed up from water collection for other economic pursuits, the organization later established a small revolving loan fund for the poorest women to start their own businesses.
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Today, the venture is operating sustainably, has expanded to three additional sites and now serves close to people. To save the cost of hiring guards, team members, some even widows in their late 70s, sleep on the ground alongside their tanks in shifts each night to prevent people from stealing their water. Gender relations have already begun to change.
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Village men have asked to join the project, and occasionally when a woman is sick, her husband will take her shift guarding the tanks at night. Women from as far as three hours away have since traveled to visit the team to learn from them. Project leader Seraphine Hacimana has spoken on the radio about water issues, was been invited to Kenya to share their work, and was recently recognized by government officials as an example of women serving other women.
But what is most remarkable about this team is that of its 19 members, only seven are literate. Founder, Seraphine is a mother of eight children in her 40s with only a first grade education. Once living on the edge of survival, Seraphine is now a community change leader. This is the potential of G-Level leadership to transform individual lives and whole communities. Hard Workers succeeded because they not only leaned in, but they led from within.
They identified what they felt most passionate about, then leveraged their own skills, capabilities and courage to initiate a solution of their own design. Most of all, they were united by a common vision that came not from aspirations defined by dominant culture, but from an inner sense of purpose. Anyone who wants to lean in and lead from within can start by identifying what issue or realm of work you are most passionate about, what you are uniquely capable of doing, and what your exclusive insights are from your unique life experience, and then cultivate and contribute these assets in partnership with others who share a common purpose.
And papaya — lots of papaya. Each morning she rises, washes her face, checks on her animals, cleans her house, grabs a hoe, and heads out to the fields. They like most to lie down and practice breathing, but their second favorite is stretching their arms as part of yoga. She looks the part of a grandmother: the smile creases around her eyes and the dusting of moles across her cheeks are clues to her cheerful warmth.
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She believes in hard work. Unless she is upset about something in particular, she enjoys her daily labors. When the team gathers to work on the project, they are neglecting their responsibilities at home and in the fields. She explains that she and her team are looking forward. Her fellow community members share her hopeful vision: irrigated green vegetables growing on the mountainside, not just in the valley, and even in the dry season; no more malnutrition; enough produce to sell some extra at the market.
Even the kids are talking about it; they will no longer have to miss mornings at school to trek down into the valley to collect water. Women are staying behind in development. They feel like they have to spend all their time on water — they are late in anything — because of the scarcity of water. She will be able to improve her hygiene by washing her body and clothes regularly.
Her cows will get water more than once a week. She will grow crops in the dry season.
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The last two days of our Academy for Conscious Change have been full of tiny miracles and awe-inspiring moments. Thursday we began a journey with our women that started with yoga, continued with a short session of deep breathing and then a short meditation. I was deeply moved by their wisdom. Here are a few of their responses:. Bringing this same presence to our social justice work allows for radical creativity.
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Clarity among conscious change agents allows for personal agenda to make room for the best ideas to move forward. As an inherently interconnected and systemic approach, conscious social change invites collaboration with both the target population and the perpetrators. Finally, it ensures those working together are inspired by a common cause, and it energizes collective efforts by honoring individual needs for renewal. The exercise is a simple method to engage teams in reenergizing the creative-problem solving process. Groups can work collectively to assess the specific gifts, capabilities, passions and assets the individual participants and larger community possess.
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It can be used with youth, educators, organization staff, community activists, and change agents. The first objective is to help participants see what tools they have to use in solutions-building by tapping into individual capabilities and passions. The second objective is to release the creative ideas of the collective body.
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