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Income Generation: Stories and Lessons

We recently had a webinar where we listened to local community leaders in Africa share their experiences of income generation and what they learnt along the way.

You can watch the recording below to listen to the stories or read the 6 highlights from the session below: 

Session highlights

1..We have all that we need to create opportunities for self sustainability. When Jesus was preaching and saw that the 5,000 needed to be fed, he asked his disciples what they had and used that. The raw materials, resources and skills that we have can be useful when a community comes together to look at the needs of the community and come up with ideas on how to generate income. 

Developing countries provide a lot of raw materials to the world but its people are still living in poverty because of the belief that help will come from outside. Becoming self-sustaining involves not waiting for help and stepping out of our comfort zones. 

2. Employment is not the only way to go. Many people want to be employed immediately and get paid at the end of the month. However, we are also creative and need to develop our capacity for innovation. We all have inherent skills and need to challenge ourselves to use them to create something new that will bring income back to ourselves. For example, instead of looking for a job in the city, an individual or community can lease their piece of land and use the money to start a farming project that brings income to their household. The internet is a good way to gain more skills. 

3. Financial training is important. People want immediate success, income and impact. Most of them do not have the patience to wait for results to come. And so after selling a product, the money quickly goes into the pocket instead of the business. This is not sustainable in the long run as there will be no capital to continue what you started. Having a qualified finance or business expert come in can help train people to recover capital first and then manage profits well. Profits can be divided amongst members who can choose what to save or invest back into the business.

4. Identify something that makes the work of others easier. When you look at the needs of the community, one of your goals should be to make their lives easier. And that’s where ideas and opportunities will come from. For example, in Oscar’s area, not many mothers have access to healthy meals and don’t have time to go and buy what they need. And so Oscar’s group decided to buy and mix millet into maize flour and deliver it to their homes.

5. Affirmation can make all the difference. When we see a colleague or a friend or a family member doing something, we should first encourage them. An example of how to give affirmation is starting off by saying “What you've done really is absolutely great.” and then offer a couple of suggestions after. When people are affirmed and see that others believe in them, it encourages them to keep going.

6. Recognise the unseen achievements. Oftentimes, we look at the tangible things that can be seen, but equally forget about  the unseen transformation that is happening within the community. When a community is ready to sit down and start with ideas even without the resources, that is a big step that needs to be celebrated. 

Dominic from one of our Clusters says, “Sustainability is achieved when the mindset is correct, when the perspective is correct, and when the direction is correct.”

Learn About Mobilising Resources For Your Community here


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