True Empowerment: Teaching Others

Francis Lubega instructs a small team on how to build rocket stoves and their benefit in homes in rural Uganda.   

It’s one thing to learn how to do something. It’s another thing to teach someone else how to do what you’ve learned. The G.O.D. Int’l community in East Africa is fully equipped to implement some very simple, yet life-saving technologies for themselves, such as building and using rocket stoves, and growing plenty of food without owning large farms or using harmful chemicals on crops. They are experiencing the benefits of such knowledge, as they are beginning to see the fruit of their labors in both the produce coming from the ground to their tables, and the health of their families. It’s a beautiful thing to witness people who haven’t had the opportunity to know another way, other than the way of everyone else, to learn a healthier, better way, without introducing foreign materials and inappropriate technologies. These approaches to farming and cooking are indeed simple in that they are easily understood, and very do-able in a small agrarian town in rural Uganda.

Growing a lot of food requires healthy soil for the plants to grow.  The organization of compost allows for organic waste to be utilized to put nutrients into the ground as it deomposes.  

Now, the real benefit comes when not only our community there is benefitting from these simple technologies, but when the surrounding neighborhood has the opportunity to learn the same benefits are extended to them. In both Kenya and Uganda, our cooperatives have built and maintained over 500 rocket stoves for their neighbors, many of whom are widows and single mothers. The gift of education and experience they’ve received has directly improved the health of thousands of women and children in the region. Our agricultural efforts have also expanded to include a small plot at the nearby St John’s Primary School in rural Uganda for the students to learn and grow their own food for school lunches, and even give them techniques to take home to their families.

As our cooperatives and students continue to thrive in their abilities to maintain and improve their own farm, they will be able to share with other families in the area their gardening and cooking practices, and help others succeed on their own land. As an organization, we’ve always acknowledged and greatly emphasized our responsibility to love our neighbor. That’s what we’ve done in Nashville, and that’s what our friends are learning to do in each of the regions we serve. It’s not enough to be recipients of the good news.  We must also  be participants in proclaiming that good news to those who will hear and receive it. In this case, the good news is coming in the form of food production and preparation practices that support life rather than damage it. We pray for our friends and families in East Africa as they work to not only implement these simple technologies, but to provide the same opportunity to those in their path.