The term “sustainability” is used quite often here at Bright Hope, and it’s a value that we believe in. We’re all familiar with the term, but perhaps we’ve not given a lot of thought to what it means.
“Sustainability” is defined as “the ability to exist constantly.”
In practice, it’s the idea that projects and programs should be able to continue after their first introduction; ideally in perpetuity. It’s a long-term vision whose goal is to address the problem of poverty rather than simply addressing the symptoms.
Here’s an example.
Francis* is a farmer in Uganda whose family is poor and must often skip meals as a result. Through Bright Hope programs, Francis has the option to take a loan to purchase ten chickens and the feed to care for them. After raising the chickens, Francis can sell the eggs they lay. Then sell the chickens for a profit and use the chicken and eggs to feed his family. Francis can also use the eggs to raise more chickens and/or may use those profits to purchase other livestock or investment so that the process continues.
The troubling part for many people living in poverty is the initial launch to break out of their situation.
For so many, merely surviving from day-to-day is a struggle. Without the means to get started, they waste away in that life. What they need is help getting the ball rolling and training to keep it going – this often leads to a better physical life for their families.
So what can we do about that?
Bright Hope partners with local churches around the world to provide these opportunities that bring sustainability for the extremely poor. It might be through water bottling, financial training, livestock, or many other avenues, but the goal is the same. To keep these programs running, we also partner with Allies to provide the means for meeting these needs. Through programs like Impact, Bright Hope’s monthly Ally giving program, we can address the most urgent needs as they arise. Often, communities are hit suddenly by drought or flood or sickness, or any number of issues, and Bright Hope must respond quickly to these changing needs. We need your help.
Finally, as we know, there is more to life than the physical.
That’s why Bright Hope also seeks to meet the spiritual needs of the poor. We recognize that God is the one that sustains us. Hence, as we look toward programs that will help the poor, we never lose sight of the fact that we are entirely dependent on God for our provision. 2 Corinthians tells us that our strength comes from the Lord and that we will be renewed daily as we rely on Him. God is the great sustainer, and we seek to share that truth with those in need.
Bright Hope will continue to bring sustainability and truth to the extreme poor for as long as the Lord allows.
We invite you to work with us on this task!
We ask that you pray for the poor, tell others about Bright Hope’s work, and get involved by joining Impact and partnering with us monthly. The task is enormous, but we know that our God is even bigger. Help us change lives, get the ball rolling for families, and watch as their lives are transformed, futures rewritten, and Hope restored.