Equipping the poorest of the poor to become agents of community transformation

Others, Poverty

Contributed by: Canadian Poverty Institute

Community transformation has cultural, political and religious dimensions. In the case of Burundi, it is ranked 188/188 on the scale of the world’s poorest countries. The poor in Burundi have a fatalistic attitude towards poverty as a result of the unstable political climate, corruption and a climate of suspicion. The poor are cynical and have no hopeful future expectations. The resourcefulness of the poor having been muted. The Christian church of Burundi has developed a culture of dependency. The role of the church in the West has been limited to lifting the poor out of abject poverty. A creative use of available resources and the participation of the poor through the recognition of their own resourcefulness and stewardship is a sustainable approach to the alleviation of poverty. Newfrontiers churches have developed the approach of equipping the poor as a mission’s strategy to participate in the missio Dei. The majority of churches and non-governmental organisations who endeavour to alleviate poverty in Burundi have, what can be termed, a ‘dependency virus’ or ‘dependency crisis’ and are victims caught in the ‘dependency trap’, that is, they create a culture of dependency through their provision. The loss of dignity that follows, transform the community into a slave of the beneficiary system in which poverty is conceived as a lack of things rather than a mind-set born from help given by the beneficiary without the consent of the poor.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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