People from the remote Zambian village of Lihukwa used to survive by fishing in the local rivers. But this barely provided them with enough food and income to survive. Families were going hungry. It was a local pastor who brought the villagers together to use their own resources to lift themselves out of poverty.
‘Lihukwa was left behind in all areas of human development,’ says Kennedy, one of the village’s leaders, reflecting on what life was like for his community a few years ago.
There was no school or hospital in the village and it was challenging for people to access essential supplies such as food, clothes and medicines.
Putting faith into action
Pastor Teddy Chinyama, who was being trained in Tearfund’s Church and Community Transformation process, decided to visit the village to put his learning into practice.
Church and Community Transformation is an approach to community development that enables people to see the power that they have to transform their own lives – using the skills and resources they already have.
Pastor Teddy began by offering a Bible study in the village. Then, as he got to know the villagers, he taught them how to use what God had given them, such as their land, and gave them practical training on how to grow a variety of crops.
‘The real change came as people’s mindsets started to shift,’ says Anne Mumbi, who leads Tearfund’s work in Zambia. ‘People began to hope for a better life and wanted to use the local resources God had given them.