Moving past handouts and into relationships

In some places FH works, aid organizations have been coming and going for years. Naturally, families and community leaders can get used to helpful hand-outs and short-term fixes, but FH's strategy is different. It revolves around deep relationships which take time to build and don't involve a lot of monetary gifts.

FH walks with communities in extreme poverty — brainstorming together, planning together, and celebrating victories together. 

The goal is to equip parents and leaders to care for their own children. But sometimes, community leaders need to be educated on this method of development before trusting relationships can begin.

When FH began work in Desa Baru village in Indonesia, one of the community's leaders, Mr. Ginting, asked FH for money repeatedly because he was used to handouts from other organizations.

FH didn't give him any cash but instead set up Kids' Clubs. These clubs (pictured above) teach hygiene, nutrition, language, math, science and other subjects to children of Desa Baru village, which sits right next to a garbage dump and has poor education.

Before long, Mr. Ginting saw the value in FH's work. Now, he echoes the lessons FH staff teach by reinforcing information on health, hygiene and proper waste disposal. In this type of work, support from the community leader is essential.
“Because of Mr. Ginting's reinforcement,” FH staff say, “the children no longer throw their trash everywhere, but dispose of it properly.”

In a community where children's education historically hasn't been valued, Mr. Ginting's support is especially vital. He encourages his neighbors to participate in FH's programs and talks about wanting to see the children of rural Desa Baru compete in academic competitions against students from the city. 

FH staff will continue to walk with this community and its leaders for years to come, encouraging them to dream and work toward a future free from poverty.


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