The HOPE Building Model that we have developed (previously called the HELP Giving Model) grew out of witnessing many who want to make a difference, but only apply their hearts, not their heads, to their giving.
The result is that their giving often has little impact, seldom builds long-term hope and may even do more harm than good.
To be faithful in our giving we must engage not only our hearts, but our minds as well - just because it feels good, doesn't mean that it is good!
As important as WHAT we give, is HOW we give.
We believe the four principals outlined below – summarised as Honour, Outcomes, People and Empower (H.O.P.E.)- assist us in ensuring that we give in a way that brings long-term transformation to individual lives, to the community and, in fact, to the lives of all involved.
What is poverty? If you ask a wealthy person, they will say material lack. However, a poor person will also speak of psychological & social poverty- feeling inferior & having no say.
The picture of powerful people offering selfless support to the powerless with no thought of repayment, no ulterior motive, no strings attached – we assume this is so right, but...
Who is the hero? Is it not the giver? Who is pitied? Is it not the receiver?
When our giving damages the identity of another, when they feel pitied & in need of rescue, then have we not increased their poverty by our noble giving actions?
We believe that it is essential that we actively ensure that all our giving is eye2eye and with honour. We articulate this in a verse in the Bhambayi 'We have a dream' vision:
It is a dream of honour- where no one is seen as less than. Where there is no giver and receiver, but all give and receive and are blessed.
The majority of giving is on seemingly urgent short-term needs: food for the hungry, blankets & clothes for the poor. While there may be a place for this, this short-term relief seldom brings long-term transformation.
Handouts can lead to dependency and growing inferiority. There are many examples where handouts can displace local entrepreneurs who cannot compete with free handouts. It can also mean goods are not looked after as they cost nothing and are in abundant supply. Handouts should be avoided. When deemed a necessity, they should be part of a bigger process helping people escape the poverty trap, rather than keeping them comfortable in it!
Our focus is on measuring our impact by the outcomes, rather than by the inputs. While measuring outcomes is far more difficult, it is essential that we work to develop effective means of doing so to ensure we are focusing on measures that really count, not just ticking the box.
How easy it is to jump to fixing what is broken, especially when we have the resources, skills and experience, but the journey is usually more important than the destination- the process of solving & owning the problem is usually of greater value than fixing the problem itself.
The world focuses on people's strengths, yet how do we speak of communities or individuals in need-is it not rather by their weaknesses? Their lack & their need?
Yes, this motivates people to give, but does this encourage changed lives? Every person has God-given gifts and passions to develop and grow. Focusing on strengths and unlocking these gifts is an important part of inspiring others and helping them escape the poverty trap, rather than just make them more comfortable within it.