Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Teach a man to fish

Neal Baker introduced me to this modified saying:

Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll drink beer all day.

That's why it's better to teach a woman to fish, she'll feed her whole family.

In reality, our savings training teaches men and women to fish in terms of managing money and making it grow. We don't give out any fish, or money, but we teach to fish, or to manage money. Within the local church, our savings groups have also empowered men and women to become fishers of men and women. The church is drawing in community members who recognize the groups as more than pools of money. As a matter of fact, many community members might otherwise avoid a church scheme involving money/savings, but that's not what's happening, they are being drawn in because of how these groups are working.

Our groups' members are working in each other's fields, paying for each other's emergency needs, building houses and building relationships. That kind of success is visible, the fruits are good, the success inspiring.

It's hard to say that we just teach the very poor to save their own money, that we don't give them any food or money. But what we are teaching is how to manage their own resources. One day when we are gone, they will still be managing their own resources and making their money grow. Not only that, it's making their communities and families grow because it involves groups and it involves women.

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