I am an empowered youth now, and I have a skill. I have an income that sustains me and my family.
–Brian Chikasa, who started a wooden furniture business with two friends after a six-month carpentry and joinery course
Give someone a fish or teach someone to fish?
Africare comes down firmly on the “teach” side of the question. Development projects are only truly successful if project participants gain knowledge in the process. Clothes get worn, food gets eaten and money gets spent. But knowledge gets passed on. If you really want to invest in Africa’s future, invest in an African community’s skills to control their own future.
From our mentorship approach to our substantial partnerships with local Civil Society Organizations, a description of practically every Africare project includes the phrases “knowledge transfer” or “sustainability”. In practice, these phrases mean things like partnering with government agriculture extension workers on to introduce new farming techniques on demonstration plots, training local masons to maintain household latrines, educating leaders to stress the importance of continued entrepreneurial training, equipping local institutions to deliver successful vocational training, empowering women to teach their sisters and mothers improved food preparation techniques, and the list goes on. Africare’s goal is to support communities in achieving self-reliance, because then and only then, can they achieve prosperity on their own terms.
Check out our blog, or the related content to your left, to see examples of Africare’s approach to Capacity Building in action.