“In real community development, we have no projects – only people.” Those words struck a chord when I heard them, because that’s exactly what we’ve seen lately.
We recently challenged Musa, who teaches Seed of Hope’s afternoon class for 10-14 year-olds, to see himself as a youth leader in the community, not just the classroom. We said, “Start thinking about connecting with kids in local schools, helping them to dream of bigger futures for themselves.” And Musa’s job title became Youth Outreach Worker. All this change caused him real anxiety.
A few weeks later, Musa reported: “I feel like this is what I was made to do! I was afraid of the change in my role at first, but when I stand in front of 100 children in a classroom and talk about issues like sexual abuse, or working hard to achieve their dreams, I can see them responding. Many are even talking when they would normally be too shy. Now I have a vision of what I can do to help change many kids’ lives.”
Musa turned a change in job title into something real – a new view of his own talents and purpose. And with that confidence, he is transforming young people in Bhekulwandle. As an organization, we keep discovering the broader lessons of development emerging from the lives of people around us. No projects, only people.
Thank you, Musa!