No one would dispute the fact that feeding the hungry is a righteous thing to do. It is, however, difficult for any charitable organization to feed large numbers of people long term, because all too quickly, full stomachs become empty.
That’s why it makes sense to “teach a man to fish,” or provide resources that jumpstart projects designed to enable hungry people to feed themselves. The Book of Genesis explains that mankind must work in order to eat: “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat.” Hard work is as necessary today as it was thousands of years ago, but nowadays, just working hard is often not enough. Poor people are almost always willing to work hard, but it takes more than just physical effort to earn enough to prosper.
Some degree of skill or knowledge of basic business principals must be combined with hard work in order for individuals to escape poverty. OBI has developed a list of skills ranging from cell phone repair and cosmetology to agricultural expertise, aquaculture and small business management. We are teaching these skills all over the world in order to create job opportunities and open doors of opportunity for the poor.
In the September issue of Blessings, there are two examples of how we use our resources to help people create lives of self-dependence. In Pakistan, a vocational training program empowers women and helps them secure the skills they need to succeed as a professional seamstress or cosmetologist. In Mexico, Operation Blessing went into a hurricane ravaged village and helped fishing families recover by furnishing boats and fishing gear. We constantly search for new and innovative ways to help people leverage the “sweat of their brow” into work that truly enables them to build lives of abundance. Thank you for helping make the world a better place.